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Old November 22nd, 2011, 02:52 PM   #1
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Manfrotto Compact Series MKC3-H01

Ok, I know you guys are mostly semi-pros and pros – so, I don’t expect that you’re going to have much nice to say about it, but I picked up a Manfrotto MKC3-H01 – one of the Compact Series Photo Movie Kits. The only tripod I had was a broken junker from 1993 – so, this is an improvement over that.

I have been wanting a monopod for the stuff that I generally am involved in, but I heard that monopods are worthless for video, bla, bla, bla. I spotted this Manfrotto at Best Buy after seeing that the brand was fairly well regarded. I loved that little wheel lock! Maybe it’s a gimmick that only a relative newb would fall for, but I just thought that was the coolest thing!

Of course, it’s a little on the rough side when panning I can already tell. Any tips for making smoother pans with it? My camcorder only weights a pound and the tripod is only good for like 3 pounds support. So, it’s so light – I guess that detracts from a steady pan in addition to the cheap head? Any suggestions welcome.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: Manfrotto Compact Series MKC3-H01

Oh, Jason, what can I say?

Let me tell you a story.

I packed my missus off to the UK and Europe with a brand new SD dinky cam a few years ago, with the parting words "you may need a tripod to get any decent video out of that thing, and no, I don't have anything suitable".

A couple of months later, she's home with one of these in tow: Modo by Manfrotto - Video and Photo Camera Supports and Accessories

She unpacked it and handed it over , somewhat sheepishly (I have an entire cupbpoard given over to Pro video camera supports, so know just a bit about them, not everything, but enough).

So I asked "THE" questions (one look telling me what the answers were going to be) -

"What did it cost?"

"It was real cheap"

"What's it like?"

"Crap" she said.

"How bad?"


And so it came to pass, 2 minutes was enough for me to confim it's exit via TradeMe (think Kiwi e - bay/ CraigsList).

So, the moral of this little tale is that you cannot, under any circumstances, get Orange juice out of a Lemon.


You can try the "rubber band" trick on the pan bar, but I don't think that's going to give you a "get out of jail card".

I'm sure you'll get some more (suggestions), but really, it's going to be a 20 - 0 win to the tripod every time, no matter what you do.

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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:46 AM   #3
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Re: Manfrotto Compact Series MKC3-H01


What camera are you intending to use on this tripod?

I'm not being funny, but if the rubber band trick doesn't work on this, then nothing will. (Just search this forum for it, you'll find a few examples). You may have to be grateful for static, locked-off shots.

You really need a fluid head, any sort of fluid head, to be in with a chance of panning or tilting smoothly. That looks like ball head (or a screw, bolt, or something) and you'll be doing well to get anything smooth.

But first, find a rubber band, put one end round the handle, and try to pan. It should be smoother. Looking at the tripod, you may need to put the other and on the top of the tripod legs to stop them wobbling or falling over while you do this.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: Manfrotto Compact Series MKC3-H01

I accidently bought a "fluid-like" head when I thought I was getting the real thing. I put up with it, got a nice collection of rubber bands now. I had to make at least ten pans of the scene just to try to get something useable. I finally got fed up with the amateurish results and got a proper fluid head. Like night and day. If you have the patience of Job and can do several pans to hope one is good enough, then one other tip is to use a wide angle lens, as they are more forgiving of jittery movements. So yeah, pretty much what Chris said. Get the proper tool for the job, 'cause you can't pull nails with a ball peen hammer.
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Old November 24th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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Re: Manfrotto Compact Series MKC3-H01

My new main camera is a Cannon HF S20 – it’s only a pound or so….. I’ll look for the ‘rubber band’ trick. That is likely exactly what I was looking for from here. Thanks!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #6
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Re: Manfrotto Compact Series MKC3-H01

Well, I have certainly concluded that this thing isn’t well suited for panning to say the least. I don’t mean to knock it too hard. It serves well for photo or static video shots and for the money I suppose it has a place.

I am somewhat interested in options for an inexpensive fluid head that will work with my very light Canon HF S20. I gather that is a sticking point with these very light cameras – being so light makes them difficult to pan smoothly? Anyway, what are the better options in this arena that are budget friendly? I wouldn’t be looking to drop any significant amount of money on it right now. I have too many other things that are on my want list. I am curious of opinions though.

What should I be looking for in tripods while I’m asking? The more portable the better for me really. I’ve seen those sand bag things that might aid in giving some weight to whatever combo I might end up with.

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