Libec TH-X Tripod review


Nick Robbins TV-Bay Magazine
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It is worth highlighting that I am primarily an Editor. Like many of us, over the years I have regularly been involved in the entire creative process in some capacity but increasingly I am asked to go out and film the simpler corporate jobs such as exhibition stands or a 'piece to camera' for YouTube, Vimeo etc. and embedded into the customer's web site. These tend to be the jobs which wouldn't happen at all if the client had to pay for the whole package; camera, sound, director, kit hire, etc.

To satisfy these small jobs I've built up a kit bag around a Panasonic DMC-GH4, a couple of lenses, a RODE NTG2, Tascam DR-70D, and a couple of lights. I also use a Minima 30 which is great little LED light that allows me to quickly match the ambient lighting and throw a bit extra in without upsetting the colour balance, I can add a radio Mic if necessary and always carry a couple of wired lavalier mics... These have saved the day on more than one occasion!

I was considering a tripod upgrade since my rig is getting a bit heavier and I was given the opportunity to use the Libec TH-X for a day filming at a conference in central London. I travelled by train to the venue so I was pleased the tripod was relatively light and easily disappeared into a flight case, still in the supplied soft bag which has a useful zipped pocket. Good for stuffing a couple of allen keys, screws, adaptors and so on.

On this occasion, I was shooting computer workshops in small conference rooms where there wasn't much space. The small footprint of the tripod was welcome in these conditions, however it's worth highlighting that if I was shooting outside in the wind it may not be so welcome. I certainly wouldn't leave my camera mounted and unattended. Of course, this is going to be a limitation of a mid-level spreader with no adjustment to speak of but there wasn't any fiddling about and it stays clean!

The tripod opens smoothly and I liked the clever circlip catch on the spreader which stops the legs opening accidentally when the tripod is closed and it was particularly fast and easy to get everything level as the catches on the legs were easy to open and needed only half a turn between fully open and locked.

With my equipment, the head was stable as you would expect for this level of tripod and smooth pans were possible. Finally, the quick release plate on the head was genuinely useful (which incidentally is compatible with Manfrotto and Sachtler plates.) As well as being truly quick release I was confident everything would stay in place when it was locked.

I had my GH4, Video Devices Pix-E with batteries, a RODE NTG2 and a Tascam DR-70D all in a cage on top of the tripod. Quite a lot of kit for a tripod at this level and it coped well. It was a successful day filming and 245GBP is a fair price for what turned out to be a stable platform.

It will satisfy my needs for a while.


Tags: iss122 | libec | th-x | tripod | Nick Robbins
Submitted by Nick Robbins

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A Bluffers Guide to Batteries
Mike Colyer The Christmas decorations are down; the family have all headed home – and the New Year’s festivities have drawn to a close. I put my hand up to it – I’m a little drained. As such, I figured I’d start the new year with a Bluffer’s Guide to Batteries. With the cold weather setting in, it can be a nightmare to pick the right disposable batteries for small kit – and maintain rechargeable batteries in larger items. This article will take an overview of which batteries will last longer under certain usage conditions – and how to achieve the cell’s maximum potential.   
Tags: iss129 | batteries | alkaline | ni-mh | li-ion | lithium | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer Click to read or download PDF
Innovation in cameras moving to 4k
Tony Valentino For a number of reasons, wireless camera links needed time to migrate to 4K. However Broadcast Sports International, BSI, designs their own cameras and builds their own hardware and their transition to 4K is already complete.
Tags: iss129 | bsi | ref-cam | wireless | 4k | Tony Valentino
Submitted by Tony Valentino Click to read or download PDF