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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:23 PM   #1
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fluid head for small cameras?

I have some larger tripods and heads and the smallest ones I have are the 503HDV and 501 HDV, I use the 503 and never used the 501 yet, but the other day I went out with two little cams, the canon HG10 and HV10 on a double mount and connected that to the 503hdv and had no control it was just way too light for the tripod to deal with nicely.

I have not tried the 501 but suspect it will be similar, so my question is...

whats a good tripod fluid head for the super small cameras? the new HF10 is a flash based camera and weighs so little its like there is nothing on the head, doing any type of movement is near impossible, so do they make a good design for such a small unit?
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Old April 21st, 2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Hi Stephen................

Ah, the "Joe Public and the Matchbox Cinemascope Camera" question again.

This was a topic of discussion between myself and CH just a week or so ago, part of which was this very support system issue.

He was going to bail up some industry execs at NAB on this very topic, but, with his rather unfortunate early departure, I'm not sure whether it happened.

I'm hoping he'll chime in and let us know.

To cut a long story short(er), the subject of the discussion was the fact that the camera's keep getting smaller and lighter, the definition keeps going up, and despite heroic improvements in OIS systems, the need for rock solid support systems for "dinky cams" is becomeing more and more compelling.

This need is, apparently, being resoundingly ignored by both the support systems industry and the camera manufacturers themselves.

Part of the problem (as I perceive it, anyway) is that the camera prices keep going down, Joe Public is buying more and more of these "CinemaScope" capable systems but is NOT going to lash out $3000 for a support system for his $999 (or less) matchbox cam.

Can the support system manufacturers get their heads around the need for good quality, cheap (almost a perfect Oxymoron, that combination) support systems for something weighing in at just ounces?

To date, no.

I started thinking about this when I considered just what I would have to park under my little HV20 to esure footage as stable as I get from my A1, and ended up right back at the $3000 + FiberTec system I use for the A1.

Which, when you think about it, is rediculous.

That is, at the moment, where the industry seems to be stalled.

I would dearly love to hear someone had an answer to this question.


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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:37 PM   #3
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I would dearly love to hear someone had an answer to this question.
CS
Velbon!!!!
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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:41 PM   #4
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On reflection...........

My further musings on this topic did actually result in a solution to this problem, but not one anybody seems in any hurry to implement, even if it is feasible.

I concluded that, given the rather lead footed approach being taken by the support industry (it isn't, after all, in their interests to actually start doing good & cheap, even if there were such a thing) and thus it would, in all probability, be the camera manufacturers who came to the rescue.

If you can't make cheap and rock solid, make cheap and smart.

Bring out a tripod system that's light to use, cheap to produce and buy, and with sensors in the pan/ tilt head that measure support movement and pan bar pressure, feeding this data to the OIS system.

You thus have a proprietry support system that imitates a pretty large block of concrete but yet weighs in at only a couple of pounds.

It very well may have the shakes, wobbles, twists, warps and every other support fault possible, but if the camera knows that it's support movement and not deliberate pan and tilt operation, it can compensate for it.

Knowing that deliberate pan/ tilt is being undertaken, via the pan bar sensors, it could compensate for the dreaded backlash, slow, slow, quick quick slow pans and tilts and a host of other nasties.

Given what can be done with micro electronics, it really is suprising this system or something similar didn't appear years ago.

(Canon, Sony, Panasonic and JVC - send the royalty cheques to me via DVinfo!).


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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Ah, the "Joe Public and the Matchbox Cinemascope Camera" question again.

To cut a long story short(er), the subject of the discussion was the fact that the camera's keep getting smaller and lighter, the definition keeps going up, and despite heroic improvements in OIS systems, the need for rock solid support systems for "dinky cams" is becomeing more and more compelling.

Part of the problem (as I perceive it, anyway) is that the camera prices keep going down, Joe Public is buying more and more of these "CinemaScope" capable systems but is NOT going to lash out $3000 for a support system for his $999 (or less) matchbox cam.

I would dearly love to hear someone had an answer to this question.

