Tripod and head choices at

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 18th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 223
Tripod and head choices

After getting my Canon XF300 camcorder my budget it a little low at the moment. I am looking for advice on what tripod and head to get. I NEED the tripod to be light as I will be travelling with it a lot.
For the legs at the moment I have my eye on the Manfrotto 055 carbon. This one​product/​8374.58969.83534.0.0/​055CX3/​_/​055_carbon_fibre_3-section_tripod Is it any good? I have a Giottos carbon tripod for stills but the leg angle is much shallower and thus less stable. Otherwise I would just use what I have for now.

For the head I have been looking into the Manfrotto 501HDV and 701HDV. I don't know which to get given that the 501 is quite a bit more and I can't see a big difference in spec.

I should also mention I want the tripod to double up for both video and stills photography so I think a dedicated video tripod might not really be the best.

Thanks for any input.
Andy Solaini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 566
Hi Andy,

I also have the Canon XF300 and I'm also looking into a new fluid head/tripod setup. My old Libec LS22, previously used with a Canon XL2, is slowly giving up the ghost (plus there's cracks showing). The Libec setup barely held up the XL2, good with very slow pans, horrible with any tilts.

I also own a 501HDV and sometimes put it on the Libec tripod. This combination is light, and fairly easy to lug around. But using it with the XF300 is a struggle (probably cause of the cam's weight?). I shot some wildlife, specifically birds at a wildlife refuge last November, and I was pulling my hair out following those birds. When they were steady, they looked great!

I'm currently looking into the 504HDV. It's more than the 501, but I think it'll make panning/tilting/moving the camera a bit easier.

Good luck!
Jeff Anselmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,413
The 504 head and 535 carbon legs
Manfrotto Manfrotto 504HD Video Fluid Head w/ 535 3-Secti B&H
would be a good match for this cam. A little on the heavy side. But the XF300 weighs in fully loaded at 6.5 lbs and I don't think a lighter head/tripod would yeild the best results.
Mark Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 566
Hi Mark,

Thanks for that BandH link. I have been checking out Manfrotto's carbon fiber tripods, but not really sure if it'll handle rough terrain, and sometimes heavy wind (not gale force winds, but windy enough :)

I've worked with ENG-style tripods before that weigh a ton, but the camera weighs a ton also, so the wind barely blows on it. So how would the 535 carbon fiber tripod hold up?

I guess that's the dilemma, right? I want a portable, lighter tripod (that the wife can easily lug around) that can easily handle the XF300, that won't blow over in windy conditions.
Jeff Anselmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Well I for one wouldn't put a camera as good as (and as expensive as) the XF300 on a low-end Manfrotto set of sticks and head.

Bare minimum is the 503HDV on the 525 legs, and that is bargain basement stuff. Anything less and I would be worried about the camera falling off, let alone getting a smooth pan or tilt. I had my Sony V1 on a LS22 head and I wouldn't ever let go of the pan handle, not even for a second in case it fell over.

All too often, people buy expensive pro-level cameras and think they can get away with cruddy, cheap tripods. (I know, I've been there...)

For a camera like this, Sachtler FSB-4 or FSB-6, Vinten Vision Blue, Manfrotto 504HD or Libec LS-38 (or the equivalent Miller) really are where you want to be. If you can't go there, save your pennies and go hand-held until then!

Last edited by Mike Beckett; December 20th, 2010 at 08:43 AM. Reason: All I want for Christmas are fingers that can type properly...
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:30 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network