Are you interested in filming, field production, or gear for making videos? Michael Webb, our VP of Product Development, recently spoke on The Sean Green Show to discuss ikan’s latest products, gear, and the broadcast and film industry.

In case you didn’t know, ikan manufacturers and distributes a variety of equipment for film, video, and photography such as lights, monitors, filters, tripods, gimbals, and camera rigs. We distribute various brands including E-Image, Tilta, BON, and Lightstar.

Video Production Gear Trends

On the show, Michael and Sean discussed some trends in video production gear. One trend they saw was an increasing number of people using smartphones to capture videos. Because of this trend, gimbals are becoming very popular. Gimbals are stabilizers that people use with their phones and cameras to get better control and stability while filming. They help you shoot fluid professional videos and eliminate shaky camera moves. We’ve received a lot of interest from people when they see our gimbals such as our FLY-X3-Go, FLY-X3-PLUS, and DS1. They can work with GoPros, smartphones, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras. The video below should help explain how a gimbal stabilizer works:

It’s interesting how devices have gotten smaller and smaller throughout the years. It’s really changed how the film industry operates. As this trend continues, products will increasingly be catered to smartphones, iPads, and tablets.

“When I started in this industry years ago, I had to carry around this $50,000 30 pound camera on my shoulder and nowadays, I can shoot almost the same stuff with a phone that comes out of my pocket – it’s almost the same quality in many ways and it’s made filming accessible for everyone”

– Michael Webb, VP of Product Development


How to Choose a Tripod

Sean and Michael also discussed how to choose a tripod. Just because a tripod is the most expensive doesn’t mean that it will be the best or right for you. According to Michael, the best way to choose a tripod is to consider the following questions:

  • What are you going to be doing with it?
  • How much money do you have to spend on a tripod?
  • How often are you going to use it?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down what tripod would work best for what you need. Considering how you’ll be using the tripod is crucial. For example, if you shoot mostly still photos, you’ll probably want to get a tripod that is aimed more for photo use. If you’ll be traveling, backpacking, or hiking, you will want a tripod that is lighter or smaller that can be strapped to your backpack. Photo and video tripods are different – photo style tripods are designed to take single photos with no movement while video tripods are suited more for movement where you are panning, tilting, and following the action. The heads of video tripods have dampers on them to help make the motion smoother.

Depending on what you’re shooting and how often, you have the option of getting carbon or aluminum alloy tripods. It’s important to note that carbon fiber is more expensive and more fragile than aluminum. Another thing to consider is weight – carbon fiber is 30% lighter so it would be more suitable when weight is an issue or when you’re hiking, backpacking, or flying. The older cinema guys actually prefer wood because the material absorbs most of the dampening of the vibrations that come from the camera. It really depends on what you’re doing.

Michael says that aluminum is fine for most people; however, he would pick carbon fiber because he is tired of carrying around huge tripods and wants lighter equipment.

Getting Started In the Film Industry

So how do you get started in the film industry? Well, everyone has their own path and story of how they got into the industry. Michael started out by going to school for electrical engineering, but left because he couldn’t handle calculus. Afterward, he bounced back to photography, his first love. He also did acting in high school and later he got into video production because it marries science, math, acting, and creative photography all into one. He hasn’t left the industry since and says that “it’s one of the most perfect careers for me that I could’ve ever had.”

If you’d like to hear the whole interview, visit: WGN Radio or The Sean Green Show.


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