I have seen a lot of wedding videographers using either a light weight tripod or shooting using hand held technique. As a company we always use heavy duty tripods for a variety of reasons. These are:
1, Stability. A heavy duty tripod gives the camera so much more stability. This is especially noticeable, when you are tilting or panning.
Depending on the floor surface the tripod can lose its grip on the floor, when panning from side to side. Such a movement will cause the camera to move in an erratic fashion and also vibrate. This can make a video look very shoddy and unprofessional. It is not just the effect that this has on the visuals, but there is also the noise impact that you have to take into account. When the tripod skids along the ground, it creates an awful noise. This noise can be very distracting to the viewer.
Imagine you are listening to the speeches at a wedding and then suddenly you hear a terrible screeching sound as the tripod legs scrape and bounce along the floor. It is hardly going to make your wedding video company look good to clients.
A heavy duty tripod barely ever moves and is especially useful when dealing with un even ground. The strength and spread of the legs along with the cross support allows it to absorb the pressure caused by un even terrain.
2, Safety. Even in strong winds. Its is really hard for a heavy duty tripod to be blown over. It also ensures that the camera remains nearly perfectly still for the shooting period, which gives a much more professional edge to the footage.
There are times when the videographer must leave his camcorder to switch lights on or do a little set decoration.
There is always the chance that a curious child could pull at the tripod and end up with a large video camera crashing down on its head. By using a heavy duty tripod, it make it almost impossible for this to happen.
3, Reliability. These heavy duty tripods are built of solid metal, with multi support shafts. This means that they are very robust and very unlikely to break. Even if one support shaft broke, the tripod would still function well enough to get your through the days shoot. If it were a light weight tripod with one support shaft per leg, if one leg broke, there would be no chance of the tripod working.
In summary, yes heavy duty tripods are more expensive and heavier, therefore harder to carry, but the benefits are massive in terms of safety and the professionalism of your end product. It takes a little more effort to work with heavy duty tripods but if you take your craft seriously then it must be the right choice.
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