CS
Also the problem that Joe Public doesn't see the need for a support system for their video camera. With stabilization systems the way they are most consumers don't see a difference with hand held and mounted. Nor do they want to deal with the inconvenience of carrying sticks with them.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Here's the Velbons:
http://www.velbon-tripod.com/video.htm

Also, I have a Gitzo 3180 that is smooth with or without a camera on it.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 06:17 PM   #7
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Also the problem that Joe Public doesn't see the need for a support system for their video camera. With stabilization systems the way they are most consumers don't see a difference with hand held and mounted. Nor do they want to deal with the inconvenience of carrying sticks with them.
I see thousands of those videos on youtube, they are for the most part unwatchable.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 01:17 AM   #8
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I see thousands of those videos on youtube, they are for the most part unwatchable.
They will find a way to make it unwatchable even on a tripod (they usually tend to zoom all the way in and pan around trying to catch everything) :)

Handheld shooting is out there even in high-end productions, which means that with a bit of knowledge, Joe Public could improve his skills at least to the point where the OIS would do a terrific job. I am glad I did not had OIS to begin with, as I learned to hold still better, now with the OIS addition, it's excellent.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 02:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
This was a topic of discussion between myself and CH just a week or so ago, part of which was this very support system issue.

I started thinking about this when I considered just what I would have to park under my little HV20 to esure footage as stable as I get from my A1, and ended up right back at the $3000 + FiberTec system I use for the A1.

Which, when you think about it, is rediculous.


CS
That is quite a bit of hardware supporting a 1 pound camera. Can the Vision 3 w/#1 even fuction properly with such a small camera?
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 02:55 AM   #10
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Ive got an HV20 and use a Velbon 7000. It works very well for the money.

You can add balast to your camera/tripod with the zinc/lead weights used by tyre stores for balancing wheels. Just stick a load of them to the underside of the camera or tripod mount.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:07 AM   #11
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Hi Michael.........

Well, I suppose, if I took the spring out of the head entirely and just relied on the drag controls, possibly.

But, hey, it is a rediculous situation.

The point I was trying to highlght is that the advances of OIS are such that, with a minimally spec'd tripod, an "intelligent" head could support anything from 10 grams to 20,000 without breaking a sweat (that's less than half an ounce to well over 44 pounds!).

Of course, it requires one of two things:

1. Either the support manufacturers get off their collective duffs and come up with a standard protocol to "talk" to the OIS systems of video cameras,

OR

2. The camera manufacturers wise up to the "missing link" here with High Def cameras and decide to wade into the support system market themselves.

My personal belief is that the lure of proprietry support systems will be too much for the camera bods to ignore, and no standard interface will emerge.

I would sincerely like to be proved wrong, but the deafening silence from all quarters on this issue is a bit of a worry.

The bottom line here is that a matchbox camera (or close to) will soon be able to shoot the equivalent of 70 mm film (OK, overstretch, but you can see my point) and it is going to look, quite frankly, bloody awefull without an appropriate support system in place to deal with it.

Thanks for your post.


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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:42 AM   #12
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Er, Stephen...........

Full and humble appologies for unintentionally hijacking your thread.

Sorry I can't give you a decent answer to your question, tho' I'm hopefull someone will be able to come up with something.

You have, however, highlighted what I believe is going to become a more and more pressing issue in future, and thanks for that.

________________________________________________________________

Er, Rikki, has it ever crossed your mind that you are using the collective genius of scientific progress over the last 100 years inside your camera, on a support system that was designed (and hasn't changed a whole heap) from 100 years ago?

Ingenious as your solution is, I cannot see the mass of the worlds "Joe Public" descending on tyre stores world wide to strip them bare of wheel weights when it wouldn't really involve an awefull lot of effort on the part of "someone" to come up with a decent support solution to this problem.

Thanks for the input tho', very resourcefull (does go to show innovation isn't dead).


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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:53 AM   #13
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You can add balast to your camera/tripod with the zinc/lead weights used by tyre stores for balancing wheels. Just stick a load of them to the underside of the camera or tripod mount.
I remember seeing a similar idea in a product in a magazine. It was a flat Bar that had some weights attached at each end which stuck out ahead of and behind the camera which you could add up to a few pounds on.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:30 PM   #14
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Sachtler

Although have not tested the Sachtler FSB 2, I have been using an FSB 6 all week in our studio with a bare DVX and love it. It's smooth, well built, and solid.
I started a mini review and will finish after I film our production in May.

The FSB 2 can be bought for under $1,000 and Ive seen it as low as $775 with a single stage tripod and mid-level spreader from the place I bought mine. Sachtler's reputation is well earned and I would imagine the FSB 2 is as good as everything else they build.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 08:01 PM   #15
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This was a topic of discussion between myself and CH just a week or so ago... He was going to bail up some industry execs at NAB on this very topic, but, with his rather unfortunate early departure, I'm not sure whether it happened.
Unfortunately did not happen. About half of my NAB agenda did not happen.

Vitec Group had a company dinner on Monday night 4/14 but I wasn't invited!

Stephen's question is an important one and pretty soon Chris S. and I will share our offline discussion with the forum, but in the meantime I too would like to know what is the best small tripod out there.

More to follow soon.
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