After seeing it featured in FXPHD’s DOP210 – DSLR Cinematography featuring Stu Maschwitz, and after returning from my first weekend doc shoot with the 5dmarkii, I’ve decided to plunk down for the Gorillapod Focus.
I’m most attracted to it’s discreet (ok, somewhat), portable and infinitely manipulatable nature. It was so cool interviewing people with the 5dmarkii and getting the question Oh does that camera shoot video? I would answer Sometimes but I’m also taking a lot of stills. And while I was mainly shooting video, this response put people at ease to a level I’ve never experienced while shooting with an HVX-200, XHA1, or even my super low profile HV-30. I interpret the reason to be when people see a video camera they feel they have to always be on. So when they see a HD SLR they feel that they will be photographed mostly.
Which is a long winded way to say I don’t want a traditional tripod to foul up the appearance of a low key camera shoot. Find some good natural light at a park bench with the Canon 16-35 or 24-70 L series glass on the front, stabalize with the Gorillapod Focus, slap the Zoom H4n recorder on the table next to it (hopefully with a Sennheiser G3 wireless lav or the like) and get that casual, natural on camera interview footage that would otherwise require a crew of 2 -4 people, lights, and all the money and ceremony that accompanies those things.
I haven’t plunked down for the Ballhead X yet, trying to be as stingy as possible with the green I’m investing in my 5dmarkii kit, but I can definitely see it being a next month purchase. Want to try using the new Gorillapod Focus on the bike and the sailboat first, see how it does in the wild on its own.
proactively • one hand for the camera, one hand for the boat • peter
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s new rules
None of the manufacturers listed above are paying Peter Salvia to write this article and, so far, none have sent him any samples or demonstration items. Peter is a B&H Sales Affiliate and receives a commission from items linked to B&H and purchased through this site. Oh yeah, and he’s an Apple Certified Trainer so you can derive his bias for yourself.