When you’re working in a documentary situation, you don’t want to be carrying too much gear around, so one tool that can serve many purposes is essential. The new K-Tek ProShot really fits the bill, serving as a very versatile Monopod or in place of a Hi-hat for cameras weighing up to 20 lbs. Lighter weight cameras and DSLRs can also use it as a Counter-balance Stabilizer for moving shots or as an able Shoulder Mount Rig.
As a Monopod, it quickly transitions with quick release clamps between camera heights of 2 and 5 feet, which is a nice range for a lot of run-and-gun documentary coverage. The base is weighted which helps stabilize, and features a round hard rubber bottom, which is easy on delicate surfaces and also allows you to roll back and forth to achieve smooth tilts without a fluid head. Used as a low-level Tripod in place of a Hi-hat, the front grips become two of the legs while the center pole becomes the third leg extending to level and stabilize even on irregular terrain.
The maximum payload for these utilities is 20 lbs., which is just where my Canon C300 with Fujinon Cabrio zoom, Zacuto shoulder rig, Chrosziel Matte Box and Anton Bauer Dionic battery weighs in. However, with a lighter small format camera or DSLR, there are even more uses for the Pro-Shot.
Even though smaller cameras may not be too heavy, they can still be tiresome to operate handheld for any length of time because you’re forced to hold the weight unsupported out in front of your body. In this situation, the Pro-Shot can be configured as a Shoulder Mount rig, with the weighted base counterbalancing the front heavy rig and the padded post comfortably resting on the shoulder.
Off the shoulder, the weight of the base can serve to balance the camera vertically to help stabilize for traveling shots so you don’t feel your footsteps bouncing the image as you walk or run. Packing so much utility into one extremely versatile tool should insure a place for the K-Tek ProShot as an essential piece of any documentary cinematography kit.