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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.

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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 4
Lightweight tripod recommendation?

I apologize if this has been covered here before; I've searched the forum quite a bit, but I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for.

A few weeks ago I was hired on as the all-purpose guy -- videographer, editor, sound mixer, you name it -- for a medium-sized nonprofit that wants to get heavily into video production. They had purchased a basic kit before I started, including an XL H1, a couple wired lav mics, a couple not-actually-useful lights and so on.

They'd also bought a ridiculously heavy-duty tripod and head. I didn't note the make or model, but seriously, I could stand on this thing. It's a monster.

We did our first location shoot on Monday, and lemme tell you, lugging a thirty-pound tripod around all morning wasn't my idea of a great time. After lunch, I ditched the tripod entirely and just shot handheld for the rest of the day. Even without a shoulder support of any kind, I was happier than I had been trying to maneuver that boat anchor of a tripod into position for quick setups.

Since I just started here, and since they spent about $15,000 on post-production gear for me already, I'm not entirely comfortable complaining to my execs about the gear they've already bought. I've made the case for a decent set of lights, and I think that went over okay, but I'd like to be a little diplomatic when broaching the tripod question.

Can anyone out there recommend an extremely lightweight, even flimsy, tripod/head combo that can comfortably support the XL H1's nine-ish pounds and is good for quick setup situations, but that doesn't have an extreme price tag? I'd like to stay under $300 if possible, just to keep my boss as happy as possible. The pitch will be that I'm not trying to replace the undoubtedly insanely expensive tripod they already bought, but just supplement it with one that's useful in specific run-and-gun situations.

Skimming around on the B&H Web site, just to see the lay of the land, yields a couple inexpensive tripod kits in the sub-ten-pound range, including the attractive looking Impact VT2500. Does anybody out there have any advice about this tripod in particular, or tripods like this one?

Jeff Harrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 21st, 2008, 05:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,657
There are a few around, but the biggest consideration will be a good fluid head for steady/even pans, that's if they're a requirement now, if not I think they will be later.

Maybe price your monster on Ebay to offset the cost against a better rig, to try and get above a $300 budget.

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Old April 9th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Devon, UK
Posts: 2
Hi there
This is my first post. Does anyone have any comments good or bad on the Miller/Arrow tripods. Thinking along the lines of a 1741 Kit that consist of a 55 Head and 925 Tripod.

Using a XL H1 with the biggest bit of glass wedged on the front being a EF600mm.

Any advice please

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Old April 9th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: los angeles california
Posts: 42
Trev, I use the arrow 25 with my XLH1 set up and it works great, smooth pans and tilts and thats including a marshall monitor, chrosziel matte box, firestore and IDX batteries, so I'm sure the 55 would be a great choice as well.
Tony R. Warren
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Devon, UK
Posts: 2
Thanks for that I think I will keep going along the lines of the 55 and 925

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