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Tripods and Camera Support

A tripod is another must-have, because it's hard to imagine a project where you won't want the camera to be nice and steady at least some of the time. It's also a good way to keep the camera safe and protected as you mount accessories and change lenses. Compared to high-end HD and 35mm film cameras, the RED is about on par for weight, but next to DV and prosumer HD cameras it's quite heavy. The body alone weighs 10 pounds, and completely loaded with a big zoom lens, matte box, follow focus, LCD, EVF, battery, and drive, the RED can tip the scales at a hefty 50 pounds or so. That means you need more than a standard-issue video tripod to support it, especially when you're adding a heavy-duty zoom lens, matte box, batteries, monitors, and so on.

I use an O'Connor (www.ocon.com) Heavy Duty 150mm tripod with an Ultimate 2060 head and a Mitchell base mount. This is a very stable and fluid platform for the RED. You can find a complete 2060 package including case for just less than $10,000. That may sound like a lot for just a tripod if you're coming from the video world, but it makes all the difference in the world. If you splurge on the tripod now, you'll thank me every day you shoot with it.

The O'Connor 2575 is also a good choice (Figure 4.20), though it's a bit heavier than the 2060. O'Connor is very popular these days, but if I wanted another tripod brand for less money, I'd look into Sachtler (www.sachtler.us) or Ronford Baker (www.ronfordbaker.co.uk). They all make tripods for much less than $10,000; just make sure to get one rated to hold the weight of your intended package. More examples are the Miller Arrow 55 System 1726 (about $6,000). You can also scan eBay for a used tripod, because they can last for decades with good care.

Figure 4.20

Figure 4.20 O'Connor's 2575D fluid tripod head is ready for heavy-duty use.

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