As photographers adopt a still-and-motion-capture workflow, will tripods still be the primary tools for steadying the camera or will handheld rigs take over? In filmmaking, tripods are still standard, but handheld rigs and steadying devices like those made by Glidecam, VariCam and Steadicam are used in many situations. Shoulder rigs like those made by Redrock Micro, Zacuto, Novoflex and others have become popular for shooting HD video with DSLRs because of the light weight of the cameras and lenses. So with 4K DSLRs and shooting still and motion capture, what will be the better choice? We expect both will continue to have their place, but many more photographers will at least add if not move exclusively to handheld support.
The reason is that handheld rigs like shoulder-mount rigs or steadying devices give you spontaneity as well as solid support. When you're thinking in terms of shooting segments of time rather than 1⁄250 sec, the ability to keep the camera in motion becomes much more appealing because you can move with the subject.
Redrock Micro Shoulder Rig
One of the criticisms of large-format cameras was that they were relegated to a tripod and not easily moved. Some have said this inhibited experimentation and exploring the scene. 35mm SLRs and DSLRs are much more mobile than 4x5 cameras. They're easier to handhold with good results, and they encourage a more dynamic way of shooting. And when you're able to shoot motion bursts, everything becomes much more dynamic.
Naturally, tripods will still be preferable for many situations. Often you want to be sure that the camera doesn't move a millimeter, and for those shots, a solid, sturdy tripod and head are necessities. But the tripod and the heavy ballhead aren't going to be the only supports you'll rely on in a still-and-motion-capture workflow.