Some camera accessories have designed and made the same way for decades. This is the case for hi-hats, which are small tripods allowing you to get shots low to the ground. The kind of shots you usually can’t get with a traditional set of sticks. The people at ShooTools went back to the drawing board, and they’ve come back with an out-of-the-box design for their new Universal Tilt Hi Hat.
To get a low shot, you have two options:
- The first option is to put your camera directly on the ground or on a sandbag. The major drawback of going that way is that you lose the ability to pan, tilt, or level smoothly and easily, which are the benefits of using a fluid head.
- The second option is to mount your camera onto a fluid head and to put that fluid head on a hi-hat. A hi-hat is a small tripod made out of a solid piece of metal. Also usually, but not always, a hi-hat is bolted to a wooden board. The motion-picture industry has been doing it for ages.
You can immediately see the difference between a traditional hi-hat next to the Universal Tilt Hi Hat—specifically the overall shape. The only similarity between the two is the ability to mount any 100mm bowl fluid head or any 75mm bowl head by using an adapter.
The biggest difference between the two is the bowl from the Universal Tilt Hi Hat, which can be rotated at 180 degrees. The two included locking handles let you adjust the bowl head to any desired angle.
Due to the traditional design of hi-hats, it’s pretty hard to tilt your fluid head 90 degrees up or down. That simple change on the ShooTools bowl’s mechanism allows you to tilt the entire bowl and opens an entirely new world of possibilities for low-angle shots. For example, now you can easily get those Tarantino low-angle shots, where the camera is pointed nearly 90 degrees straight up at the talent from the ground.
Expand your possibilities
A traditional hi-hat has a three-legged base, whereas the ShooTools has a flat base, so it is not only designed to sit on the ground. Indeed, you can mount the Universal Tilt Hi Hat on any 3/8” or M10 slider, jib, dolly, tripod, or rig of your choice.
The Universal Tilt Hi Hat can be very useful on top of a slider, for example. If you incline your slider 45 degrees up or down, you can angle the Hi Hat 45 degrees for a perfectly leveled shot. Consequently, it goes the same way if you incline your slider 90 degrees to get a jib-looking shot.
The Universal Tilt Hi Hat is made of aluminum. It weighs 1.2 kg, with a maximum payload of 20 kg. On each side, there are multiple 1/4” and 3/8” tapped holes, so you can mount a monitor or a magic arm on it.
Have you ever used a hi-hat in the field? Do you think the tilt abilities will make your life easier? Let us know in the comments down below!