Just to change the subject some . I know a lot of you hand hold your camcorders but i also know some of you use a tripod . So just out of curiosity , what tripod do you use and how do you like it ? I thinking of getting a Manfrotto 190XPROB or the 055XPROB . As well i'm thinking of getting a Manfrotto 804RC2 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head . So as i asked , what tripod do you use ??
I have the Sachtler FSB4 which is not nearly as much as some tripods can get but it's definitely not a cheap tripod either. If you ever thought about increasing your possible budget (by a lot), theirs the Sachtler Ace for $535 which is sort of a cheaper version of the FSB 4. I couldn't help it.
I use a $110 Ravelli/Fancier AVTP Professional fluid head tripod with a 75mm bowl. A lot less expensive than a Shachtler or a Manfrotto, it has sturdy aluminum "crutch style" legs, dual handles and pans and tilts as smooth as butter. Great value for money.
I use a Manfrotto 3021BPRO (the predecessor to the 055XPROB) with the Manfrotto 128LP Micro Fluid Head for video (I have a Manfrotto compact ball head for DSLR stills). The tripod is solid, sturdy, and quite versatile, but is a bit heavy, so I wouldn't want to carry it around all day. The 128LP Micro Fluid Head is easy to adjust, use, and is very fluid. I have had this tripod and video head for a few years now and both have held up very well.
I’ve got one of the Manfrotto Compact Series that you can pick up at Best Buy. What you’ll find is that one of these less expensive tripods wont pan/tilt with the smooth action that you will want/need once you figure that out. \
What you really want is a ‘fluid head’ and from what I have gathered you will also want a tripod that has a bowl mounting system. Unlike your ball heads for photography; the ‘fluid heads’ for video generally just pan/tilt on axis I suppose you might say. So, if you ever find yourself on anything other than a flat surface you’ll never get the legs to adjust to level perfectly otherwise.
The most entry level I believe from Manfrotto is the 755xb:
I just picked one up from Ebay and you can find them for significantly less than new if you watch for them. The fluid head that I’m aiming for is the 701 and they are bringing astonishingly high prices on Ebay. Last one went for within $10 of brand new!
I thought the 501 head had been discontinued, but it hasn't. I got it over the 701 (even thought its a fluid head) because of its weight rating. It use teflon instead of a fluid. Its very large but I often use it with a DSLR and 300mm/TC1.7 setup and it works very well. For small stuff the 701 looks like a good deal. The reviews at BH are good on both of these heads.