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Every camcorder deserves a good tripod, but with so many models, sizes and prices to choose from, how does one know which tripod to buy?
When comparing tripods, there are two primary components to consider -- the legs and the head. Both elements should be examined for construction quality and function. Skimping in either department can result in a less-than-satisfactory recording experience, often visible in your videos.
First, and foremost, the camcorder and tripod must match in size; the larger the camcorder, the more tripod you need under it. Even a good tripod will not function properly if the camcorder placed on it is too heavy, over-taxing its ability to move the camcorder smoothly as you record.
Besides providing support, the tripod assists you in achieving smooth and fluid side-to-side rotation (pan), as well as up-and-down movement (tilt). Video pushes us to follow the subject, to carry the viewer's eye from one point of interest to another. The tripod head allows us to accomplish those moves, avoiding the artifacts of handheld videography and shaky, imperfect movement that can be distracting to the viewer.
Tripods for still photography allow the same positioning, but it is not a critical factor. After the initial framing, the camera is locked in place. Video tripods, on the other hand, allow you to record while the tripod head is shifting on its rotating planes of axis. These moving surfaces must be constructed so that the …