There are a few tricks that let you stabilize your shots with a camera strap. But how about actually turning your flexible strap into rigid support for your camera? Frii Designs is soon launching a very interesting piece of gear that will do exactly that. In one flip of a switch, Frii Designs’ Conda Strap turns into a tripod or a vlogging rig.
When it comes to nature photography, should you shoot on a tripod or hand-held? Let me share some personal stories and then I would love to get your opinion.
I shoot the vast majority of my images on a tripod. I am fully aware that I sacrifice some flexibility in the field. However, such an approach gives me sharp images with a horizon in level. I predominantly shoot during the golden hour. This entails that I often shoot exposures where the shutter is open way longer than if I was shooting in bright daylight. If possible, I also almost exclusively shoot at base ISO. Base ISO means that the sensor produces very little noise and peaks in terms of dynamic range. I know that with my sub-par hand-held technique I’ll probably ruin many images during golden hour due to handshake. Even vibration reduction activated can’t save me there.
When you want to make sure that your photos will be completely free from camera shake, you’ll put your camera on a tripod. However, even then, there are certain factors that could cause your tripod to shake and leave you with blurry photos. In this video, Tony & Chelsea Northrup share a checklist of five things to remember to keep your tripod perfectly stable. They even made up an acronym for it to help you remember it: SWEAT.
At IBC 2019, we stopped by the Manfrotto stand to check out their new “Fast” series video tripods. There are two products in the new line. There’s the 635 Fast Single Leg and the 645 Fast Twin Leg. The latter looks more like your traditional video tripod, while the Fast Single resembles a photo tripod, but with a bowl head at the top for a video head. Both offer setup speed and low weight for their size as their big advantages.
OConnor is a name that’s been held in high regard in Hollywood for years for their fluid video tripod heads. In fact, their inventor, Chadwell O’Connor won Academy Awards for them in 1975 and 1992. Now part of the Vitec group, OConnor has been able to combine their heads with Flowtech legs into a single package. The OConnor 1040 Flowtech. It costs $10,260, and we had to see it for ourselves. So, while we were at IBC 2019, we did. And oh boy, is it a nice tripod.
If you are a fan of how Peak Design does their bags and clips, there is a good chance you will connect with their tripod as well.
The travel tripod has some features that set it apart from other tripods. (I have yet to try one, so I am trusting Peak Design’s press release on this).
During my recent visit to the USA, I decided to forego the lightweight travel tripods and go with something a little more substantial. Something that could stand up to all day use at NAB 2019 as well as trekking around the Arizona landscape.
I also needed something that would work for video. So, my tripod for this particular adventure was the Manfrotto 190X Video tripod & 500 fluid head. The ideal setup for shooting video at NAB, but some might think it a little unusual for landscape photography. For me, though, and I mentioned this briefly in a vlog I made during the trip, video tripods make the best landscape tripods. I want to tell you why.
There are a few brands out there that make small, compact tripods. But SwitchPod is a new product that aims to provide you with everything you need from a mini tripod. It’s small, lightweight, compact and it transforms in a few seconds. And you could find it useful regardless of the camera you use and what you shoot, be it photos videos or vlogs. Well, especially vlogs, I’d say.
Tripods already come with a set of legs, so why not give them a set of arms, too? If you shoot video, and particularly interviews, you’ll know the hassle of having to setup a bunch of stands for a couple of lights and your microphone. The SquidRig plans to solve that by adding three arms right onto your tripod. It’s a bit like a grown-up version of the Gorillapod Octopus.