Monopod Buying Guide
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Monopod Buying Guide

What is monopod?

Monopods only have a single leg and require the user to have a hand on the camera or gun at all times, but they can still be very useful stabilizing devices.

Benefit of using monopod

Convenience in setup and breakdown

Monopods only need to be extended, mount the camera, and grounded onto a surface before use.

Monopods are lighter and more compat.

Tripods can weigh three times heavier than a monopod and are quite compact and can easily be tucked into your camera bag. It also doesn’t take up much space so it won’t be in the way of other photographers around you.

More agile

The ability monopod gives you to move quickly, be mobile and shoot many different scenes quickly or track a or moving subject

They’re considerably cheap

Only pay around $20, you can get a high-quality monopod that can handle up to 10 kg of weight

Monopod can lighten the burden on the hands when shooting with heavy lenses.

Using a monopod is like having an image stabilization system, but better. It allows you to use a slower shutter speed which may give you a sharper image as well as the option of getting a Deep Depth of Field.

Disadvantage

Photographer cannot accomplish the same degree of stability as a tripod.

It may stuck with a horizontal photo composition unless you add a rotating head to turn your camera on its side.

Photographer must look through your viewfinder or at your camera screen to maintain a good composition while holding your monopod and taking the photo.

What is tripod?

Tripod is probably the most well-known tool to keep our cameras steady when we use them in challenging light conditions.

Component :

Legs

Tripod legs are typically made of aluminum, basalt, steel or carbon fiber.

Head

The part that holds a digital camera or a lens.

Center Column

a separate leg that runs through the middle, allowing to further raise the tripod head.

Feet

good tripods allow changing tripod feet at the end of the legs for indoor and outdoor use.

Benefit

There are lots of advantages of using the tripod:

First, tripods today are smaller, lighter and easier to set-up than ever before, so there's little excuse not to carry one along, at least when you feel that you might have the need for it.

Since lower ISO provide better image quality with less 'noise', so it would be much better off using a tripod.

Using a tripod for close-ups will allow you to use a slower shutter speed without worrying about moving the camera as you take the picture.

Using tripod also allow more careful composition which can help photographer to frame the shot they want.

Photographer can photograph the stars, moon and others object by using tripod.

Beside, photographers even can do self-portraits with camera timer.

For taking HDR photographs, a tripod is highly recommended because the detail is captured in both the highlights and shadows. Therefore, using a tripod makes sure that your shots align perfectly.

Disadvantage

The tripod is hard to use in crowded place

Need time to set up, sometimes you might end up missing a shot.

Some tripods are really heavy and costly.

Factors of choosing tripod

Weight

Many photographers make a mistake of buying a tripod that it is not made for heavy DSLR equipment which causes the whole thing collapses, destroying the DSLR and the lens. Always make sure that the tripod can support at least 1.5 times more than the total weight of your camera and your heaviest lens.

Material

Tripod usually made by Aluminum and Carbon Fiber. Aluminum is heavier but it is cheaper than carbon fiber and it moves less when it is in windy condition. On the other hand, carbon fiber is better if photographers use the tripod to travel or for hikes because Carbon fiber absorbs vibrations better than aluminum.

Height

It is beneficial that buying a tripod that matches your height, so that you do not have to bend to look into the viewfinder. The viewfinder should be at your eye level, it is OK that if it goes higher than your eye level because the legs can be adjusted to shorter. Please do not choose the tripod that is much below your eye level because you will find yourself bending all the time that always look through the viewfinder.

If you are buying a tripod with an attached head, you want the tip of the head to be on your jaw level. If you are buying a modular tripod with a separate head, make sure that the legs end approximately on your shoulder level.

To Central Column or not to Central Column

Although some photographers find it convenient and nice to have, but it will increase the height and the instability of tripod for example once you set up a long telephoto lens, you will quickly understand that using a center column will cause too much vibration.

Tripod feet

Some advanced tripods will allow you to replace tripod feet for different conditions and situations – they just unscrew on the bottom of the tripod legs. There are different types of tripod feet for indoors like (rubber or plastic) and outdoors use (metal spikes). Unless you are planning to shoot in slippery conditions, the standard rubber feet that come with your tripod should work just fine.

Tripod head

A tripod head is the most vital part of the tripod which is responsible for holding camera equipment and controlling camera movement. If your tripod is modular tripod system, you have to buy it because it does not come with a head. There are few types of tripod head.

Ball Head

Although ball heads only have one control that loosens or tightens the grip, it is flexible that can move in a 360-degree circle and allow very smooth operation while keeping the camera/lens securely tightened. It can also be maneuvered into a very wide range of positions, and generally can solve the problem of aiming the camera lens in exactly the right direction without a lot of fuss. However, most ball heads do not include true pan or tilt adjustment capabilities.

Pan/ tilt Head

Pan/ tile head is the best choice for most photographers and is the most common type of head that is typically built into cheaper tripod. Pan/tilt head provide a very high level of control which is also the most affordable solution in most cases

Gimbal Head

Gimbal heads perfectly balance the camera and heavy lens and are best suited for fast-action photography. They are extremely easy to use in any direction no matter rotating the base or do up/down tilts without fear of the camera tipping over in its mount and do not require tightening the head every time the camera/lens moves.

Pistol grip head

Pistol grip head has a sort of squeeze trigger to release, adjust and tighten the head for angle adjustments.

panoramic head

Panoramic specialized for shooting multiple images to create a stitched panoramic image, this type of head helps correctly align the images for stitching and helps eliminate parallax errors.

Fluid Heads

Some pan/tilt heads are also classified as fluid heads. Fluid heads use a sealed liquid to create a miniature hydraulic damping system that enables smooth, steady motion when moved through a given space. If you shoot video with a compact camcorder you'll find a fluid head to be exceptionally useful.

Quick-Release System

Every modern DSLR comes with a thread on the bottom of the camera that allows you to attach it to a tripod or a monopod, which makes it extremely inconvenient to attach cameras and lenses on tripods because you would have to either rotate the camera or the tripod to attach them together. To settle the problem, manufacturers came up with a great solution that to attach a small removable plate on the camera or lens which can be tightly secured on the tripod head.

Cheaper tripods come with a simple plastic plate that can be attached on any camera or lens, while some of the more expensive tripod heads come with a more durable plate. The best quick- release system is the Arca-Swiss Quick Release System. It has more or less become a standard among manufacturers and it has proven to be a very effective solution for quick and easy operation. Arca-Swiss Quick Release System is made of very strong aluminum so it allows attaching the camera/lens on a tripod without the need to rotate anything. A quick-release plate is permanently attached to a camera or lens, which then easily slides into a quick-release clamp. The locking mechanism is simple, yet super tight for a vibration-free operation.

Types

Mini top-tripod

Small and lightweight, a mini-tripod easily fits into a camera bag or purse. It can be placed on a table top or other level surface when needed. There are also heavy duty mini-tripods that have the features and flexibility of their full-sized counterparts.

Compact tripod

A compact tripod has the height and most of the features of full-sized tripods but is lightweight. A compact tripods fold so it can be placed in a suitcase. Some can not hold a camera more than a few pounds.

Full-sized tripod

Often the choice of professional and serious photographers where traveling light is not a concern, full-sized tripods can hold heavy cameras with long telephoto lenses. They have heavy duty construction and offer a variety of special features.


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