The Velbon DV7000 kicks butt for only £81!
Before a recent shoot at the 100 Club on London's Oxford Street I went to Mcdonald Camera shop (also on Oxford St.) to play about with their selection of camera bags and tripods. Serg Abramenkov (Motion control engineer and budding filmmaker), Stafford Wheaton (Cinematographer, motion control engineer) and myself were very impressed with the quality of this tripod, especially considering it's so damn cheap! It was one of the main attractions at the shop. For us anyways.
It's a little lighter than the 717AH Weifeng/E-Image/Fancier tripod and although it does not feature a bowl-head, a super long pan bar or a heavy-weight construction like the 717, the rest of the features are very good:
- A little lighter than the 717.
- Decent fluid head (Velbon PH-368 head) although I haven't tested it, only played with it in-store. (see update below)
- Goes pretty high to pretty low (unlike the 717 which does not have a huge hight range.)
- Legs go much, much, much wider than most tripods in this class which is great for working with a slider!
- Seems sturdy, although because it's lightweight I was worried it won't be sturdy enough for my almost-meter-long, heavy duty slider. The build quality of the head seemed decent but a little plasticky.
Fellow filmmaker David Garcia tells me he's using one and that the quality is great with NO wobbling/tilting issues when using a slider on it. Prices and user reviews can be found on Amazon (LINK).
A big thanks to askdirect.co.uk for letting us cause havoc in their Oxford Street shop!
Ask them nicely and they might match online prices at the shop. The DV7000 was £130 in-store, which is £20 less than what you'd pay for a Weifeng 717 on eBay UK.
UPDATE 1: The DV7000 has arrived today. First impressions - Easy to handle with smooth operation but it's missing some very important features and the head is not as tough as most mid-range heads. Full video review coming up.
UPDATE 2: After having used this tripod in a few shoots over some months, I'm not satisfied with it for professional use. The legs are good, although the lack of a bowl mount is a problem sometimes. The head, although smooth, does not have springs to blance out the weight of the camera, which means about once to three times per shoot my lens is banging into the tripod or slider whenever I leave the camera for a second without locking it down. The head also a big problem staying where you want it to, if using a front/back heavy camera - You position the head, lock it down and then it moves a bit in the opposite direction to where you were pushing the head. So overall, this tripod is still great for £80, but not the best if you add £50 to your budget.
So for now, if you need a low cost tripod, go with the Fancier 717: