4 best monopods
(how to choose the best monopod)

Are you searching to find which monopods are the best monopods? You likely know by now that there are too many choices. It may feel be similar to the search for a new a car.

You have a ton of variety, with many features and benefits. Then, there's a wide range of price levels to add to the confusion. Camera monopods are like that too. Here are 4 top rated monopods.

Monopod choosing poem

The best monopod for you could be the one that just "Feels Just Right". If you have just started to look for your first monopod, this guide will help. If you already have some experience with using a monopod, then you likely already know some of the things you like and don't like about your current monopod.

A good place to start is by knowing some of the various different features that monopods have.

Here is an article on monopods discussing the advantages and disadvantages of specific features: Monopod Reviews.

Price is one of the biggest factors people focus on first.

The old adage that you get what you pay for is generally true, but it's extremely important to think about two other things as well. Specifically the kind of photography you are doing and the camera-lens combination that you are shooting with are just as important. If you use your monopod only when you're shooting video your choose for the best monopod will be different than mine. I use my monopod for shooting portraits in low light situations and for shooting wildlife, specifically bird photography.

Manfrotto Monopod 694 CX

Prices range from about $350 for a Gitzo 6-section, 6x carbon fiber Traveler Monopod to around $11 for the cheapo, mostly plastic, no-name brands.

These very affordable monopods can often do the job for a point and shoot camera or a compact DSLR camera without a heavy lens attached.

Usually people who buy these cheaper are not serious photographers and they are not overly surprised when their monopod breaks or becomes worn very quickly. A good monopod for most people is a happy medium somewhere in between. Many of us would like to take a tripod everywhere, but there are many times when it is not practical or even allowed.

At many sporting events, stadiums, race tracks, tennis courts, museums or botanical gardens, tripods are forbidden. Tripods can be annoying and can be hazardous where people may trip and fall.

So finding one of the best monopods is important to your photography when a tripod, for whatever reason, is not going to work. You still need to support your camera, get blurry-free images and save your arm or back muscles.

What to consider to get the best

One of the important, but often overlooked features to compare is the number of leg sections.

It's great to have the least possible number of sections, but more collapsible sections allow for a reasonable collapsed size. If your collapsed monopod is too long it becomes tougher to carry it around and you'll want to leave it at home.

Weight is another important consideration when choosing the best monopods. Sometimes you'll really want to travel lightly. Hiking and backpacking are good examples. If you are carrying everything you need, it’s easier when you have a light load.

Compare the weights of different monopods. You will see that there is quite a bit of variation in how much they weigh. Heavy duty monopods can weigh more than lightweight tripods, depending on the material they are made with, as well as what accessories they have. Height. How high do you need it to go and how small do you want it to collapse? Measure the distance from the ground to level of your eye.

The type of monopod head you have affects the height, weight and usefulness of your monopod. Monopod Reviews and Accessories. For more information about specific monopod reviews and monopod accessories.

Opteka Monopod Reviews. Reviews of the features, pros and cons of Opteka Monopods.

Manfrotto-Bogen Monopods - Reviews. Higher quality and higher priced line of Manfrotto and Bogen Monopods.

How to Use a Monopod. Using a monopod is simple, but many people make the mistake of not knowing the best monopod techniques. Discover the under-used tips on how to get the best results with your monopod and get the sharpest photos.

Monopod Heads and Tripod Heads. A big consideration in finding the best monopod for you is what kind of tripod or monopod head you use. There are many choices.

Choosing the best monopods is an objective consideration of price, features and how you are going to use your monopod. It is also a subjective decision on what just feels right. Just like any other purchase it is sometimes just the look and feel that allows a photographer to enjoy a monopod and its intended uses.See the specific monopod reviews below.

Shoot more photos.

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additional thoughts on the best monopods

I just added this list of the 4 best monopods based on some more research at the leading online photography equipment retailer. These are the highest rated monopods, limited to mid and high-priced monopods, for DSLR cameras. If you are looking for a good monopod for a lighter point-N-shoot type of camera these monopods are overkill.

These monopods got the highest ratings as well as had the highest number of reviews given.

That is significant, because it means you are getting a lot of reviewers who are all quite positive about each of these monopods.

Manfrotto 680B Compact Monopod (Black) Rating 4.9 out of 5.0 - 211 Reviews
- Supports 22 lb (10 kg)
- Maximum Height 20.0" (50.8 cm)
- Sections 4
- Weight 1.69 lb (0.77 kg)

Manfrotto 681B (Black) Rating 4.8 out of 5.0 - 199 Reviews
- Supports 26.4 lb (12 kg)
- Maximum Height 63.4" (161 cm)
- Sections 3
- Weight 1.7 lb (0.77 kg)

Gitzo Series 2 GM2541 6X Carbon Monopod Rating 4.9 out of 5.0 - 60 Reviews - Supports 26.4 lbs (12kg)
- Maximum Height 63" (160cm)
- Sections 4
- Weight 1.1 lb (500g)

Gitzo GM5561T Traveler Rating 4.9 out of 5.0 - 60 Reviews
- Supports 55.1 lbs (25kg)
- Maximum Height 61.2" (155.5cm)
- Sections 6
- Weight 1.65 lbs (750g)

best budget monopod

If the monopod highly above are more than you need, you're better off looking at some of these budget monopods, all priced for less than $50 at the time this article was written.

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