What’s the number one thing that separates professional photographers and videographers from amateurs? They take the time to pick the best tripod for DSLR video or photography and then they take the time to set it up and use it. Shaky video and blurry photos are pretty much worthless when you are being paid to produce professional results.
Even though you may not ever make any money from your videos or from your photos, you are probably capturing moments that will never happen again. That alone makes it a good idea to invest in the right equipment up-front so you don’t waste your time in the long run.
The Image Stabilization Myth
Even though your camera or your lenses may be equipped with image stabilization or vibration reduction, the technology is still not advanced enough to eliminate all movement. Talk to a professional and they will often tell you to put your camera on a tripod and then turn off the image stabilization mode. You may be wondering why you would disable this feature when using a tripod.
The bottom line is that digital SLR cameras with vibration reduction are trained to minimize movement. If they don’t sense movement, sometimes they start to look for it – which actually causes the camera to move. There are exceptions and the manual that came with your DSLR will usually let you know if you can leave the vibration reduction feature enabled when shooting from a tripod. The bottom line is to use a professional tripod and head that will hold your camera steady while you are shooting video.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a DSLR Tripod
There are a lot of options in the market when it comes to supporting your digital SLR while you film and some factors are more important than others. First, make sure the maximum height will work for you. Second, add up the weight of all your gear and make sure you are under the maximum weight limit. Third, consider weight of the tripod and the head to make sure you are going to be able to use the unit comfortably. Fourth, consider the quality of materials that are used – you want to find a unit that is going to both stand up under your shooting conditions and last a long time.
To get the smoothest, best video possible using your camera, always use gear that matches both your camera and your shooting style and consult your manual to see if you should turn off your image stabilisation features on your camera body or on the lens.