(is the lettering behind the legs wrong? I hope not)
Ok a short description of how and why I used this tripod.
My school bought one of these a couple of weeks ago for the media club VIDEO team. (Man im gonna protest why the photo team didnt get any manfrottos) They have one of those nearly semi-pro camcorders.
Ok so tomorrow during lower secondary level (for Sec 1 and 2, or 13-14 yrs old) assembly there is a need to film all of the students chorusing 'All the best for your O-Levels!' for the Secondary Four and Five students to watch. The secondary three video team members(and leaders, cos this team is at the moment only 2-member large) don't want to miss their class to come down to our assembly so they tasked ME to use their stuff.
I wanted to use the 'regular' household-type camcorders because I didn't know how to use the Canon XH-A1, but the video team people said I shouldn't because of the poor recording quality.
So I had to learn how to use the videocam(on green rectangle, of course) and tripod.
---Ok ok sorry sorry for talking so much stuff not directly relevant to the user report, but in my opinion it IS part of the review-----
Heavy piece of Italian aluminium. Manfrotto legs weigh a lot compared to the more simple lower-end tripods I am used to. The weight is tough while carrying before actually using the tripod but it gives reassurance of rigidity).
The first video team member who taught me didn't really know how to use the tripod...but at least chatting with him let me familiarise and understand some of his knowledge of the tripod. (He didn't know the head and legs came seperately but I doubt the other member knew either)
The second team member taught me more, like how to adjust the leg angles, which I found very useful. The hook thingy on the top of the leg is 'stuck' when at the angle which makes the legs the tallest. When you push the leg towards the centre column a little, the hook-cum-button loosens and you can press it down to adjust the leg to other angles. I find this better than a centre brace in some other tripods.
When in closed mode, this tripod takes a while to set up because I have small weak hands...the thumb-locks are strong and require some effort to unlock before the legs can be extended. But as in the previous paragraph, I don't really have any complaints about this tripod. The strength does not count as a complaint, but rather as a plus point to evidence of the tripod's rigidity.
The centre column cannot be set horizontally
, which I thought would have been cool.
The 701RC2 is a 2-way video head, i.e. there is no portrait flip, only Pan-and-Tilt. It is relatively simple to use. Fewer comments from me and this because I don't know so much about tripod heads.
I don't know whether I want to get a ballhead, a 2-way head or a 3-way head although I have found on Amazon a deal that ain't too bad that comes with a 3-way head or ballhead.
Ballheads, I understand, allow you to point the camera at virtually in every dimension possible but at the loss of precision and stability.
The basic 2-way head is simple enough for commonly used techniques, panning and tilting.
3 way heads, I suppose, are 2-way heads with a flip feature. The lower-end tripods I have used all come with 3-way heads but the poor manufacturing makes the portrait flip NOT parallel to the ground when down, which is sickening, because all my shots would not be straight.
I was told the tripod kit cost my school at least three hundred dollars, and I think that is a little expensive for the features of this 190XV + 701RC2.
The 055XPROB is still competing with the flash gun and battery grip to be top on my wishlist, and trust me it is getting closer to being 'top dog' by the day, especially with reviews like the one from diveleyphotography
(thanks for that