Brendon O'Hagan | more toys ……. Manfrotto sympla system
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more toys ……. Manfrotto sympla system

more toys ……. Manfrotto sympla system

It funny how things work as you get older …., when I was a young fella ( a long time ago) I never really thought a tripod was ever really needed , you only ever used them when you had to ,they were big and a pain to carry around .

my girlfriend ( now wife) was a camera operator at a tv station she used a tripod that was worth well over 10k as a stills photographer  I could never understand why you needed to spend that sort of money on a a tripod .

But now I have put a foot in the moving images world I have found with tripods you get what you pay for !! and the difference between a 10k tripod and 2k is huge

Fast forward 10 years and I now own five tripods , each of them a bit  different and each has there own uses  , I have two carbon fibre (one is a pricey video head) the other carbon fibre is a travel tripod  ,nice and light and packs into a suit case . The other are a heavy duty stills tripod and another  heavy duty video head  and last is a carbon gorilla pod for travel .
Most of them are Manfrotto in brand .I have used  Manfrotto for 20 years and know well and have used over a 20 year career and have amassed quite a cupboard full  of clamps and heads etc over the years .
With a large part of our business now video I was pleased when I was asked if I would lie to test out the new Manfrotto  sympla system for digital slrs .

one of the great advantages with using DSL to shoot video is that I have a small bevy of lens to pick from , only problem is they are not created to shoot video , any movement and the camera shakes and creates movement and then its un usable and bigger then lens the more problems  . See the below of a picture of a shoot in Fiji we were shooting on a 500mm lens ,it worked and we got want we wanted but it took several tries, but most were not up to it due to movement.

sample video is here  because  the lack of support any movement would make the camera shakey , So when I was able to get my hands of the Manfrotto sympla  designed for big lens , I was pretty sure it would solve a problem that I have come a cross before and almost but me off using long lens , The sympya system is a fantastic product super easy to set up and great to use the best thing is they have put a lot of thought into it. It  is not just for one lens or one type of camera ,like alot of other support brands where you have to buy more parts to get it to work with other camera systems  .

I have used four different cameras on the support and different lens and they all work with very little adjustment .

so here we are with Flynn  my 2 and half year old using the camera ( after he helped set it up )

Childs play to set up !! they system is sitting on a Low cost 502 head also from Manfrotto which I beleve is afound the $400 nz   so really good price there as well it has  a large head is smooth  and gives a good platform for the system . plus the base plates just screw into place using two screws so no movements on the plate

it on small cadon fibre legs not my usual legs you would use the head on .

The great bit is can be adjusted to fit any camera buy changing the postion of the the universal supports  seen here at the back of the camera keeping the weight off the bayonet connection of the lens to the camera

I use a a small hd dp6 for my external monitor , Manfrotto also do arms but I did not have the correct Threads for my current arms so I used my arm from my Genuis selecton , But if I did use the manfroto arm I would have been able to attact the arm diffectly to the Tripod head base which is another good option for me


so the next question is now that I have set it up how does it work? , well with the tests so far it very good a lot more stable thats for sure but the real test for me will be hooking up the remote control that has been designed for use with the system and testing it in real condition


the symply remote control this product almost seems to be to good to be true !!. is a usb operated controller , you plug it in via a usb slot on the side of the camera (canon only at this stage ) it gives you all the basic controls on your camera , enlarge , start record , take a still image and  change iso , but the biggie is it was a focus cradle rocker  , when plugged into the camera you can use the the rocker to focus . its not quick as the camera focus but it is very smooth and you dont have to touch the camera or lens so already you are ahead of the game. its quite big and takes four aa batteries to run

I hav’nt been able to test it out on a job just yet But may have a look and see if I can shoot some surfing or something like that and really put it two the test .  but so far it seems very good


it a pity the symplya units were not in the market 12 months ago  .


more tests will follow up