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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:48 PM   #1
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Location: Starksboro VT
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Extreme Lightweight Tripod/head for GH2

I'm thinking of taking my GH2 for a 272 mile walk on Vermont's Long Trail (and, if it works out, perhaps the 2200 or so miles of the Appalachian Trail next year). I need a tripod/head combo in the 2.5 lb range in order to make the total weight feasible! I think the lightest Gitzo legs (their 0 series) and either Gitzo's smallest fluid head (the G2180) or perhaps the Manfrotto 700RC2 might get into that range... Does anyone have a recommendation between these two, or know of other ultralight options (anyone else's 1.5 lb legs that aren't QUITE as expensive as Gitzo's, and/or another fluid head in the 1 lb range)?

In an ideal world, I'd have a head that switched between video and still modes like the GH2 does (flip a switch and it's a 3-way panhead?), but the one Manfrotto head I've seen that does this (the 055) takes up my entire weight budget without legs... Why can't Manfrotto make a smaller version of this head for the many 2-4 lb HDSLR rigs out there?

Remember that, even with the "big" 100-300 lens, the GH2's only 2.1 lbs, and it's 1.4 or so with the smaller 14-42. This is a seriously light camera (actually lighter than many consumer handycams), and the issue with a head is going to be being overdamped, not underdamped.

Isn't it amazing that there is a sub 2 lb camera that does what the GH2 does? I shot it against an EX1 recently, and was surprised by just how close it came (while weighing much less than half as much and taking better than decent stills as well as video). No, it's not a RED for video (never seen one, but have seen footage - amazing!), nor a Nikon D3x (which I own and have used for years) for stills, but it's closer than it has any right to be for what it weighs...
Dan Wells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2011, 03:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: Extreme Lightweight Tripod/head for GH2

Dan - I use the http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-ST-650-Lightweight-Tripod-Camcorder/dp/B002P3KWXK for my GH2. It is a good, solid lightweight travel tripod - but even though the Amazon description calls it a "fluid head", it is not the smoothest for pans - but it is good enough (at least for for my needs).

Its little brother, the http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DELTLQ is also well-reviewed. I am a big Dolica fan because of their customer service. They gave me a free spare quick release for the ST-650 when I called to tell them that I had accidentally bought the wrong Dolica QR online.

And yes, the GH2 is an amazingly versatile still/video hybrid camera - especially for its price (and size). It is such a good still camera that it gets videographers interested in serious still photography. While, at the same time, it gets photographers interested in serious video. People like me, who have been serious about both, think they've died and gone to heaven.

I am continually amazed by what this camera can do, even in the hands of a merely semi-competent photo/video guy like me ;-)


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