Pro Moviemaker October 2022 - Newsletter



Tripod system Sachtler Flowtech75 MS with Aktiv8T head Monopod Manfrotto XPro four-section video Slider/dolly Kenro Double Distance Rig Vocas full cage kit for Red Komodo Stabiliser/gimbal Zhiyun Weebill 3 Pro


T he results for best supporting role in our Oscars of kit are in! Tripods, monopods, gimbals, sliders and rigs feature in this oft-overlooked shortlist, all doing their bit to ensure locked-down shots or smooth moves. The tripod is the beating heart of support and – once again – the winning system for this year is the Sachtler Flowtech75 tripod with Aktiv8T head. It was a truly radical design when it hit the market and is still the gold standard for many independent filmmakers. Its legs are wide, carbon-fibre tubes designed to avoid twisting, but remain comfortable to carry on the shoulder. The legs are held together magnetically, so simply pull them out to start the set-up process. There is a single locking lever on each leg at the top. Undo these, raise the tripod to the height you want and fasten the locks up again – it’s quick and easy. And, of course, the tripod is very stable – despite its light weight. When Sachtler revealed the legs would be available with the new Aktiv8T fluid head, the kit set itself apart from its rivals even further. The head mounts to the legs using a single lever lock. The camera goes on a quick-release plate that clicks into place securely. There are 15 steps of counterbalance and seven of pan and tilt drag adjustment. It’s easy to see why so many filmmakers want one. Sometimes you need to travel light and keep your footprint small. This is when you need a monopod. A few monopods now have extra-large feet or even built-in electric motors to turn them into sliders. But often, simplicity and reliability win out.

That’s why this year’s champion is the Manfrotto XPro monopod. Not just a simple pod, the XPro is actually a four-section aluminium unit with a pro-quality fluid head. Plus, it features Manfrotto’s own Fluidtech base. This helps with smooth pans and tilts, without repositioning the base. There’s a quick-release plate on the head, and the legs use quick- adjust levers, like certain Manfrotto tripods. The head can be removed and the monopod bolted straight onto a camera, if you prefer. Monopods are ideal for getting a high-angle shot, too, with the Manfrotto reaching a maximum height of 203cm/79.9in. An innovative product at a modest price, the Kenro Double Distance camera slider wins a Gear of the Year award of its own. It offers 38cm/15in of tracking movement on a flat surface and can be doubled in length if mounted on a tripod, making it a must-have for portability and performance. The slider extends seamlessly, and the smooth belt-driven movement ensures clean and seamless footage. Constructed of anodised aluminium, it is strong, light and can handle a load capacity of up to 6kg/13.2lb. When it comes to a well-made rig, once again Vocas comes up trumps. With a combination of bespoke parts that fit its standard accessories, the Vocas full cage kit for Red Komodo is a one-stop solution to improve the handling of this popular cinema camera. The lightweight kit features just a top and bottom bracket and two side brackets that bolt to the camera. It is precisely machined to fit perfectly,

SMOOTH OPERATORS Manfrotto’s monopod, Sachtler’s tripod and Kenro’s slider took the 2022 honours

along with a huge range of mounting holes for your choice of accessories. Once again, the most hotly contested category was in the gimbal class, with DJI, Movi, Manfrotto, Gudsen and more all getting lots of votes. Ultimately, though, the winner is the Zhiyun Weebill 3 Pro: a stripped-back, ergonomic option. Like its predecessor, it’s still a handheld, three-axis gimbal with a payload big enough to take a large mirrorless camera with a relatively heavy lens. It’s the only gimbal to have its own built-in LED light, and now has an ergonomic wrist rest. The Weebill 3 Pro lasts for 21 hours on a single go, but there is also support for USB-C fast charging and pass-through charging of an attached device. The older model’s flip-out touchscreen is replaced by a smaller, fixed screen. Truly, it’s a glittering cast of supporting acts!



Powered by