Filmmaker and Cinematographer
Corey Steib
by Corey Steib on December 5th, 2016

2016 marks 10 years since Jim Jannard the founder of Oakley introduced the world to the Red One Cinema, thus revolutionizing the motion picture industry. In 2005 jannard announced that he was starting his new company called "Red One Digital Cinema" with the intent to deliver an affordable 4k digital cinema camera.

At NAB 2006 the Red team announced that they would be building a 4K Digital Camera and began taking pre orders that went into the thousands. In March 2007 the cinema world got to see a prototype that peter jackson was using for his movie called "Crossing the Line", which was a 12 minute film based in world war 1.

August 2007 Red Digital delivered their first  camera called "The Red One" which produced a 4K image up to 60fps in RedCode Format. (Propriety). The red one camera was really the first affordable camera that could give filmmakers a feature film quality right out of the box at half the cost it would be to rent and or buy one.

This new camera was a real game changer and really shook up the market for companies like Arri, Panavision, Sony and Panasonic .
Red One (via
Red Scarlet (via
Red Epic (via
Red Scarlet Dragon (via
Red Epic Dragon (via
Weapon 6K (via
Weapon 8K (via
Red Scarlet Weapon (via
Red Epic Weapon (via
Red Raven (via

by Corey Steib on May 17th, 2016

This blog post is a follow up to the one I did the other day on why tripods are just as important then cameras. ​It still comes down to aligning your camera into the exact position you want, repeatedly, with ease, accuracy, and precision. Not a small task. Some tripods are designed to hold a camera rock-steady; others allow fluid movement through a smooth arc. There's at least one that will satisfy your specific needs.
​The vast majority of tripods are sold with a functional and very useful head atop its three legs. It's also possible to purchase a set of legs and center column assembly as a unit, and add a tripod head that exactly matches your personal requirements. Certain applications, especially those involving video production, require very specific types of tripod heads. These are generally fluid heads that are capable of delivering silky-smooth pans and tilts. Other applications have different requirements.

So how many different type of head are there

Ball Head

​Ball heads can be maneuvered into a very wide range of positions, and generally can solve the problem of aiming the camera lens in exactly the right direction without a lot of fuss. Theoretically, a ball joint can move in a 360-degree circle, thus delivering the upper limit of adjustability. However, most ball heads are relatively simple assemblies that do not include true pan or tilt adjustment capabilities.

Pan/Tilt Head

​For most photographers, this type is the best choice. The movements that are typically available from a pan/tilt head provide a very high level of control. They are also the most affordable solution in most cases (although some can be found at prices higher than many digital cameras). Grip-action type heads utilize a one-handed control to provide a new and easier way to make adjustments. This is useful when you're working quickly or when you must make a large number of small adjustments.

Gimbal Head

​If you place a large, heavy camera and lens on a typical ballhead or other kind of tripod head, the laws of gravity take over and the camera will want to tip over. But you want it to stay straight, and a monumental battle against gravity ensues. A gimbal head balances your camera and lens at its natural center of gravity. Designed to work with lenses that have a built-in tripod mount collar, Gimbal heads let you easily pan by rotating the base, and do up/down tilts, without fear of the camera tipping over in its mount. Because of the engineering behind a Gimbal, there's very little friction, so your tilts and pans can be smooth.

Fluid Head (Also called a Video Head)

​Fluid Heads (Video) are generally specialized combination pan/tilt fluid heads that incorporate additional features, such as geared rotation adjustments, heavy-duty load capacity, bubble levels, and greater adjustment lock options. Some models have adjustable counterbalance springs so they can be fine tuned to the exact balance point with a wide range of cameras of various weights. There are fluid heads that allow full adjustment of the fluid drag so that motion can be more precisely controlled, regardless what kind of video equipment is being used.

Camera Rotators 

​Many pan/tilt heads have adjustable platforms that allow digital or 35mm cameras to smoothly shift between horizontal and vertical orientation. Camera rotators perform the same function when used with heavier medium format cameras.

Motorized Tripod Head

Motorized Slider

​Now that DSLRs offer panorama stitching and more time-lapse features, there's a building demand for a more automated approach to moving a camera to match the precise needs of each kind of photography. Theses pan heads attach to the tripod and, using a battery-powered motor will move the camera as needed. Some companies have made automated heads for specific camcorders, while others are highly specialized pro tools.

Pistol Grip Head

​A pistol grip head (also called a Joystick Head) lets a photographer work quickly and efficiently. Squeeze the handle and you can re position the camera. The range of motion is similar to that fro a ball head. Some photographers find a pistol grip awkward when photographing moving subjects, since you can't simultaneously focus, press the pistol grip and the shutter release. A pistol grip tends to be taller than other tripod heads, raising the camera by 3-5 inches.

Dutch Head

​This special tripod head has been conceived to add a 3rd axis to a standard Fluid Head and allow the lateral movement called "Dutch angle", enhancing special effects. ​The dutch Head is designed to make exceptionally smooth side-tilt effects simple and straightforward to execute.

