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A bargain- but gave me nothing but issues since the day I bought it. For the price I knew I wasn't going to be getting a quality product, I knew there were going to be compromises- but for every day I used the tripod all I could remember were those compromises, not that cheap price I got it for. So if they say 'buy the best, cry once', the opposite is 'smile when you buy, cry everyday after' I bought it as I was looking to get into shooting video- I only used it a few times for shooting video and to be honest the pan head was smooth, it's the best part of the tripod and it's not a bad product for video. I have heard that with regular use it will eventually fail, and I can see why because the whole head is basically made from plastic. The 'fluid' adjustment knobs on the side of the head don't really seem to work as advertised either as you have to turn them quite a lot in order to tighten or loosen the head. There are nice touches to this product, but the whole thing seems to continuously disappoint, I had zero confidence in this product. I started to use it as a photography tripod, which I realised a job it was not suited to at all. Despite being able to support the weight of a 1 series camera with 70-200 the tripod is incredibly bulky, and quite heavy. The giottos tripod I as my main photography tripod is about half the weight, and much less bulky- the Velbon has really thick legs. The tripod head is the best part of the tripod, the leg's themselves are sturdy, but too bulky. I appreciate the fact you might use a very heavy broadcast camera on it, but if you're only filming with a 5d2 then you don't need so much support, and for the price you paid for this tripod it would suggest that you're using fairly inexpensive (and therefore lightweight) camera equipment. 2 things that are really annoying about this tripod is that there is a bubble level on top of the tripod, but the head completely obscures it unless you force the head to point straight down- which makes levelling your shots when the camera is attached an absolute pain. Another pain is working on uneven ground as the legs are attached to a central column, so can't be angled independently, a lot of video tripods are like this but it forces you to find flat ground, with a solid photograohy tripod you can put a fluid head on and still get good footage with more versatility. it's much more expensive but i'd go for a set of gitzo legs and a better fluid head- and you'll have a product to last a lifetime. But if you're on a budget, then maybe the dv7000 will fit your needs. specs: weight 3.4kg lowest height 61cm highest height 162cm
Build: This is a reasonably sturdy tripod which does its job perfectly well. The locks on the legs are well made so they clip in and out of place with ease, though on mine the extended use is starting to make that action feel a little loose on a couple of the locks. It's had a year's heavy use though, so this is not unacceptable and if it loosens too much there are tightenable screws. The leg braces and central column give strength to the tripod but are probably unnecessary as the tripod head can only take small cameras, so weight isn't an issue. I wouldn't miss them ,and they also limit the minimum height and add to the weight. Height: The maximum height is 162cm, which is less than I would like (another 30cm would bring it up to my height) and I am always bending over the tripod to access the camera settings. This isn't the end of the world, and obviously reduces the weight, but bear in mind if you want this for shooting people as you won't be able to get headshots on the same level as the person. Head: Supposedly a video head, but the fluidiy is somewhat limited and particularly at the beginning of a motion it jerks a bit. With lighter cameras this is quite pronounced. Overall: Good tripod but the lack of smooth video panning and the low maximum height limits it for me to a second tripod when I can't be bothered taking a full size tripod with me.
This was my first tripod when I was just getting into photography and videography. It was affordable and seemed to offer the stability and load capacity I needed to order to film and take stills. I bought it from amazon.co.uk about a year and a half ago for about 75 pounds. The first thing to mention is the pan/tilt ''fluid'' head isn't a true fluid. Its a tension head designed and manufactured to resemble the style. It won't give you flawless fluidity to your shots but rather give you tension against your movements which in some cases give you jerky action. The head is made from plastic which inside has been coated which a oil which greases the movements you make. Sometimes the grease would stick ever so slightly when making pans which is hardly noticeable until reviewing the footage. The quick release plate has a DSLR friendly 3/8'' screw which my camera attaches nicely to. It snaps back into the correct position when reunited which the tripod head quite well. It's heavy for what it actually provides and is prone to breakage when it comes to some of the smaller working parts. It's very decent though I must say for mini-dv or small HD cams. The question is - is it worth lugging this (3.4kg) cumbersome item out to a field somewhere to shoot something? Its lowest height is about 60cm with legs fully retracted and splayed and at it's highest stance is about 162cm high which gives you a good range. I've since buying this tripod fully upgrade to a better more reliable brand which serves me well. I wouldn't go back but I wouldn't feel too bad recommending this to a beginner or film enthusiast.
A few years ago, I was asked to film a friend's wedding. Using a couple of cameras, I held one while the other was placed on a tripod in a different location so I could get two angles. I bought a cheap "Hama" brand tripod from Jessops which stood 160cm high, came with a case, the usual three legs and worked fine. If you only need a tripod for occasional use, then something like does the job. If you're going to use a tripod regularly and particularly for video, then I'd recommend getting something of a higher quality. Everywhere I looked on forums, people were telling me that a decent tripod was the best investment you could make when shooting videos. Considering there were several other items I wanted first (new camera. batteries, memory cards etc) I took the advice, but stuck with the cheap Jessops tripod for a while. Although a top quality tripod can cost over £300, I had seen many positive comments about the DV-7000 model made by Velbon. I'd also seen a proffessional recommend it in a video as a good starter tripod, so at £85 on Amazon, I thought I'd give it a shot. It comes in a nice, thick cardboard box and is sealed in a plastic bag with no carry-case. The first thing that struck me was the weight, it's heavy. 3.4KG, compared to the Hama tripod which weighed only 1.7KG. Although this makes it feel streets ahead in terms of quality and sturdiness, it's heavy to carry around. The maximum height is pretty much the same at 162cm, and collapses down to 70cm when folded up. The unit is designed to support a camera weight of up to 4.5KG. The legs have a width of around the size of a 10p piece and are in three sections which can be extended as high as you wish and locked in place using a quick, flip-lock mechanism. To ensure the tripod is level, there's a bubble-level on the top of the tripod. The legs also open really wide (sorry, can't think of another way to say that) meaning you can add more stability if you need it. The lowest operating height is 57cm high which is a achieved by not extending the legs and splaying them as wide as possible. My favourite bit of this tripod is the fluid head. It's made of plastic, but feels sturdy. The head is oil filled which enables you to get really smooth pans from left to right and up to down, the resistance can be altered using a screw control at the side. My only niggle is that there's a little slack in the motion, and this slight movement can be visible in videos, so you have to be take that into consideration when panning. To get even smoother pans, one tip I learned to make them even smoother is to attach an elastic band to the control handle, creating an elasticated mini-strap. This using the band to eases the motion and removes any shakey hand movement which could be visible in your work. The camera is attached to the tripod via a quick-release plate which screws into the camera tripod thread which snaps into a locked position on the tripod to be removed quickly if necessary. The quick release plate can be screwed into the camera by hand. Well having climbed one step up the tripod ladder, I certainly could not go back to the cheap Jessops tripod. You can't pan or tilt the head smoothly at all and it looks so flimsy in comparison, I'm worried it will blow over in the wind! Perhaps as I progress, I'll go for a more expensive "Manfrotto" brand which is likely to be of lighter construction with a superior fluid head. At the moment I plan to get a second Velbon DV-7000, which is currently a bargain £69 on Amazon, cheaper than I paid last year. My only niggle is that it doesn't come with a carry case, and I'm finding it difficult to find one that fits, for a reasonable price.