Ask Rod: Monopod or Tripod?


via email – Rod, I was on YouTube and found a couple of your videos, while my search for the best dSLR for HD recording.  I enjoyed both very much as I am a new Dad and want to capture as much of my kids on video as I can.   Your shorts have made me realize that the T2i is the right choice for me but if I could ask, how do you keep the camera so study while panning or sweeping?  I was thinking about getting a monopod but  any suggestions would  be very much appreciated. -Doug

ANSWER: Thanks so much for email and your comments, I really appreciate it! Congrats on becoming a new Dad, it’s a wonderful time that should be captured on video. Like you, I did a lot of research on camera’s before I finally decided on the Canon EOS T2i, also known as the 550D in Europe. For the price it is way to good to pass up. I wanted a system that gave me HD quality footage, but could also get the “film look” with a deep depth of field. This could not happen with a standard video camera, due to the inability to change lenses. The T2i was a perfect decision for me, a platform that can take stunning still images, but more importantly awesome video. Of course, like everything, there are cons, but I knew what they were before I made the leap, and was ok with it.

I consider myself new to videomaking and DSLR, but I will do my best to answer your questions…

For my panning shots I make sure to use a tripod with a “fluid head”, this is the key to getting those smooth shots. For my tripod I use a Velbon DV7000, It’s a great alternative to the higher priced ones at around $70, and has a fluid head and designed for video. Unfortunetly, looks like it is discontinued at B&H, but if you do some searching you may find it online. I used it a lot in my “Alamo” video. It fit nicely under our baby stroller and I can quickly take it out, deploy legs and start filming. I have never used a monopod, and I know there are folks that swear by them. I like the tripod, cause I can also use it as a monopod by only using one of the legs of the tripod, or use all three for hands free shooting.

Thanks again for your question and comments. Let me know if I can further help!

If you have further questions on this subject, please leave a comment below.

**UPDATE – Added pics of my tripod during recent timelapse shoot.

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One response on “Ask Rod: Monopod or Tripod?

  1. Doug Nguyen says:

    Thanks Rod, this has been extremely helpful. I can see your very passionate about it all and that alone is inspiring. I’m gonna check your site from time to time because the ‘Ask Rod’ section is awesome along with the amazing videos!

  2. Rod says:

    Your very welcome Doug, glad I could help!

  3. Gerald says:

    Your tripod link on your Gear List, links to a Pearstone VT-2100 instead of the DV7000. Are you saying they are the same or very similar?

  4. Rod says:

    Hi Gerald! Great question. I noticed this a couple months ago. Come to find out the DV7000 was discontinued and was replaced/rebranded as the Pearstone VT-2100. I have not used the new Pearstone and cannot speak on the action, however it looks almost identical to the Velbon DV7000 I have. This is still my go to tripod as it is very smooth, and lighter/smaller then other fluid heads on the market.

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