monopod reviews
(pros and cons, features and options on Camera monopods)



Have you overlooked the monopod as a valuable piece of equipment to improve your still photos and videos? If you compare the number of monopod reviews with the number of reviews of other kinds of photography equipment it's not an impressive number. 

That's too bad for monopods because they're under appreciated. You might even be wondering if camera monopods are any good or when would you want to use one. This post will help you answer those questions.

There are a few photographic situations where you will be really glad you've got one.  I really love using my newest monopod. I started with just one traditional camera monopod.  Now I have three. I added a seflie stick and a monopod with feet to my list to use.

Shooting smoother video and supporting longer lenses with sports and wildlife photography are the uses that always came to mind first.  Now the selfie monopod has exploded onto the scene. Before you start reading a bunch of reviews on monopods, it's great to find out what features and options are available. 

It's also great to know the advantages and disadvantages of using monopods.Finding out why, when and how to best use a monopod will help you make the right decision when buying your monopod.

Monopods are refreshingly simple to use, having only one leg to adjust instead of having to adjust 3 legs like you have to do with a tripod. They are obviously lighter than tripods, but what are the other advantages of monopods.

looking for the best monopod ?

You can read this article first and then read any of the individual monopod reviews to gain more knowledge about them. Also follow the links to other related articles on using monopods at the end of this article.

monopod reviews –advantages of monopods

Monopod Reviews - Monopod with Wrist Strap

  1. You can easily attach a monopod to your camera bag or pack it in your suitcase.
  2. Monopods give you much smoother video.
  3. When I go backpacking, my monopod doubles as a lightweight walking stick. It has a nice soft cushion grip and has the option of using the rubber pad or the steal tip on the bottom. Wildlife and sports photographers find it much easier to pick up from one spot and move to another.
  4. Any action photography like photographing birds in flight, race cars or quickly moving athletes is accomplished better by the ease of rotating your monopod instantly to follow the action.
  5. When using a telephoto setting or a long lens, camera movement is magnified, so the use of a monopod may help you avoid the common photo mistake of a blurry image that you would otherwise get with a hand held photo.
  6. 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  Better Depth of Field.
  7. Another advantage of using a monopod is when you are in a small area, such as in a crowd of people or a confined space. It may not be feasible to spread out the three legs of a tripod.
  8. On a lighter note, using a monopod also gives you the appearance that you really know what you are doing as a photographer. Showing up at your kid's soccer or baseball game with your camera mounted on top of a monopod makes you look like you are a talented, knowledgeable photographer.

Before you know it, you may have people asking you for photography tips too.

monopod reviews – disadvantages of monopods

Monopod Evaluations - Monopod with Lens Mounting Ring
  1. With a monopod you cannot accomplish the same degree of stability as a tripod. One leg is not as good as three.
  2. You are stuck with a horizontal photo composition unless you have a ball head or a rotating head to turn your camera on its side.
  3. I can avoid this problem when I am shooting portraits because my Canon 70-200 lens has a mount ring on the lens barrel that mounts to the monopod and permits me to rotate the camera to any exact angle I wish.
  4. It's not possible to let go of your camera when it's mounted on a monopod. An exception to this is the video monopod that has three small legs and can be stand alone if you use caution.
  5. With a tripod, you can walk away, adjust your subject, your background or your lighting and your camera has not moved at all. Once you've composed your photo of a stationary subject with a tripod you can keep an eye on your subject without looking through the camera.
  6. With a monopod you must look through your viewfinder or at your camera screen to maintain a good composition while holding your monopod and taking the photo.

Once you have an idea of some of the features you'll want, then it's a good idea to get several opinions on specific monopods from a large variety of buyers.

monopod reviews - features and options

Monopod With Feet Attached

Feet. Some monopods have feet as a feature. This adds stability without needing the same space as a tripod.

I've never owned a monopod with feet. There are mixed reviews. Some of the monopod reviews of the feet complain that they are quite flimsy and rattle around too much.

The monopod models that only have one foot have very questionable value.

With higher priced models, the feet are heavier and definitely had some stability over a simple one-legged monopod. Essentially what you have is a scaled-down tripod with small legs and a large adjustable center leg.

