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Should I buy a tripod?

post #1 of 21
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I've never done much photography but I'm very interested in it, albeit casually. I already bought a camera, a Lumix DMC-ZS15, but now I'm wondering if I should grab a tripod. If you think I should, which one and why? I've read a few threads on tripods so I'd be willing to go up around $100 but the cheaper, the better. That's practically the price I paid for the camera.

I plan to be taking pictures mostly of my rig, mods, cars, and nature. Oh and after checking out that abandoned places thread, I'll probably look into doing some of that.
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post #2 of 21
There are many "serious" tripods out there that you could consider, but for what you want, I cannot recomend more the Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head.

Got it a couple of years ago for a small movie project that was shoot in downtown locations using an HD capable digital compact, and dragging my 190B manfrotto and either of my heads around for it would be overkill.

The Dolica is nicely made (given its price point), it is tall enough for most shots and sturdy enough to even support an SLR.
I have tried it with my 50D + 17-55 2.8 IS and 70-200 (with tripod ring tho) and it worked fine...nothing like the sturdiness of the 190B, but I was not worried about it - at least in upright positions it worked just fine.

If would not recommend it for a D-SLR with anything but basic kit lenses, but I am stating the above just to support the sturdiness claims.
For the price it is a solid buy, and it comes with a nice shoulder carry bag etc.
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post #3 of 21
Let me ask why do you think you would need a tripod? If you don't need one at that point it is more expense and hassle then what it is worth.

Low light and long exposures would be a prime reason to get one but if you are able to hand hold the shot it would be quicker and easier to do it that way.
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post #4 of 21
If you want to get good picture in low light condition tripod is a must.
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtolios View Post

There are many "serious" tripods out there that you could consider, but for what you want, I cannot recomend more the Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head.
Got it a couple of years ago for a small movie project that was shoot in downtown locations using an HD capable digital compact, and dragging my 190B manfrotto and either of my heads around for it would be overkill.
The Dolica is nicely made (given its price point), it is tall enough for most shots and sturdy enough to even support an SLR.
I have tried it with my 50D + 17-55 2.8 IS and 70-200 (with tripod ring tho) and it worked fine...nothing like the sturdiness of the 190B, but I was not worried about it - at least in upright positions it worked just fine.
If would not recommend it for a D-SLR with anything but basic kit lenses, but I am stating the above just to support the sturdiness claims.
For the price it is a solid buy, and it comes with a nice shoulder carry bag etc.
Thanks man, I'll look into that one.
Some of that mumbo jumbo went way over my head but I get the just of it smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7speed View Post

Let me ask why do you think you would need a tripod? If you don't need one at that point it is more expense and hassle then what it is worth.
Low light and long exposures would be a prime reason to get one but if you are able to hand hold the shot it would be quicker and easier to do it that way.
Quite frankly, I had no idea if I should or not, that's why I asked.
From what you and Zealot said though, it sounds like I should get one. I'd like to experiment with the camera in different conditions, such as low light, and get a better grasp on all the features and options like ISO and the like.
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post #6 of 21
honestly my own preference is not to use a tripod. I have two and very rarely do I pull them out as I do most things by hand holding instead. Even in low light I generally do not use a tripod and instead use higher iso (how sensitive the camera is to light) though most things I photograph also generally have some motion to them and a tripod isn't going to do me much good.
he only other time I use my tripod is self photo's.
I say before buying a tripod find out if you actually would use one. try to use your camera and see what happens and if you need one. Sadly we can't always tell you if you need one or not as it really depends on what you shoot and how you shoot. You would be the best one to judge that and if you rely on our suggestions you could end up spending money on something you in the end might not even need. Go out and just shoot enjoy it. If you end up finding that you need one then go and get it.
Even more so if you don't know things like iso, and such learn those first. Learn to use the camera you have that way you can better judge what you need that way you are not just spending money to fix a problem that is really caused by something else or that just isn't a problem at all.
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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7speed View Post

honestly my own preference is not to use a tripod. I have two and very rarely do I pull them out as I do most things by hand holding instead. Even in low light I generally do not use a tripod and instead use higher iso (how sensitive the camera is to light) though most things I photograph also generally have some motion to them and a tripod isn't going to do me much good.
he only other time I use my tripod is self photo's.
I say before buying a tripod find out if you actually would use one. try to use your camera and see what happens and if you need one. Sadly we can't always tell you if you need one or not as it really depends on what you shoot and how you shoot. You would be the best one to judge that and if you rely on our suggestions you could end up spending money on something you in the end might not even need. Go out and just shoot enjoy it. If you end up finding that you need one then go and get it.
Even more so if you don't know things like iso, and such learn those first. Learn to use the camera you have that way you can better judge what you need that way you are not just spending money to fix a problem that is really caused by something else or that just isn't a problem at all.
Ya know, I'm kinda disappointed in myself for not thinking of that first. That sounds like a good idea although I'll have to wait a little bit to play with the camera.

As I recall, the higher the ISO, the more noise you get in the picture correct? So a tripod could still come in handy there if you were shooting something that wasn't in motion. wink.gif
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post #8 of 21
I agree in many ways that a tripod is a hindrance and I do prefer fast lenses and IS for the kind of photography I do, but you can flip this coin on its head.

The tripod is a hindrance that helps you slow down and "direct" your shots. Think first, setup the frame, second thought.
This used to be of a bigger importance before digital photography, as extra frames were expensive and film performance above ISO 200 was also horrible.

Truth is tho, that for product photography without off-camera flash - like taking pictures of your rig, close up photography in indoors etc, you need to slow down the aperture to get proper DOF.
I have the 17-55 IS, and i have used it hand-held for multiple occasions - the results are acceptable, but far from those I would get "using f/8, ISO 100 and tripod" - as Adams would say.
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post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZealotKi11er View Post

If you want to get good picture in low light condition tripod is a must.
No it isn't.

All you need is a stable platform to rest your camera on. tongue.gif
Edited by Sean Webster - 12/5/12 at 10:58am
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post #10 of 21
The only times I want to use a tripod is for Time Lapse photography and stationary night shots (moon, stars, city night life). I will also use it for some portraits, company or team portraits.


If I go on a vacation, the tripod stays home. I'll pack a monopod. I have a slot for it in my backpack and it's so light it's not a concern. I learned my lesson lugging my tripod through Europe when I first started shooting.

It was more trouble than what it was worth.

Too much time to setup and break down. By the time I was done with the shot, 5 minutes passed and only a couple shots.




My suggestion:

Shoot by hand for general shooting. Get several shots, learn how to frame through the view finder. If it's a little lopsided, fix it in crop. Just make sure you leave space for your object as so it doesn't get chopped off.

After some practice, you will be able to shoot slow shutter speeds with controlled breathing. I can get down to 1/15 sec and maintain decent sharpness on a 70-200 VR II, which is an arm buster while doing controlled breathing.
Edited by wgman003 - 12/5/12 at 10:58am
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Overclock.net › Forums › Consumer Electronics › Photography › Should I buy a tripod?