Okay camera and accessory geeks, I've got the ultimate monopod replacement for you. In this post we take a look at alternatives to using a monopod. That includes a few practical ways and one outrageous idea to replace your monopod.
Tired of the same old selfie portraits? Want something a bit more special?
It's time to blow away your friends with your new selfie videos and stills. No doubt selfie sticks and monopods have served us well. They enabled us to get a better perspective for those selfie portraits.
Although they are now banned in a few museums, they're still easy to carry, real affordable, and work great to improve self portraits.
But what about the ultimate monopod replacement? How about a hands-free, flying camera device that automatically follows you from above? If that sounds intriguing keep on reading. If not, then jump to the 5 sensible monopod alternatives.
LOOK! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the Lily Camera. The Lily is the ultimate camera for documenting your activities from an aerial perspective.
It works as far as 100 feet away from you or as close as 5 feet. This battery powered contraption can fly for 20 minutes on a single charge, plenty enough time to shoot some great action video or dramatic stills.
When you're done your shoot, you can land the Lily on your hand and the propellers will automatically stop. It is completely safe from dust and sand and is rated to withstand 30 minutes under water to a depth of one meter.
Simply slip the tracking device into your pocket or a waterproof wrist case.
The camera will follow your movements.
You launch the device by tossing it into the air and its propellers spring into action and start hovering and tracking your location.
The camera has digital gimbal capabilities, so that it can follow your left-right and up-down movements.
The most impressive specification for me is the 120 frames-per-second video shooting. That's great for slow motion and super smooth video.
Here is a video on YouTube showing you some of the possibilities. You can pre-order the Lily Camera for about $500, or according to the company, you can buy one later for around $1000. How's that for a marketing incentive?
2022 UPDATE: The Lily has been replaced the the Lily Next Gen.
Hmmmmmm. I wonder. Do you think you'd be allowed to have your kid wear a tracking device during his soccer game?
What if you aren't in the market for a bulky monopod alternative and we don't have such a pricey accessory in the budget? Here are few clever ways to avoid using a monopod.
USE THE SELF-TIMER. Set your camera in a secure place where it won't fall or jiggle and use the self-timer function. Your camera will have plenty of time to settle and you'll have plenty of time to get in the photo is it's a sharp selfie your after.
USE A BEAN BAG OR A TOWEL. If you need a little help in aligning your camera to just the right position for your photo, anything that is moldable will do. I've used bean bags and towels and have had great success.
USE A STABILIZER FOR VIDEO. If your shooting video, a self timer and a bean bag won't help. Rather than mount your camera to a monopod, there are affordable camera stabilizers that can help you shoot smooth video. I purchased a video stabilizer made by Roxant, but there are great alternatives to that too. If this sounds like a possibility for you, read some of the reviews on Amazon.
FAST SHUTTER SPEED. If you're using a monopod to get sharper images, you can eliminate blur from camera movement by choosing a camera setting that will give you a faster shutter speed. This might mean raising your ISO setting so that your camera doesn't need a longer shutter speed for a proper exposure.
JOBY GORILLAPOD. A well made accessory that's versatile to use in a wide variety of situations. It works like a tiny tripod, but it has wrappable legs to enable you to attach your camera in a variety of surfaces.
There are two models. One model can handle your smartphone and small points and shoot cameras. The heavy duty model can handle small DSLRs equipped with wide angle and normal sized lenses. The Joby gadgets can be purchased on Amazon.
Stay Inspired. Shoot more photos!
ABOUT 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. Or 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.