Monopod With Quick Release Head

Swivel heads. Swivel heads allow you to tilt your digital camera forward and backward. They are very sturdy and give you great structural stability for sharp photos. Shooting with your camera aimed downward or upward becomes much easier to do. Mounting your camera sideways will allow you to shoot your photos with a vertical photo composition.

Quick-release Mount. This photo on the right has both a swivel head and a quick release mount. If you need to save a few seconds or are in a need for the quick changing of a camera or a real quick set-up, the quick release feature saves you the time of having to thread the mounting screw into the bottom of your camera.

Monopod with Shoulder Strap

Shoulder Strap. Shoulder straps free up your hand to carry an additional piece of equipment.

Hand Strap. Can you say annoying? I've never liked wrist straps for anything. Most photographers do like the security and convenience of hand straps. It's definitely a personal choice. If I am going to be carrying my monopod in my hand anyway, I don't need another loop to get tangled up with other equipment.

Carbon fiber. Monopods are quite light anyway, but if you want that extra reduction in weight, carbon fiber is the way to go. Carbon fiber monopods and tripods are strong, lightweight and also have a vibration-dampening characteristic that makes them very valuable.

My favorite non-camera piece of equipment is my carbon fiber Rocketfish tripod: Carbon Fiber Tripod-Rocketfish Reviews.

Monopod Tip

Monopod Reviews Tip. Pay attention to the tip of your monopod.

Some tips are available as a separate attachment in heavier duty models.

It's a good ideas to buy a monopod with a combination metal point-rubber pad. It's a quick easy adjustment to change from the point to the pad by simple unscrewing the rubber pad until the point is fully recessed.

Monopod With Pistol-Grip Ball Head

Pistol-grip Ball Head. I love my pistol-grip ball head on my tripod, but it makes no sense to use it on a monopod.

This is just my own personal opinion and you might find that a pistol-grip ball head as a great option for a monopod. I like the extreme light load of a monopod without a heavy head. With my Manfrotto tripod, I never shoot without my pistol-grip ball head attached.

Pistol-grip heads are extremely easy to use quickly adjust to any angle. They are pretty stable if you invest in a high quality model. The downside is that they do add a relatively significant amount of weight to your monopod.

RocketFish monopod ball head

Ball Head. The best monopods come with a regular or quick-release ball head. These light-weight accessories provide ultimate flexibility to using a monopod.

The Rocketfish ball-head pictured here is the one I use on my monopod as well as my Rocketfish lightweight carbon fiber tripod.

It is remarkable strong for such a small piece of photography equipment. Of course, the larger the ball in the head the stronger and more stable the hold on your camera. It is a little small for using with my Canon 5d and 70-200 lens, but I have used it this way in a pinch.

Use caution that a heavy camera/lens combination turned in a vertical orientation on either a monopod or tripod can be unbalanced. Another monopod accessory which is real handy to free up your hands when you are moving from one location to another is a monopod holster. 

Review of Monopod With Holster

specific monopod reviews

Benro Monopods.  Benro is a relative newcomer but don't let that fool you.  They do a lot of things right with tripods and monopods.

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.

Slik Monopods - Reviews. Slik has won many prestigious design awards and its designs have been copied many times.

Gitzo Monopods. Gitzo makes the best monopods on the planet in terms of the materials, precision workmanship and manufacturing.

Monopod information on Wikipedia.  this is a link to the information about monopods written by the writers who write for Wikipedia.

Koolehoada Monopod Review.  Carbon fiber pole and removable feet make this a light and versatile accessory.

Monopod reviews now include reviews on selfie sticks.  Here is a complete list of all of the articles on monopods.

getting the best performance from your monopod

How to Choose the Top One.  There is a 3-step method to help you find the best one for YOU. 

Best Monopods. The best ones are not only the ones that get good monopod reviews, but also the ones that have the features, options and price that are right for your specific needs.

How to Use a Monopod. Using a monopod is simple, but many people make don't know the best monopod techniques. Discover these unknown tips on how use a monopod the right way and get the sharpest photos.

