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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Review of the Armpod Monopod. This is a review of a uniquely designed monopod, made for video photographers who don't want to use a regular monopod or tripod.
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.
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.
Best Monopod Under $100. I highlighted two, based on the very high reviews from buyers
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.
Have you had any positive or negative experiences with any monopods, that you could share so that we all can learn?
Click below to see what other readers have written...
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