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Video Camera Training

How to balance a camera on a fluid head

You should firstly mount the rectangular metal camera plate onto the base of the camera with the captive screw. There is also a sliding captive locating pin that sits into the special recess in the base of the camera. This pin prevents the plate from slipping from side to side once it is mounted on the fluid head. The attachment screw should be tighten so that it holds the plate firmly to prevent any slippage, firm but not too tight - some less expensive cameras have a plastic base and you could crack that base area.

Now set up your tripod and slide the camera plate (now on the base of the camera) into the top of the fluid head, then tighten the yellow slide lock to ensure the camera doesn't slide forwards or backwards.

Level headed

You are now ready to level the fluid head. Hold the camera in one hand, and loosen the locking adjustment cup underneath the tripod bowl. You will now be able to swivel the fluid head and camera until the small bubble indicator on the head is in the centre of the circular markings. Re-tighten the adjustment cup.

You now have to balance the camera on the tripod. Do this by loosening the black tilt lock on the side of the fluid head. This will allow you to tilt the camera on the fluid head. You will notice that the camera will tend to tip backward or forward. The camera should sit level, so undo the yellow slide lock (near the camera mounting plate) and slide the camera forward or backward to find the spot where it is horizontal.

You are now ready to set your tilt and pan drag settings with the rotatable knobs. This setting is a personal preference, but when its set correctly, you should be able to do smooth slow or fast speed camera moves, whilst being able to start the pan or tilt without having to apply excessive force.

© 2013 Pieter de Vries ACS 

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