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  1. #1
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    A very noob question about camera tripods...

    I'm tired, it's 3am so I don't mind looking like a fool at the moment. I'm doing a stop-motion animation assignment for uni, and have a digital camera (A Canon PowerShot A560, which I'm happy with for the project), but I don't have a tripod for said camera.

    I've never invested in a tripod before, so I'm not sure if most of the small digital camera ones are universal, or not... Any suggestions on which tripod I should look at? Thanks.
    Last edited by BlightedArt; September 27th, 2009 at 10:11 AM.


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  3. #2
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    My advice is go to the photo department at your university and ask for help. Do you have any friends studying photography? Most schools have a stockroom of supplies they can check out - usually only to photography students. See if you can either check one out yourself or get a photo student to do it (how long do you need this tripod for?) Most tripods have a simple screw attachment. If it doesn't fit your camera, there is probably an attachment somewhere that'll connect both to your camera and the tripod.

    That's the best free advice. If it doesn't work, then go to a camera store (mall, etc) and see what's cheapest. Bring your camera and see if it fits.

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  5. #3
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    Check out the Gorillapod.

    I use one of these just so I can shoot all sorts of odd interesting angles and can attach my camera anywhere I choose as opposed to the bulkier tripods.

    http://joby.com/

    Granted I use my camera for shooting reference photos more so than long exposures and finished photography so that might be something to take into consideration.

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  7. #4
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    Remember that if you're doing stop motion, you want something either really heavy and solid, or that can be anchored to the floor somehow. The last thing you want to worry about is having to perfectly reframe your shot because your camera got jostled.

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  9. #5
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    wimp
    just build one, I mean you have duct tape right?

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  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jedininjaman View Post
    wimp
    just build one, I mean you have duct tape right?
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  13. #7
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    I have a Powershot A95 and it fits a standard tripod fine.

    If there's a kinda screwhole underneath it should take most tripods.

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  15. #8
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    Tripods can vary greatly in price depending on quality.
    Most of the pros I know use high end Manfrotto (distributed by Bogen in the US).
    It's really solid, and also all of the hardware is metal, no plastic parts that break off.
    A good tripod will last 50 years.
    Also keep in mind that the camera mounts for the tripod (or 'heads') are often sold separately from the actual tripod when you get in the higher end of things.
    A good head could cost you hundreds just on its own.

    Though, I suspect since this is your first tripod, you are not looking to spend that much.

    If so, I recommend getting a tripod with greatest height possible.
    Many brands will offer a small, medium, large option.
    The price between them is not that significant, but the performance is.
    Definitely go large.
    I recommend something that can go close to 6 feet.
    If you ever start shooting portraits, you'll really want that height.

    As Elwell said, you are going to want something sturdy, and that's not likely unless you are willing spend some real bucks.
    Instead, look for a tripod that has a little hook beneath the adjustable shaft.
    This hook is for hanging weights.
    If you hang a heavy paintbucket from that hook, it REALLY helps to keep the tripod in place.
    An accidental tap with your foot won't move it and screw you all up.

    They also sometimes have nets instead of hooks.
    I prefer hooks.

    Lastly, make sure your head has at least 3 tilt options.
    Last edited by DSillustration; September 27th, 2009 at 02:13 PM.
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  17. #9
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    I use an Manfrotto 055proB with an manfrotto 488rc2 ballhead.

    Works pritty good i suppose and they will last forever. I dont even pretend to be carefull with it and its lasted for a long time now.

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    what i use is a heavy metal tripod, you can kill a cow with that.
    if i mount my heavy cam body with the huge 300 mm on a cheap plastic tripods, it goes down.

    invest in quality, get a good one, important part is that the head and all movable joints are made from metal, no cheap plastic!
    Last edited by Randis; September 27th, 2009 at 03:00 PM.
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  21. #11
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    yeah, but only make that investment if you're planning on also buying such a heavy camera and making enough art off the resulting photos/animations to make a profit. For a student project, see what you can borrow from the school.

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  23. #12
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    Ditto on the weight comments. The tripod should be at least as heavy as the camera and lens mounted on it, and the heavier the better. Practical limitations around portability and storage should be your only limiting factor when it comes to weight.

    I've used light, flimsy tripods, and they fall over, collapse or vibrate in the wind at the most inopportune times.

    Hooks or net to suspend weight are a good idea. I use bags of lead shot.
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  25. #13
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    Im in charge of our camera equipment at work, and can further back up what DS Illustration says. We use Manfrotto 475B's for our stills shoots, and have a few different heads for those, all of them very heavy duty. We shoot with Canon 1DS mk II and III, Canon 10D and now Canon 5D too, and have some big zoom lenses but Manfrotto has always served us well.
    I would make sure that if you are serious about the project, you invest in a good tripod up front, as going for the cheap option could cost you dearly. You just can replace that lost 2 days of work when you toe-poke the tripod and lose your angle

    Good luck with it!
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  27. #14
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    Hey, thanks everyone for the awesome feedback! At the moment this is a "beginners" stop motion project, so it's not something I'm going to invest too much money into... but I'm still going to go halfway between a decent/cheap as possible tripod for my cam. The stop motion is inside, so there's no risk of natural causes to throw off my image (other than my own clumsiness! But I'll tape it to the floor or something, or use the fantastic weights suggestion ). I think the uni has a lot of tripods, but with everyones assessments due soon they're mainly booked out for the photography students or the few lucky people in my class that got in first (argh!). I'll head to the camera store tomorrow and see what's what.

    Thanks again, you guys have been awesome!

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    ARGH my browser crashed while writing this... here's the summary of it:

    While you’re at it, ask your photo department for some tungsten lighting. Since you’ll be shooting inside, most common lights have a “vibration” to them that the eye can’t perceive “live”. But when having a playback of your animation, you’ll end up with a strobing light effect. Tungsten lighting gets rid of this problem.
    Also, you might have to tape your camera further to the tripod if you’ll use your finger on the trigger. (sorry my English tech vocabulary is limited here) Unless you have a remote, or a soft trigger, your camera WILL move if you handle it manually, just like a night shot and will mess up the registration of your shot.

    Good luck!

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