Product Type: Velbon tripods
Newest Review: ... tripod I as my main photography tripod is about half the weight, and much less bulky- the Velbon has really thick legs. The tripod hea... more
Great Value Video Tripod With Fluid Head
Velbon DV-7000 Video Tripod
Member Name: andyLDN
Velbon DV-7000 Video Tripod
Advantages: Amazing quality for a low price, sturdy construction
Disadvantages: A little slack in the fluid head, would have liked a carry case included
A few years ago, I was asked to film a friend's wedding. Using a couple of cameras, I held one while the other was placed on a tripod in a different location so I could get two angles. I bought a cheap "Hama" brand tripod from Jessops which stood 160cm high, came with a case, the usual three legs and worked fine. If you only need a tripod for occasional use, then something like does the job. If you're going to use a tripod regularly and particularly for video, then I'd recommend getting something of a higher quality.
Everywhere I looked on forums, people were telling me that a decent tripod was the best investment you could make when shooting videos. Considering there were several other items I wanted first (new camera. batteries, memory cards etc) I took the advice, but stuck with the cheap Jessops tripod for a while. Although a top quality tripod can cost over £300, I had seen many positive comments about the DV-7000 model made by Velbon. I'd also seen a proffessional recommend it in a video as a good starter tripod, so at £85 on Amazon, I thought I'd give it a shot.
It comes in a nice, thick cardboard box and is sealed in a plastic bag with no carry-case. The first thing that struck me was the weight, it's heavy. 3.4KG, compared to the Hama tripod which weighed only 1.7KG. Although this makes it feel streets ahead in terms of quality and sturdiness, it's heavy to carry around. The maximum height is pretty much the same at 162cm, and collapses down to 70cm when folded up. The unit is designed to support a camera weight of up to 4.5KG. The legs have a width of around the size of a 10p piece and are in three sections which can be extended as high as you wish and locked in place using a quick, flip-lock mechanism. To ensure the tripod is level, there's a bubble-level on the top of the tripod.
The legs also open really wide (sorry, can't think of another way to say that) meaning you can add more stability if you need it. The lowest operating height is 57cm high which is a achieved by not extending the legs and splaying them as wide as possible.
My favourite bit of this tripod is the fluid head. It's made of plastic, but feels sturdy. The head is oil filled which enables you to get really smooth pans from left to right and up to down, the resistance can be altered using a screw control at the side. My only niggle is that there's a little slack in the motion, and this slight movement can be visible in videos, so you have to be take that into consideration when panning. To get even smoother pans, one tip I learned to make them even smoother is to attach an elastic band to the control handle, creating an elasticated mini-strap. This using the band to eases the motion and removes any shakey hand movement which could be visible in your work.
The camera is attached to the tripod via a quick-release plate which screws into the camera tripod thread which snaps into a locked position on the tripod to be removed quickly if necessary. The quick release plate can be screwed into the camera by hand.
Well having climbed one step up the tripod ladder, I certainly could not go back to the cheap Jessops tripod. You can't pan or tilt the head smoothly at all and it looks so flimsy in comparison, I'm worried it will blow over in the wind! Perhaps as I progress, I'll go for a more expensive "Manfrotto" brand which is likely to be of lighter construction with a superior fluid head. At the moment I plan to get a second Velbon DV-7000, which is currently a bargain £69 on Amazon, cheaper than I paid last year. My only niggle is that it doesn't come with a carry case, and I'm finding it difficult to find one that fits, for a reasonable price.
Summary: A great tripod for those getting started in video
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