Monopod Tips. A video giving reasons why to use a monopod and 4 additional tips on how to use a monopod to get the best results.

Tripod Ball Heads. One of the most useful accessories you can possibly have for your tripod or monopod is either a ballhead or a pan-tilt head.

Best Tripod Head. You need to start your search for the best tripod head by first considering exactly what kind of camera you will be using on it and what type of photography or video you will be using it for.

Monopod Stability Tip. Here is a simple way to make your monopod work almost like a tripod. Typically, reviews of monopods don't include some of the tips and techniques that can help you get the most stability out of your monopod. This article reveals a simple trick to multiply the steadiness of your monopod without the weight and bulk of a tripod.

Camera Monopods, Video Monopods or Hiking Monopods. What are the differences and does it really matter?

Monopod Heads and Tripod heads. I added this article which has a few more thoughts, photos and a video on monopod heads and tripod heads.

Monopod Accessories. Sometimes monopods come as part of an accessory kit. These are not the best monopods in terms of quality, but they may still be a good value for point and shoot cameras because of the number of components they come with.

Using a monopod.  More thoughts about the best techniques for how to use a monopod.

Monopod Advice. How to evaluate a monopod, if you should have an adjustable head attached and where to get more information.

Creative Camera Monopod Uses.  Additional valuable ways to use a monopod, other than the traditional static way of keeping image and videos sharp.

Largest Selection of Monopods for Sale.  On-line retailers and what you need to know before buying. 

Getting the Most from Reading Monopod Reviews

There are hundreds of monopod reviews to read; but, if you want to get the most out of them, use a little bit of logic when evaluating. Remember that a review is only the opinion of one person's experience. Occasionally you may get a very low rating of a monopod from an individual who purchased it without educating themselves on it's specific uses or features.

  1. As an example I once read a review from a tall photographer who was very dis-satisfied because his monopod was too short for him to use without stooping over. To keep them lightweight, manufactures make most of them to be long enough to satisfy the average user. If you are tall, it's your task to buy a longer model.
  2. In another instance, a photographer complained that his monopod was too heavy. Perhaps he should have compared the weights of different monopods first. There are so many camera monopods available for purchase, there is no way you can't find one that is the right size, weight, strength and has the desired accessories.
  3. Another tip is to read the longest and most detailed monopod reviews. You can learn the most about any given monopod from the photographer who took the time to give loads of details on features and what they liked and didn't like about their monopod.
  4. By far the biggest complaint given in monopod reviews is receiving a defective monopod or having it break early on. Like many things things, if you buy cheap you get a cheap product. Sellers and manufacturers have to cut the cost of manufacturing, materials, quality control and even packaging to be able to offer a piece of photography equipment for a bargain price.

As an Amazon affiliate I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases, at NO added cost to you. Here is a link to Amazon and more information about monopods, monopod accessories and monopod reviews: All Amazon Monopods

Here are more links to related monopod articles on this web site:

Determine how much you should have to pay for a monopod.  A quick answer and a longer answer on how determine what kind of money you can expect to shell out for the right pole.

Monopod Vs Tripod Battle. It's been a fun argument for many digital photographers lately. Which is better, the monopod or tripod? Digital photography, with it's constantly improving low-light sensitive sensors has narrowed the gap when bantering on the subject of monopod Vs tripod.

Monopod Comparison.  Thoughts and related videos about comparing monopods.

The Ultimate Replacement for Monopods.  Go Pro fan, video shooters, and selfie shooters who want the coolest alternative to using a monopod might enjoy feasting their hands on one of these puppies, a Lily Camera.

What is a monopod.  The definition of a monopod and the many ways to use a monopod.

Fluid Head Monopods.  These are the type of monopods that are the most popular and the best suited for video shooting.

Monopods for the Traveling photographer.  It's all about size, weight, and portability. Oh yes, functionality too!

Selfie Monopod.  One of the hottest trends now is taking the "selfie" portrait and sharing it with your friends. Information and monopod reviews on this newly popular camera phone accessory.

In addition to these ideas on camera monopod reviews, please enjoy all of the digital photography tips on this website. Keep shooting, keep learning, keep improving.

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.

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