BEST 360 VR Travel Monopod for Professionals – Review, Build Guide & Shooting Tips

BEST 360 VR Travel Monopod for Professionals – Review, Build Guide & Shooting Tips


Hello everyone. Right now I am at Atlantics Hotel, in Dubai
UAE. I am doing a sunrise timelapse with my Insta360
Titan. As you see behind me. And I am sitting on the beach. It is very very beautiful here. As you see the sun rise in front of me there. So Today. I am going to review my build for my travel
support system. Monopod Tripod for professional-grade cameraS
like the Insta360 Titan, Z Cam V1 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2 and Kandao Obsidian I am to review the
Nodal Ninja Travel Pole as you see right there supporting my Titan doing a timelapse and
also my build guide support system base system the weight build on the monopod there and
also a pan head so you can adjust level quickly on location it is very important to have a
very good support system while you are travelling around the world and doing VR documentary
and you want a system that is very quick portal travel with you but also very safe very steady
for doing timelapse and doing quick capture on location. So, if you want to learn about my setup. Let’s dive right in. [MUSIC] The original setup idea comes from my friend
Sebastien Hameline, the DP who did Hulu VR Series with Major Lazer, Warner Brother IT,
Pacific Rim VR experiences, Best Raindance VR film 7 Miracles, and more. As you see, he extends the Travel Pole way
higher above the crowd with the Insta360 Pro 2 to capture the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo,
Japan. This video is out now on CreatorUp BTW, so
check the final result here. I can’t show you his exact setup. But I will show you my version of it. The key part of the component is the Nodal
Ninjas Travel Pole – which allows the camera to have a sitting height, all the way to 3
meters above the crowd aerial 360 views. My viewers ask me how I can capture aerial
360 in areas that are absolutely not allowed to fly drone. Well, I use the Nodal Ninjas Travel Pole or
even the Pole 2 or Pole 3 series – that allows me to reach almost 10 meters. The best part of the Travel Pole, is the travel. When it not extends, it can be separated into
2 parts. The whole package, including the carrying
bag, only weights 0.97kg. It is very compact and fits nicely in any
luggage or backpack side pocket. As a low budget travel VR documentary filmmaker,
this is crucial in my setup. We travel with it to Tokyo, Shanghai, India,
Singapore, Greece, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and many more places. It never fails us once with different VR cameras
on top. I should also mention Nodal Ninjas is a US
company based in Arizona. So their quality is top-notch. As a low budget VR filmmaker, we always try
to save money in any way we can. But I will not suggest saving money on your
VR camera support system. You can, for sure, use a regular cinegrade
video camera tripod. But now your nadir is getting big and hard
to remove in 360. You always need a minimal footprint in 360
VR. Especially in stereoscopic 3D 360. Most 3D VR Camera has a monoscopic nadir like
the Insta360 Titan right here. If your tripod extends into the 3D area, it
will be hard to remove it in post-production. But you still need a reliable support system
and steady monopod. So your very expensive VR camera is not gonna
fall and break. That is why I won’t go cheap on my monopod
and get some random brands from China. Let’s look at the detail specs of Nodal Ninjas
Travel Pole. Most of the time, you only need the upper
part – for sitting height and stand height. The package comes with this cap that can easily
screw into the bottom of the upper pole. Then you can connect it to any base with a
3/8 screw on top. Like what I have here. BTW, if you also use it with consumer pole
or consumer 360 camera, it is worth to invest a base has interchangeable 3/8 to 1/4 screw,
like what you see here. The 3/8 part will be pushed down with a spring
and turn into 1/4 screw. Very convenient on set when I need to switch
from Nodal Ninjas into a selfie stick for POV 360. So there is another tip for you. Write it down. Just the Upper part, it can be extended all
the way to 5.41 Feet – which is usually the best stand height of your VR camera. BTW, you don’t want your lens in the eye height. You always want it to be a little bit lower,
like your chin height. Because we are dealing with a distorted fisheye
lens. Also, please write this tip down. And give me a like while you at it. Because this tutorial will be full of practical
tips and tricks. When you know, you will only have a standing
height and above, for example, filming for a music festival or concert. You can connect 2 parts together and extend
as height as 9.55 feet, around 3 meters when you also has a base and a pan head. Let’s take a step back, and talk about why
you need above the crowd shot. Some VR filmmakers might argue that, the VR
camera, which is usually the viewers’ head in a VR headset, will never go higher than
the viewers’ height. Yes, that might make sense in a 6 Dof VR game
that the headset can measure the viewers’ height. But this principle does not strictly apply
to VR360 video. As 90% of the content is consumed when the
viewers are sitting down. And you will not know their chair height. So you can, for sure, break that rule. Any other thing about VR360 videos, viewers
actually enjoy a viewpoint that they can not physically reach. It gives them the experience that they never
see before with their own eyes. Making them 6 feet height and look over the
