Gitzo has released an updated lineup of boompoles, with unique features that make them attractive even to videographers who currently own a boom pole or three.
There are four new models in the lineup, each with different lengths, number of sections, and price points.
- GB2551US Series 2 – extends from 29 inches to 99 inches in 5 sections.
- GB2551LUS Series 2 – notice the L in the model number. This one extends from 35 to 134 inches in 5 sections.
- GB4541US Series 4 – extends from 34 to 109 inches
- GB4571XLUS Series 4 – the XL top of the line model, extends from 39 to 186 inches in 7 sections.
The new lineup of boom poles have larger tubes that are stiffer than the previous versions, which makes it easier for sound operators to keep their mics where they want them. However, they still feature Gitzo’s lightweight carbon eXact tubing.
For videographers who place their boom poles on a stand, it’s also preferable to have less flex in the pole, especially when you’re setting up and are trying to nail the precise placement of your mic to your subject.
Each of the boompoles also have a reversible screw mount, so there’s both a 3/8″ side and a 1/4-20″ side. Now you don’t need to search for the adapters whenever you change the microphone shock mount or other accessory, and find they each have different threads.
The big addition to this lineup is actually the modular internal cabling system. Most of the time with boom poles you either choose a pole with internal cabling or one without. Internal cabling seems so much more convenient, and so you gravitate to that, despite what pro audio guys will tell you.
We’ve been using K-Tek KE-69CC boompoles with internal coiled cables for years, and there’s been no shortage of issues with crimping and tangled cables inside, making it hard to collapse the boompole fully.
The bigger issue with internal cabling is the pressure on the cables and XLR connections eventually result in broken connections, which will give you unusable sound issues out in the field when you least expect them.
We’ve had this happen to us numerous times, and the short term solution is to skip the internal cabling and just run an XLR around the boom pole. But even after re-soldering the connections back at home, we continue to run into issues that tend to foil an interview at the worst time. The long term solution would be to remove the internal cables when they’re not in use, but unfortunately, most internally cabled boompoles are not meant to be taken apart and re-cabled quickly.
This is where the new Gitzo internal cable management system comes in handy. They have removable top and bottom attachments, so you can easily feed the XLR through the pole when you want to, and easily remove it when you don’t.
This way, you have the convenience of internal cabling during a production, but you can remove the cables for travel and storage, preventing your expensive cables from being forced into cramped positions for long periods of inactivity. And you can do this on the fly, without taking apart your boompole sections and twisting your XLR cable to fit inside the pole.
The new Gitzo boompoles have some other new features, including a rubber foot at the bottom of the pole. This way, you can place the boom on the floor or the ground, but without putting pressure on the cable. There’s a place for the XLR connection to exit the side of the pole rather than below the rubber feet.
And finally, the new poles have a rubber grip added near the bottom of the pole, where an operator’s hands typically rest. That’s a nice welcome feature, although pro audio specialists will most likely have their own system or preferences for making a pole easier to hold for longer periods of time.
Overall, the new Gitzo poles offer a few very attractive features that would give us good reason to replace our boompoles. The flexible internal cabling system alone is worth the price tag.
If you’re also in the market for boom pole accessories, we highly recommend the Auray DUSM-1 – it’s cheap but dependable and works with a wide assortment of mics.
For lightweight, portable interviews where you want to setup a boom mic in a fixed position, we believe the Auray Boom Pole Holder is the best mix of convenience and reliability. Along with a Matthews MiniGrip Head and a small light stand like the Manfrotto 5001B, you have a portable boom kit that weighs less than a 5lbs, including the pole, mic, stand, and holder.
To keep everything in place, hang a heavy bag from one of the knobs on the light stand to weigh it down. It may not be as sturdy as a fully rigged C-stand boom pole kit, but it works for solo shooters, and we’ve done it a few hundred times without issues.
The new Gitzo Boompoles are now available – more info at B&H.