DSLR Video Newb- What Camera Support?

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
gskolenda Senior Member • Posts: 1,090
Re: DSLR Video Newb- What Camera Support?

I would recommend 3 things. One Get a Tripod Pan & Tilt head that is a fluid head, like the Manfrotto-502 flat base head about $160.00 at B&H, this is a great head and will give you very smooth pans and vertical tilts. Once you see the results you will use it a lot. Fluid is the key here.

2nd, I would not get a camera stabilizer, I have tried 3 different types from three different brands, at different price ranges, they are hard to balance no matter what they say how easy it is, also you have to be very dedicated and committed to practicing and learning the art of using a steadicam device. It's not something you can just pick up and use like a good tripod with a good fluid head. Change a lens, and you have to rebalance. Swing in or out an lcd screen, you have to rebalance, add a larger battery, you have to rebalance. Don't take what I say as concrete, it's wet cement. They really work when they are dedicated to a particular set up, and the person using one uses it often. Thats why many steadicam guys are sub-contracted out, not just the tool, but the person and the steadicam. Some people have made a very good career out of one.

Get your self a good shoulder rig, you'll use it a lot, maybe more than the tripod. In the video world we are always trying to get the shot with the least amount of equipment and the easiest.

Shoulder rigs are all over the place in style and price, I would highly recommend that you purchase from a source that has a very good return policy, also try one out for an extended period of time in one shoot, to see how you hold up using one.

For me, I also purchased a Camera Crane or as its sometime called a jib, mine is an 8 foot span it covers. I love it! It's easy to use right out of the box, and will inspire you to create very nice videos.  I got one for about $300.00 on ebay. Well worth the investment for me. The only con about using a Crane or Jib is they are a bit cumbersome(meaning bulky) to set up, Not hard just a little big. I'm seriously considering getting one of the newer smaller portable Jibs that are carbon fiber and very light, smaller and faster to set up, they are not cheap, $600.00 plus range.

Here is a link to a short video I created this past fall, that I used my Jib for the first time!


With these 3 pieces of equipment you can shoot a lot of very different shots. I think you will find video to be very creative, because its not just framing, and focal length, it's the motion of the camera as well as the subject, that leads to so many complex choices for one to convey there vision. I have been doing photography for many years in film before digital, and I must admit that experience has helped me to grow in the video world.  Good Luck and Enjoy! Hope this helped.


 gskolenda's gear list:gskolenda's gear list
Sony RX10 III Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +1 more
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