Gear Head

​Geared tripod heads have been around for a long time and are popular in studio settings. They are essentially pan-tilt heads that have one or both axes operated by a crank and worm-gear driven mechanism to move the platform. Because of all the extra metal required for the gear mechanism, they are usually quite heavy. However, they have a few significant advantages which is why they remain the head of choice in a well equipped studio. One advantage is that precise fine adjustments are easily executed with a slight turn of the crank handle. The second is the worm-gear drive is by design essentially self-locking; once positioned with the crank, even excessive force at the platform will not move it. Thus they are superb tools to use for precision work, as they are very solid, fine-tuning is easy and no time is spent locking and unlocking the head for each subsequent adjustment – even with heavy cameras.

Final Thoughts

So with all of theses tripod heads to pick from which is the right one for you? It depends on that type of work you do really. I good percentage of us have a tripod and a slider, but for some just a tripod will do the job. I say try out different types of tripods and find the one that works best for you. 

by PlanetMitch on May 17th, 2016

​There were a lot of things at NAB this year that were new and thow the DJI Phantom 4 had been announced before NAB, it certainly was getting a lot of attention. Our good friends at BeTerrific!! sat down with the Jon Resnick from DJI. Some very interesting discussion including safety and the new features of the Phantom 4.

​An In-Depth Look at the DJI Phantom 4! DJI at NAB 2016

by Corey Steib on May 16th, 2016

If you have not heard of The Complete Video Creators Bundle By 5 Day Deal sponsored by Adobe by now then you only have 3 more days to sign up and win a $10,000 dollar giveaway. I am happy to support this giveaway as a few of my friends below are contributor partners.

Sponsored in part by

This is a chance for any filmmaker to get his or hers hands on a lot of great gear, so go and sign up now. 

by Corey Steib on May 15th, 2016

Now a days cameras are coming out into the market if not faster then cars do every year. But it seems like every month to 6 months instead of every year two as it was in the past. As much as I love cameras I love tripods even more because you don't have a new one coming out every month or so. Plus you beat your tripod to death and you expect it to keep on working.


So what is a tripod:

Definition: ​tripod is a portable three-legged frame, used as a platform for supporting the weight and maintaining the stability of some other object. A tripod provides stability against downward forces and horizontal forces and movements about horizontal axes. The positioning of the three legs away from the vertical centre allows the tripod better leverage for resisting lateral forces. (Wikipedia)

First attested in English in the early 17th century, the word tripod comes via Latin tripodis (GEN of tripus), which is the romanization of Greek τρίπους (tripous), "three-footed" (GEN τρίποδος, tripodos), ultimately from τρι- (tri-), "three times" (from τρία, tria, "three") + πούς (pous), "foot". The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek 𐀴𐀪𐀠, ti-ri-po, written in Linear B syllabic script.
Young George Washington using a tripod for surveying. 

What are tripods used for

​Tripods are used for both still and motion photography to prevent camera movement. They are necessary when slow-speed exposures are being made, or when lenses of extreme focal length are used, as any camera movement while the shutter is open will produce a blurred image. In the same vein, they reduce camera shake, and thus are instrumental in achieving maximum sharpness. A tripod is also helpful in achieving precise framing of the image, or when more than one image is being made of the same scene, for example when bracketing the exposure. Use of a tripod may also allow for a more thoughtful approach to photography. For all of these reasons a tripod of some sort is often necessary for professional photography as well as certain video uses. Tripods are also used as an alternative to C-Stands to photographic accessories.
​For maximum strength and stability, most photographic tripods are braced around a center post, with collapsible telescoping legs and a telescoping section at the top that can be raised or lowered. At the top of the tripod is the head, which includes the camera mount (usually a detachable plate with a thumbscrew to hold on to the camera), several joints to allow the camera to pan, rotate and tilt, and usually a handle to allow the operator to do so without jostling the camera. Some tripods also feature integrated remote controls to control a camcorder or camera, though these are usually proprietary to the company that built the camera. Materials used in the construction of tripod or monopod legs include metal (typically bare or painted aluminum), wood and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, among others.

Why are tripods just as important as cameras

It's simple as it tells you why above and even in current times cameras have changed the way we tell stories, but the tripod is still tried to true this very day. Everyone want's to do handheld work and jib but a good percentage of work still requires a tripod. If you don't know how to use a tripod then how do you expect to shoot handheld.

Believe it or not operating a tripod is a skill in it self as you can see in this test footage below where my good friend Michael Graham pulled focus for me while I was panning up. 
I have used just about every tripod ever made from Cartoni to Sachtler to Miller and Manfotto. I have been using Manfrotto for many years (501 HDV and the 701HDV) because they work for me and the type of work that I do. It's not to say that the others wont work for you as it's just my personal preference. No matter what tripod you have you must master it and learn how to move with it to get the shots you need.  

Follow Up Thoughts on my Youtube Channel