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A professional video tripod has some very specific functionality that might not be possible in a still camera tripod. A good still camera tripod will last you years and so will a video tripod.
Video tripods, by their nature, involve a lot of movement. This means that their legs are designed differently from a tripod stand used for still cameras and photography. Although the legs are the easiest part of a tripod to deal with, they have more usability in terms of videography.
How to use a video tripod leg
As with any tripod, leg extensions should be used from the thickest walls to the thinnest wall. This ensures maximum stability of the tripod and minimizes usage of the lease stable leg. Here are a few other ways to use a video tripod:
A spreader connects the legs and a ground-level spreader provides great stability but needs constant maintenance.
There is also a mid-level and no spreader approach used in videography. Although camera tripod legs with no spreaders do not work well with heavy payloads the desired angle adjustment is achieved by locking the legs.
The legs of a tripod are either made of alloy or carbon fiber. An alloy is usually a heavier version, more durable, and used when you do not have to transport them one place to another.
Carbon fiber tripod legs are a more recent innovation. They are a combination of lightweight and durable. It may not be budget-friendly but is a really good choice.
Types of tripod legs
Purchasing a video tripod is a very personal decision to make. If you are a professional videographer some brands offer tripod legs only, without the other components for purchase.
Quadropod, like the name suggests, is a tripod with four legs. It claims to provide stability which can not be achieved with a regular tripod. With four legs, this tripod will be stable on any ground and comes with replacement tripod legs making it very flexible to use.
Single leg tripod
A single leg tripod is a monopod that has a stand at the bottom. They too come in different sizes and styles. They are ideal for carrying heavy lenses and cameras. A single leg tripod offers much more versatility than the regular tripod.
Flexible leg tripods are usually mini-tripods. Although they can not carry heavy cameras and lenses, a tripod with flexible legs makes it easier to shoot on the go. It can be placed or wrapped around surfaces you otherwise can’t use to shoot.
Flexible tripods can be wrapped around tree trunks, railing, windows, and uneven surfaces. They usually come with a 360-degree ball head making it easier to shoot from your desired angle.
Video tripod legs provide the necessary stability and support for cameras, ensuring smooth and shake-free footage. They are crucial for both studio and outdoor shooting, allowing videographers to capture professional-quality videos.
A bowl tripod, or video tripod legs bowl, allows for quick and easy leveling of the camera. This is especially useful when shooting on uneven surfaces, ensuring the camera remains level and the footage is consistent.
The choice of material depends on your shooting needs. Carbon fiber is lightweight and durable, making it ideal for outdoor shoots. Aluminum tripods are sturdy and can support heavier camera setups. It’s essential to consider the weight and durability requirements before making a choice.
Brand-specific tripods, like those from Manfrotto, are designed with specific camera weights and shooting conditions in mind. They often come with added features and guarantees, making them a reliable choice. However, it’s essential to assess your needs and budget before deciding.