How to Do a monopod comparison

Thinking of embarking on a camera monopod comparison?  Here are the 3 most important things to consider. The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from. The challenge is specifically to know what to look for when choosing a monopod.

Before you start comparing individual camera monopods, start with looking at the first and most important aspect of using your monopod.

1. how are you going to use your monopod

Simple vs complex monopod comparison

Start with considering what's the most frequent way you are going to use your monopod for. First, are you comparing monopods because you are looking to start shooting videos or are you shooting stills of wildlife?

Many photographers are turning to the models that have monopod feet and using them for both still photos and video. Although it's true that you CAN use any monopod for shooting either video or shooting still images, there are significant differences between video monopods and photo monopods.

2. what type of monopod head will serve you best

video monopod headVideo Monopod Head

This is a really big one.  I got a super cheapo monopod for free with a background I purchase, and it had not head, just the camera mount screw.  It worked elaborately fine for giving me  extra stability when shooting still images of high school seniors. 

A fluid head is essential if you are shooting video unless it's simple eye-level, distance video like the sideline recording of a soccer game.

3. Decide on the overall size of your monopod

Monopod height illustrationMonopod Height

Getting a high-end $200-$300 monopod for a small point and shoot camera is a waste of your money.  If you are shooting with a DSLR and a long, you need the extra support capacity and the rigidity of a larger monopod.

Getting a monopod that is just tall enough to get your camera to your to an eye level height may not be high enough. There are 3 specific situations where you want your camera to be able to go taller than you are.

I highlighted them in another post on this website about tripod height. The situations for monopod and tripod heights are exactly the same. You can read that article here:  Tripod Height.

monopod comparison videos

If you been to this Digital Photography Tips site before, you know I am a big proponent of getting a variety of opinions on photography techniques, cameras and their related accessories.

I take my own 40 years of experiences with cameras, mix them in with what I learn from the technical review sites, and add the reviews of consumers from big retailers like Amazon. You can add Amazon to the ingredients in that recipe, but with a grain of salt. Many of the Youtube videos are highly oriented to selling you products, so you have to keep that in mind when viewing them.

With that disclaimer stated, YouTube videos are a great opportunity to see a technique or a close-up and detailed view of a product that offers a different perspective than still photos.

Here are some monopod comparison videos that will give you a perspective on some specific monopod, but will also give you some ideas on what to look for in general.

Here is a list of the 5 monopods reviewed in this video:

Slik 350

Velbon UP=400Dx

Acebil MP-60V

Manfrotto 560B-1

Manfrotto 561-BHDV-1

The "King", the Manfrotto 561-BHDV-1 has actually been discontinued and the 562B-1 is the one to look at.  

WARNING:  pay close attention to the exact model numbers and letters.  It is easy to confuse models with very similar names when comparing monopods.

One of my peeves is the way camera manufactures name their cameras and some of their accessories, but that is a topic that we can explore on another day.

In the following video, three videos are mentioned, and this gentleman strongly is endorsing the Manfrotto 561, the discontinued one, but it is valuable to watch to get some idea on situations where you would want a monopod and not a tripod.

manfrotto vs benro video monopods

This discussion doesn't quite match up to the Canon vs Nikon debate, but it is still fun and worth  watching this video comparing these two monopods.

Thanks for watching and reading about monopod comparisons. The best way to improve your photography and video while using any monopod is shoot more. Like anything else, the more you play around with it, the better you'll learn to be.

Stay inspired!

Article published by Bruce Lovelace


Bruce is the publisher of this website. He is the author of the book "Improve Your Photography Instantly."  Read more on Bruce on his Bio Page. He's been known as The Traveling Photographer ever since 1994. Read more about this website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram.   Visit the Facebook Page. Watch him on YouTube.  Bruce runs photo workshops for kids and adults, and provides one-on-one photography coaching.

Digital Photography Education Location on Google My Business

You might like these

Another good source of information is the reviews and opinions of consumers who have purchased specific monopods. Using these links helps me keep this web site going. Thanks for your support

Video and Camera Monopod Reviews on Amazon