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Thread: Beginner equipment recommendations

  1. #1
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    Beginner equipment recommendations

    Hi again,

    I'm in the market for some equipment for my GH1 and as I have no clue whatsoever, I once again turn to you guys for some priceless advice.

    Ok so I am after a complete setup from tripod to quick release but not sure about head as my main use of the camera will be for video but I'd like to be able to take stills I don't know if this means I will need two dedicated heads for each job.

    TRIPODS:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=548397&is=REG
    I really like the gitzo GT2541EX because it can get really low and has the ability to shoot at odd angles. I don't know of any other legs that are similar so if you know of any please list them. This however is purpose built for photography so I'm not sure how it will fare with video.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...bon_Fiber.html
    This is what I am eying out for video as it is purpose built for video with a true fluid head. From what people say Miller is a good bet? It is a bowl mount so I'm not too sure what I would need to do to get it set up for stills? If I could somehow attach that articulating arm onto the Miller it would be an ideal setup for me.

    HEADS:
    I have no idea what to look out for in a stills head, only video heads. I think shooting on a video head wouldn't be so bad but i guess I'll be limited to just landscape? Reason why I like the Gitzo legs is I could possibly put a video head on it and just turn the arm 90deg for portrait. Is it a strange idea to put a video head ontop of a stills head?

    QUICKRELEASE:
    After something suitable for the GH1 but can also be used in the future for something abit larger like a 5dmk2. Something not so big so its not a fuss changing batteries. The manfrotto 323 came up in my search, is it any good? I have seen wedge systems like this and pin systems, is one better than the other?

    MONOPODS:
    I don't know if I need one but I think it may help in me getting steadier hand held shots and videos when I am running around. Is there anything I should look out for in a good/bad monopod or are they all the same?

    At the end of the day I don't mind paying a little bit more for a worthwhile investment but at the same time I don't want to go overboard. It is such an expensive hobby...lol.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner equipment recommendations

    Mr Fanny

    with respect to heads i go against the main stream and like the manfrotto head that actually comes standard. the 056 "junior" head. This little fella allows me to flip the platform around and insert the tube under the tripod still giving me the camera upright and easier to use.

    it holds my 4x5 camera and my 4/3 with a 300mm canon legacy lens.

    I use a basic monopod when working with tele for a day to save my shoulders

  3. #3
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    Re: Beginner equipment recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    At the end of the day I don't mind paying a little bit more for a worthwhile investment but at the same time I don't want to go overboard. It is such an expensive hobby...lol.
    Nothing wrong with paying for good gear, but the fact is that unless you have cash to burn (congratulations!) it's wiser to buy the cheaper gear that does 95% of what the expensive gear does, start using it, and learn how you use your camera.

    There's plenty of $30-$50 tripods for video cameras you can buy that will work great for your GH1 without having to spend $500+ on a specialized pro-level tripod+accessories. Once you've spent some time using your camera and hitting the limitations of your gear, then you can make an informed decision on buying the expensive gear not because it's expensive and 'better', but because you actually need it. You'll also appreciate the more expensive gear a lot more then.

    I use my old Sony VCT-R640 tripod for my GH1, and couldn't be happier. I found that sometimes I want to take zoom shots in confined spaces, so I'm looking to buy a cheap monopod for that purpose. I would've never known I'd need one had I not used the camera in different situations to hit those limitations.

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    Re: Beginner equipment recommendations

    I use a Photo Clam ballhead for stills. I have the PC-33NS. I'm very happy with it. I also have a Markins Q3, but I think I like the Photo Clam better.

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    Re: Beginner equipment recommendations

    Thanks guys

    Pelicile - Considering my lack of experience I wouldn't be surprised if that head would do the job for me for stills.

    photSmart42 - I like your reasoning. There was a part of me that wondered if i would really appreciate the pro gear or if I would get any added benefit from it. My choice for progear has come from reviews from people who have used the semi pro/consumer stuff and know what more they need from their gear and like you said appreciate that extra 5%.

    Do you know of any cheaper tripod systems that articulate like that gitzo GT2541EX?

    My hunt for a monopod came about when I did a video for an exhibition where I had to follow the curator around and got alot of shaky footage.

    It is funny because since I don't have any of these stuff, when I use my friends $60 Silk tripod and head I think its the best thing in the world because it makes it that much easier and I have nothing else to compare too. I don't have cash to burn...lol I just like buying stuff that will get the job done "properly" if that doesn't sound too pretentious.

    toobacat - To me that just looks like another ball head? Can you educate me on why this is good? It looks quite simple compared to those other heads like that junior 056 that has 3 articulating arms. Also that quick release that it uses, are they any better than those wedge types like that manfrotto 323 i mentioned. They sure look nicer to they eyes =)

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