Creating professional quality video content is crucial in today’s marketing environment. Now that we have faster internet and are able to stream videos easily from almost anywhere, video viewing makes up a huge portion of internet traffic.
When done well for an association, video marketing can be extremely engaging, and it is often the best medium to explain complex topics for auditory and visual learners alike. Video content can also help get your message across to members on the go who don’t have the time or energy to read a long article.
Video can do a lot for associations of all kinds. From highlighting your mission and recording press conferences to recording lectures for continuing education, high-quality video adds value for your members. But when diving into the world of video production, it’s important to have the right tools for the job.
Why Invest in a Tripod for Video?
Camcorders and other video equipment have come a long way, and you can get excellent quality digital footage from inexpensive cameras. But pixels aren’t everything; if you’re holding the camera in your hand, the involuntary movements of your hand can often result in a shaky, ineffective final product.
Even with stabilization technology, shaking can be noticeable, especially during time lapses or static shots. This is distracting and draws your audience’s attention away from the intended message of your video.
Enter the tripod: this three-legged stand is designed to keep your video camera stable, and it’s a must-have piece of equipment for anyone shooting video for professional purposes. Using a tripod provides steady, smooth images, and allows you to easily control the angle of filming to put together flattering, well-framed shots.
Important Tripod Features for Associations
A tripod doesn’t have to be expensive for you to get good results. There are thousands of video tripods out there, and prices range from $50 to over $1,000. You don’t necessarily need a top-of-the-line model to capture interviews, speeches or conference presentations. Here’s what to look for as you shop:
- Stability: Any tripod will hold a camera steady for straight shots that don’t require movement. Check the load capacity rating for how much weight it will hold, but keep in mind that even the aluminum legs on inexpensive models are strong enough for pretty much any modern camera.
- Weight: If you’re planning to carry your tripod to different locations, you should look to minimize weight when buying in order to make transport as easy as possible. On the other hand, if your tripod will stay in your office or studio, this isn’t much of a concern.
- Size: Tripod legs fold in, and the center column collapses to make it more compact for travel. If you plan to carry it or ship it to conference locations, make sure your tripod can collapse to a manageable size for shipping.
- Maximum height: Choose a tripod that allows for a maximum height of at least 60 inches. For best results, you’ll usually want to film your subjects at eye-level. If your interviewee is standing, a tripod that maxes out at 4 feet probably won’t be able to frame them well. Keep this in mind when looking at entry-level tripods. A decent maximum height is worth spending a little extra on.
- Head type: The head is the part of the tripod that holds that camera. If you plan to only shoot static interviews and speakers who won’t be moving, an inexpensive tripod that simply holds your camera will suffice. More expensive tripods offer panning and tilting capabilities to move the camera smoothly. A fluid head will absorb some of the shock as you move the camera.
The Bottom Line
There is no single best tripod; the best option for you is the one that has all the features you need at a reasonable price. Unless you’re filming sports or other events where you need to track subjects in motion, a relatively cheap tripod can get the job done.
Associations, nonprofits and other professionals looking to film interviews and speeches can get great results with standard tripods starting in the $50 to $60 range. Don’t forget to check the features to make sure you’re getting the best tripod for your association.