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Finding the Right Tripods for Camcorders

Updated on September 27, 2011

Create Better Movies with Tripods for Camcorders

If you've put significant money into a camcorder or if the quality of your films matter to you, you should probably consider purchasing a camcorder tripod. Of all of the available accessories, the tripod is the one that can make the most immediate and significant improvement in your films.

On this page you can learn more about why tripods for camcorders are important and how to choose the right one.

About Tripods for Camcorders

When talking about camcorder tripods, one of the first questions to address is why a home videographer would be interested in having one.

Certainly a tripod is one extra piece of equipment to purchase and to have to carry around. This is why many budget conscious consumers and those who want simplicity choose not to buy a tripod. However, this can be a mistake if you want your viewers to enjoy your films. Steadiness is a primary factor in the quality of the video you capture. You can have a camcorder with high resolution, a fast frame rate that creates smooth motion, great color accuracy, and so forth, but if the video is jumping around due to an unsteady hand, it will still be difficult to watch.

Certainly, a camcorder with optical image stabilization will help in this regards, but the most complete solution is a good tripod. Handheld shots reveal any movements of the person filming, including minor hand shake. A tripod eliminates this.

Good tripods for camcorders will not only provide rock solid shots from a static location but will allow you to pan smoothly to follow movement. A ball head allows for the smoothest movement.

Of course if you're buying a tripod, you might also need to consider its affordability. Certainly some of the sturdiest, most durable tripods can cost well over $50 to $100. However, there are tripods available across the continuum of cost. Even a very affordable $20 model is generally better than no tripod at all. Aluminum tripods are a much more affordable option than titanium.

The next question shoppers generally have is in regards to portability. Certainly, no one really wants more equipment to tote around. However, most tripods are quite light weight and will fold up to a very small size. Both aluminum and titanium are very lightweight materials. There are a number of full sized tripods that will fold up to a length of 12 to 14 inches and can often fit in a carrying case/bag for easy transport.

The final question often asked is how to identify a good tripod for camcorders. Certainly quality materials that will last is one consideration. Titanium is highly recommended for it's strength, but aluminum will serve well with today's smaller camcorders if you're on a budget. Nuts and bolts also indicate sturdier and more durable joints. Plastic parts and rivets are more fragile.

You'll probably want a head that pans easily and smoothly. As mentioned above, a ball head is good.

Some type of leveling indicator is also useful. Most tripods have adjustable height, you just need to be sure the locks will be secure and easy to operate.

For anyone filming outdoors, having spikes to help keep the tripod in place on uneven ground is another handy feature.

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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Good solution for shakey hands on the camcorder. Makes watching home films more enjoyable. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Tony 

      8 years ago

      Great information.

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image

      LoneWolfMuskoka 

      8 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      I have a tripod that has most of the features you recommend with the exception of the ball head. This makes the panning a bit more jerky when doing both horizontal and vertical motions at the same time, so the next one I get will definitely have the ball head.

      It still provides much better images than hand held shots.

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