One of the big questions I get when I teach is about my tripod and computer platform rig.
It’s all off the shelf Gitzo/Manfrotto stuff, available from Bogen…
I use the Gitzo GT-5560SGT tripod, and mount the Manfrotto Accessory Arm 3153B to it, and then the Gitzo G065 Laptop Platform to that. Couple that up with a ball head such as the Manfrotto 468MG, and you be cooking. I keep the platform at eyeball height so I don’t have to stoop to see the computer. I’m tethered via Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 and a USB 2.0 cable with an extension. Everything is taped down, cause I’m excitable and accident prone. It works real well as a location rig.
If the GT-5560SGT isn’t for you, go to Gitzo.com and check out the Tripod Configurator to see what they recommend. I highly advocate purchasing a good tripod to support your camera. You’ve already spent a good chunk of change on the camera, better get a reliable set of sticks to go underneath it. Don’t pinch pennies on a tripod, because if it goes down, your camera goes down too.
Quick tip: On a high pressure shoot, go ahead and tether if you like, but always have a backup camera with a card standing by. If you shoot quickly, you will back up the computer with raw files all trying to scream through the USB connector at once, and my experience is the camera will lock up. At that point, you just put that camera down, let it digest for a bit, while you shoot Mr. or Mrs. Impatient Subject with your other camera, which is rocking and rolling right to the card, in my case a Lexar UDMA 8 gigger.
Mentioned in this post:
- Gitzo GT-5560SGT
- Manfrotto Accessory Arm 3153B
- Gitzo G065 Laptop Platform
- Manfrotto 468MG Hydrostatic Ball Head
- Nikon Camera Control Pro 2
- USB 2.0 Cable
– USB 10′ Extension
- Lexar UDMA 8 GB 300x CF Card