crowd and the DJ on stage is actually very cool. That is also why my aerial 360 videos are
cool, and people always love it. Because people can not fly with birds in the
sky in real life. They at least want to do it virtually. Another technical challenge is stitching. When you in the crowd, people are too close
to stitch line, and you will have massive stitching problems later on in Mistika VR
or whatever you use. Getting the camera up creating distance that
allows you to stitch easily in post without people allover the stitchline. That is why Nodal Ninjas Travel Pole is so
essential in my setup. Okay, now let’s talk about the base. Nodal Ninja allows you to use any kind of
base. You can use a tripod for extra stability when
you go high. You can even use Guy Wire Support System for
extra stability when you are doing a day to night timelapse. As you all know micro-movement will ruin any
360 timelapse. As a travel VR documentary filmmaker, I choose
mobility instead. A tripod is hard to move around. So I use a low profile base like the Manfrotto
Virtual reality base, or the Benro Video Hi-Hat. But at the end, I settle down and purchase
the In’duro GIHH100CP Baby Grand Cardon Fiber Leg. As you see right here. It is more expensive than the Manfrotto and
the Benro. But, this thing is built like a tank. It absorbs shock and vibration from the ground
better than the Manfrotto. And ground shaking is actually very common
in VR. Having the ability to absorb the shake leads
to a more stable shot. It also has a really good grip on the ground. I beat this thing up onset, and still look
brand new. It is very impressive. As you also see, I add a 10-pound weight between
the base and the Nodal Ninja. You can get those weights from Manfrotto,
and I will put the link down below. Add leveling solution
There is still One thing is missing tho. Leveling. As you all know, leveling your 360VR with
the horizon is crucial in filming, especially for 3D stereoscopic 360. You can add leveling in the base with the
Manfrotto Virtual reality base. But don’t ever do that. Because with the pole and the camera on top
as the leverage, that will be very unstable and easy to tile the camera to the ground. So, we are adding a quick leveling feature
on the top of the pole with Benro Leveling Base as you see right here. There is a physical bubbler right here to
help you to level your camera very fast onset. Efficiency is very important on a professional
film set. Your director will hire you again if you can
setup your VR camera faster than any of the other DPs he ever works with. The Benro Leveling Base is actually pretty
expensive. If you want a cheaper alternative, I will
also suggest the Neewer Photography Tripod Leveler Tri-Wheel Leveling Base. It also comes with a bubbler. The benefit of a Tri-Wheel system is precision. If you ever level a VR camera on an uneven
ground – you know what I am talking about. Pole Attachment
A professional VR camera setup usually end up like this. For example, the Z Cam V1 Pro will need a
V-mount battery, a router, and lots of cables. So being organize on set with your Nodal Ninja
pole is crucial. If everything can be attached onto your pole
and you can carry it where ever your director want, without the need for an extra hand. You save the whole production 1 extra PA. That is some serious amount of saving. All you need, is this – Bongo Ties. It cost less than 25 cents. So for example, here, we have the insta360
Titan farsight transmitter. BTW, if you are using Titan for livestreaming
or a locked on camera shoot. The Farsight transmitter will run out of battery
in less than 2 hours. Which is annoying. The whole point of a build-in battery system
is to not rely on an external power source. But the farsight needs it b/c it does not
has a replaceable battery and you need to charge it when it runs out. More time waste on set. That is why I have this little YouTube USB
bar that I can use a Bango Tie to attach it on to my Nodal Ninjas. Plug in the USB into the farsight. Now we can film all day without worrying about
power running out. You can attach anything literally onto the
pole with Bango Ties and they are secured. So write that tip down. And I also put the link onto my Amazon idea
list down in the description below – so you can find everything in one place for your
convenience. So what if you want to go really high, like
9 meters high to capture 360VR? In the next video, we will review Nodal Ninja
Pole 2 and Pole 3 – which allow you to go really hight with your professional camera. Obviously, you will need a full-body built-in
VR camera like the Insta360 Pro 2 or the Titan – so no battery or router dangling around
on the sky. I will show you how I did this in a danger
tropical jungle in the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica and tips and tricks on using the
Nodal Ninjas Pole 2, and even the roto techniques and stitching technique in Mistika VR to achieve
the best end result. So don’t forget to subscribe if you have not. Share this video to your VR videographers
if you are a producer or director. And give me a thumb up if you find this helpful
and want more video like this. I really hope you learn something today besides
getting your Christmas list from Santa. Again, that list is here in the description
below. And comment below if I am missing anything
and you have your Chirtmas List to share. Sharing is loving and helping others just
like you. So don’t be shy. Make friends and I will see you next time.

12 thoughts on “BEST 360 VR Travel Monopod for Professionals – Review, Build Guide & Shooting Tips”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *