Product Type: Hama tripods
Newest Review: ... than this unit to provide sufficient support. Although I primarily use the Hama Star 61 with a digital video camera, I usually t... more
Hama Star 61 - A Star tripod for small to medium cameras and video cameras
Hama Star 61
Member Name: DonPaolo
Hama Star 61
Date: 05/10/10, updated on 05/10/10 (167 review reads)
Advantages: Lightweight, portable, very adjustable, looks good, good price
Disadvantages: Very occasionally awkward to pan, not sturdy enough for larger cameras
I purchased the Hama Star 61 tripod for use in my place of work, having found it on amazon at a decent price. I now use it on a weekly basis with a Canon Legria HFS10 Digital Video Camera, for recording interviews and short films at tradeshows, (for which it is absolutely ideal) as well as occasionally on our office socials.
Assembling and disassembling the Hama Star 61 is relatively simple, and can be done in around 30 seconds, once you know what you are doing. As an inexperienced user of this kind of tripod, it initially took me quite a while to work out how each of the adjustable sections worked, and how to ensure everything was secure before attaching my camera.
When attaching the camera, there is a handy, removable plate which is a simple but useful feature. You can detach the plate, secure any type of camera to it, and then clip it back in place without interfering with the set up of the tripod.
Having familiarised myself with the tripod's features in recent weeks, I've found the individually adjustable legs to be a great benefit. Combined with the built-in spirit levels, this has really helped me to position the camera for straight and level shots; it's amazing how many uneven floors and obstacles you find while filming at tradeshows!
I've found the tripod is perfect for travelling to visit clients and attend tradeshows. It's is easily packed up into the handy carry case (which is included), and is relatively compact when stowed. It is also extremely lightweight, making it very easily portable.
The camera I use with this tripod is a Canon Video Camera, which is relatively small and light itself. As a result the tripod provides ample support and steadiness for our use. I've stated the low weight as a great advantage for portability, but this could have negative implications when using heavier cameras and accessories/lenses, or when working outside in harsher weather conditions. If using a larger video camera or SLR camera, you may require something more substantial than this unit to provide sufficient support.
Although I primarily use the Hama Star 61 with a digital video camera, I usually take static shots, and do little in terms of panning and moving. When I do, I've occasionally found this to be a little clunky and clumsy, and found it difficult to make the right adjustments to allow the camera to move and pivot freely whilst still remaining stable and secure. This is only a minor gripe, and I'm sure I will become better with practice!
In very basic terms, the tripod also looks smart and professional, and appears well made. Although my work hasn't subjected it to the most rigorous physical testing, it has stood up well to extended use each week.
The Hama Star 61 is a very good tripod for a beginner or possibly intermediate user, or within a small to medium business (as is the case for me). When used with a smaller camera or video camera it is absolutely ideal!
EDIT: Following a helpful comment below, I'd like to clarify my recommendation of this tripod for small businesses. I don't work for a photography business and I'm quite inexperienced with tripods and video cameras. I work for a recruitment company, and we often take the kit with us to shows or conduct interviews to go on our website and youtube. I believe other small businesses with a desire to create smart video content would benefit from this basic tripod.
Summary: Great for beginner, intermediate, or small business use!
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