A steady camera is one of the secrets to good photos. So, do you need to buy a tripod, monopod or gorillapod? Maybe you need all three! Let’s look at what each is good for.
This is the classic device for steadying your camera. It is useful in so many situations, particularly where you are trying to pose a number of people. It’s great for setting up the frame of the shot, leaving your camera in place while you walk around shepherding subjects into the frame.
Its advantages are that you can set it up and walk away; it can be used for timed shutter release and it is very stable in most terrains.
Its disadvantages are that it is more bulky than other devices and takes a few seconds to put in place. You can walk around with a camera attached to the tripod and set it up when and where a shot opportunity arises but valuable seconds could make the difference for a great photo.
This is a “one legged tripod”! It cannot stand on its own unsupported, but it is a bit lighter than a tripod.
It is particularly useful if you are walking around with a heavy camera & lens combination and you need support quickly. It was great for an African safari I went on a year or two ago.
Set the monopod and camera at eye level and you can pick it all up and be ready to take an instant shot when the opportunity arrives.
Being lightweight you can include it or attach it to your camera bag.
You can even get a monopod with tripod legs to give the best of both worlds!
If you have not come across one of these before, a Gorillapod is an extremely useful item of kit. They come in two sizes, one for compact cameras and one for heavier DSLR camera and lens combinations.
They have short, but flexible tripod legs and are extremely useful when out and about in uneven terrain. They can put your camera safely and steadily on a wall or on a tree and take the perfect shot.
They are small, lightweight and can easily be included or strapped to a camera bag. They can double up for a standard tripod in many circumstances.
Which is best? They are each good for different occasions. Be like me and have all three!