When you are out in the field shooting, there are a lot of different tools you want to use to get dynamite moving shots.
Some shots are best on a tripod, for true stable lockdown when you want to get a fast pan or even just a great long lens static. Some shots want a slider, for a truly smooth pass by. Some shots need a gimbal, for total freedom of movement.
One major problem, though, is moving quickly between these kinds of setups without completely reconfiguring your camera. Manfrotto has solved that with the new Move quick-release ecosystem that allows you to quickly move your camera from tripod, to slider, to gimbal, without slowing down.
The Move system is ingenious, compromising a round plate and a round receiver cup that click together with pleasing security. You put the round plate on the bottom of a camera, or the bottom of a tripod head, or even the bottom of your slider, and you have a secure connection that will set you up to properly shoot what you need. Then you get a receiver cup set up on your tripod, your slider, and your gimbal, and you can move from one to another with a quick "pop." What makes this different from just a quick-release plate?
Well, this is designed to live not underneath a camera, but underneath your entire tripod head or slider. This means the whole unit, the whole kit and caboodle, can be moved quickly from one to another with speed and flexibility.
It's also a circle, not a sliding plate. A sliding quick-release plate is great when you need to adjust balance for various lenses or accessories, but isn't always convenient or useful when you are rigging something that is already balanced.
One of the coolest uses of this is on the bottom of your slider, which is where a sliding quick-release plate isn't going to be ideal. If you are out on a slider shoot, you want to be able to move between your sticks and have the slider free to mount on something like the ground quickly and easily.
With the circle plate of the Move ecosystem, this is a snap and something you can confidently do in the dark or while moving quickly. With a sliding plate, it's exceptionally difficult to do so, since you run into interference on the bottom of the slider and have to slide a big long slider up correctly to slide.
The direct connection of the Move system is a major bonus.
Manfrotto also makes it easy to adapt that move plate to a bowl-mounted tripod with the bowl-to-flat adapter that allows you to level the Move receiver with a snap.
So if you're working on non-level ground or moving quickly from setup to setup, it's easy to keep the whole rig level, which is a huge bonus when working with a slider.
The whole system is full of nice little details that we appreciate.
For instance, Manfrotto for a while has had a great system (popular on their monopods) for quickly rigging either 1/4-20 or 3/8" systems. It's a little spring-mounted cuff that slides down to reveal a 1/4-20 screw inside the 3/8" screw. It's simple, it's intuitive, and it just works great.
They clearly didn't have the room to fit the same thing in the Move plates, so instead, they set up an adapter ring that has its own little home waiting for you to thread it out and use it to attach different-sized plates. Simple, clean, but shows a lot of forethought for how people will be using the systems.
It also works well if you want to use your stabilizer as a remote head in a wide variety of setups.
Let's say you are rigged up to do a gimbal shot with the new 300X stabilizer rigged up on a GimBoom that you are going to operate on. But then you quickly want to get it rigged up on a slider, adding some stabilization and remote control pan and tilt.
You can use the Move system to move from the GimBoom to the slider in seconds. If you are shooting any sort of action or live event, this time is vital. But even if you are just doing an interview, any time you can save is valuable time. Instead of your interview subject waiting while you slowly unrig your gimbal from a boom, you just twist the knob, move the slider over, and in it goes with a "pop."
Every once in a while, an innovation in rigging comes along that feels like a watershed, and this feels like one of those moments.
Having shot with the Move system and felt the speed and flexibility it offers, it's frankly hard to imagine going back to a slower way of shooting, especially in today's hectic schedules.
Check out more from our Manfrotto Week: Camera Movement coverage!