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Old August 30th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #1
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Tripod or Monopod for my documentaries?

Hi, I have just bought Sony FX7 HDV camera and now I need a monopod or tripod. I have just used a little bit my Sony FX7 but I have made shaking shots. I tell you about my travels and documentaries. I take an interest on ethnic groups toward extinction and I often I stay for 20 days in remore land like raiforest or trekking on the mountains (Africa and South America, Papua New Guinea, etc). In the raiforest often I sail rivers by boat and take a 4x4 too.
Somebody tells me to buy a monopod and others a light tripod for my documentaries. Now I have confused ideas. In your opinion is it better to buy a monopod or tripod? I will use it in my travels only.
Thanks for info.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 04:53 PM   #2
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I have used a monopod when trying to capture action sports and I think the tripod is a better platform. The monopod seems like a good idea but the weight of the camera makes it an almost dangerous idea.

If suffering from lack of space look into buying a shoulder mount.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by James Brill View Post
If suffering from lack of space look into buying a shoulder mount.
mmmm, did you use it? Is it better than a monopod? mmmm
Thanks for your reply.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #4
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I have both and I sincerly believe the tripod is the way to go. There is a very light tripod by Manfrotto, I think it's the 190mf with a 702rc head should be great for what you do. Manfrotto may have newer and better, look at their website.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #5
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The monopod I used was a manfrotto 681b with a 3265 head and I didn't find it that functional. I do not own a shoulder mount since I don't need one but have used other peoples and believe that it would be the next best thing to a tripod.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 03:51 AM   #6
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You have a few choices, but I think you will miss the tripod look. As an amateur, I shot two weeks of footage on a monopod. It was a bit of a pain to bring around, and particularly difficult to hold steady for interviews that sometimes went on for 20 minutes.

A body camera support with belt-mounted brace is reasonably comfortable (I use DV MultiRig - surprisingly compact foldup), but the steadiness isn't much different from the stability offered by a monopod. When you hold on to the handles, you can't really play with the camera controls, such as Push autofocus. So, you'll need yet another accessory for LANC control.

If you're bringing a tripod, just bring a light monopod with it.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriano Moroni View Post
I take an interest on ethnic groups toward extinction and I often I stay for 20 days in remore land like raiforest or trekking on the mountains (Africa and South America, Papua New Guinea, etc)


I was in Africa for a few weeks back in May and I only took a Manfrotto monopod around with me. For the stuff I was shooting (mainly wildlife) it worked great.
http://homepage.mac.com/justin.carls...ser/index.html
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Old August 31st, 2007, 11:49 AM   #8
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Tripod has the thumbs up, and especially so with that long telephoto lens of yours Adriano. And because of that long lens, you'll want the best fluid head you can afford, otherwise you'll be forever cussing as you delete the jerky telephoto pans and zooms from your timeline.

My Manfrotto 503/525 combo can be used as a sort of monopod in tight situations. The three legs can be quickly folded together with an upward kick og the spreader, 30 or so seconds of me doing that here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRaNQ2p5ipo

You might also invest in a bean bag. With a belt loop or velcro it can be always by your side, and this is a great stabilising device on any suitable gate, car roof, rocky ground.

tom.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Justin Carlson View Post
I was in Africa for a few weeks back in May and I only took a Manfrotto monopod around with me. For the stuff I was shooting (mainly wildlife) it worked great.
http://homepage.mac.com/justin.carls...ser/index.html
Interesting shots but I have viewed 2-3 shots only with monopod. Other shots were on the river or on the car. But I have just noticed a good work with monopod. When did you buy the monopod? Did you make much practice?
thanks
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Old August 31st, 2007, 12:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Tripod has the thumbs up, and especially so with that long telephoto lens of yours Adriano. And because of that long lens, you'll want the best fluid head you can afford, otherwise you'll be forever cussing as you delete the jerky telephoto pans and zooms from your timeline.

My Manfrotto 503/525 combo can be used as a sort of monopod in tight situations. The three legs can be quickly folded together with an upward kick og the spreader, 30 or so seconds of me doing that here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRaNQ2p5ipo

You might also invest in a bean bag. With a belt loop or velcro it can be always by your side, and this is a great stabilising device on any suitable gate, car roof, rocky ground.

tom.
I'm sorry but I don't succeed to find on Internet the Manfrotto 503/525 combo. Can you tell me the precise model and how much it costs, please?
I am afraid it weights too much for me (for my travels). About bean bag ... is sufficient one bean kg?
Thanks
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:01 PM   #11
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This page will show you various tripods and prices.

http://www.videokit.co.uk/cgi-bin/store1/commerce.cgi
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:08 PM   #12
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Another vote for a tripod + hand held rig. You will miss the tripod if you don't have it. And if it's a choice between a hand held rig and a monopod, a hand held rig gives you more options. I just recently went through this whole dilemma myself but I'm shooting in NYC so YMMV. Currently shooting two documentaries and my monopod is collecting dust. So if you still want one, it's for sale!

My handheld rig is the DVMultiRigPro with a quick release adapter. I have two tripods: the Manfrotto 701RC and a heavier Cartoni Focus/Miller setup.

* You can mount the DVMultiRigPro directly onto a tripod, but I found that having a quick release adapter on both made more sense.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 02:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriano Moroni View Post
I'm sorry but I don't succeed to find on Internet the Manfrotto 503/525 combo. Can you tell me the precise model and how much it costs, please?
I am afraid it weights too much for me (for my travels). About bean bag ... is sufficient one bean kg?
Thanks
The 503 Manfrotto fluid head that Tom suggests is a fine machine and preferable to lesser panning heads. However, it is probably too large for your requirements. On my trip to Kashmir during the earthquake aftermath in January 2006, all camera and video equipment had to fit in my hands and packpack. There was no room in most transportation for additional equipment, and if you're walking a few miles on uneven terrain, you don't want to carry much.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:31 PM   #14
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I've been testing the Manfrotto 561B Monopod with the Sony Z1 and V1. Using a lanc remote on the monopod handle, and using a very, very light touch to hold the monopod shaft and handle, I'm finding that I get much steadier shots than I can get handheld. It is still a challenge at full zoom, but far better than handheld. The pod is light and easy to carry on a shoulder strap, or you can lock the camera down and carry the whole assembly over your shoulder for setup changes.
For dead steady shots, flawless pans, etc., there is truely no substitute for a good tripod. The Manfrotto 501HDV head on the 351MVB2K legs, with "half ball" really does the job, but weighs in at about 15 lbs. Lugging it around is the price you pay for really rock solid footage.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:36 PM   #15
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I'll second the Manfrotto 561B monopod, which (gotta add this) has the fluid head built into the base for panning. Not only does that help with panning, but also the usual friction-induced vibrations of the monopod rubber foot on a hard floor is often transmitted into both the picture and sound.
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