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Weekly Video Tip: Motorized Head Tripods

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By Stephen Schweickart

RISMEDIA, March 1, 2011—If you’re serious about shooting video, we trust you’re familiar with using a tripod. It provides the rock solid stability that sets you apart from the hand held amateurs…unless you’re after that Blair Witch effect.

Tripods are normally easy-to-use but certain key moves like panning from side to side can present special challenges. Getting a consistent speed and smoothness in your pan can be difficult, especially if it lasts for more than a few seconds.

That’s why you might want to consider a motorized tripod head. It attaches directly to the tripod just like a camera, and your camera attaches to the device as it would to the tripod. Then, you can control the smoothness and speed of your pan—or tilt—with precision. No more herky-jerky movements or uneven speeds. And best of all, these devices are usually battery operated and relatively inexpensive.

Achieving a slow, smooth pan can be especially important when shooting Internet video which often gets messy when the entire scene is changing too rapidly. A motorized tripod head gives you complete control, and can do away with the frustration and wasted time you may experience without one.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at http://www.vscreen.com/blog/.

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