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Shotoku Sticks Steady CLamCam Images

Carroll Lam
CLamCam Video was founded in 1998 to serve the nonlinear editing needs of the southern Arizona region. It's grown from a sales and service support firm to a full-featured production house, rental company and equipment dealer. We're professional videographers and do great deal of theatrical work and special events.

I started the company based on 44 years of imaging experience, with 20 years of this in developing advanced imaging sensor systems for the United States Air Force and another 24 years with Science Applications International Corp. in the same line of work.


Needless to say, imaging systems of all types have played a major part of my life and I've had plenty of time to research, evaluate and choose my equipment wisely. As I'm not only a user of production gear, but a dealer as well, I will only align my business with products that I've evaluated, used and can personally endorse.

I discovered one such product at the NAB Show this year when I happened by the Shotoku Broadcast Systems booth at the show. A very small tripod caught my attention there.

I travel overseas quite a bit and had been using a competitive unit that weighed eight pounds. The Shotoku tripod—with the SH5 fluid head—tipped the scales at slightly more than half of that figure. It also folded up shorter making it so much easier to pack, with an overall length of only 26.5 inches. The tripod features two-stage aluminum construction, and has a 6.6 pound payload, panning range of 360 degrees and a tilt range of 135 degrees. I also liked its ability to easily handle low angle shooting. Its legs can be unlocked for shots as low as 14 inches above the deck, and it has a maximum height of 54 inches.


I not only bought one, but was so impressed with its construction and performance that I became a Shotoku tripod dealer. I've sold several units already and all the customers have been extremely pleased.

Soon after I purchased the SH5, I had the opportunity to evaluate its big brother, the SH10, and was so happy with it that I also added it to my inventory. I generally use a Sony HVR-Z1U HDV professional camcorder and a larger tripod is simply overkill. Like the SH5, the SH10 is light (6.9 pounds) and small (30 inches). It has a high quality fluid head, a spreader, sliding camera plate, and folds up neatly and easily. The SH10 height ranges from a minimum of 26.5 inches to a maximum of 59.5 inches and has a payload of 6.61 pounds, which is ideal for many of today's smaller cameras. The aluminum construction is outstanding, with sturdy legs that lock in place, don't rock, and remain very stiff.

Of course, some knowledge of tripods is helpful in operating these units, but as they come fully assembled with soft cases, they're very easy to set up and use. And Shotoku has been very supportive in dealing with any issues. When I first took delivery I did have some difficulty with a locking knob, but Shotoku sent over a series of steps describing a remedy that worked immediately. And that's what we all like—service behind the sale.

Carroll Lam is the founder and sole proprietor of CLamCam Video and has worked in the field of advanced imaging sensor systems. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Shotoku at 866-746-8658 or visit