Tripods

On the Custom Configurations page I outline four different kits for a variety of users in varying levels of complexity based on different shooting needs.  But no matter what kind of shooter you are – one thing that you should have in your arsenal is a good set of sticks and a fluid head.  Of course, the idea behind many of the configurations is mobility, so for you photojournalists this is optional.  However, I don’t think a light tripod would slow you down, and you’ll be thankful that you can get the camera off your shoulder and shoot some steady shots as well.  And for those of you who are more interested in the handheld cinema rigs – a tripod is a must.  Films are not typically shot entirely handheld – but rather with a mixture of the two.  Therefore, a tripod will be of as much use to you as a shoulder mount – depending on the visual feeling you are trying to get out of your scene.

701 HDV Fluid Head B&H Mfr. Site
The 701 HDV fluid head is a great place to start if you need some lightweight stabilization.  However, if you plan on building your kit into a full cinema rig, I would suggest investing in a larger head that can support the weight of a cinema style support system.
504 HD Fluid Head B&H Mfr. Site
This is a fantastic tripod head.  If you are in the market for building a support system around your camera, then this is the head in which I would consider making your starting investment.  Its well engineered and can handle the weight of a cinema style support system.
536 Carbon Fiber Tripod B&H Mfr. Site
This tripod fits the 504HD head and is extremely sturdy.  I like the three-stage carbon fiber legs – it is more like a traditional photo tripod – which I am more comfortable with.
546 Pro Video Tripod B&H Mfr. Site
This tripod also fits the 504HD head.  What should be noted is that this tripod’s height can be adjusted with just one hand.  If you are looking to be more mobile, or are just shooting on your own, this tripod is a good investment.
1030HD Head B&H Mfr. Site
This is a professional solution for shooting HD video.  It can hold up to 30 lbs. and has the same features and controls as OConnor’s 2575 system for 35mm film cameras.  This includes a patented counter balance system and a stepless drag for panning and tilting.
25L Carbon Fiber Tripod B&H Mfr. Site
These sticks are as sturdy as they come.  Built with the same functionality as the 546 Tripod by Manfrotto (spreaders, adjustable height with one hand), but can support up to 60 lbs.