Monopods: how & why

Wondering about monopods?

If you’re not, you should be. A monopod is a collapsible and portable single pole used to help you stabilize your photos and videos, and it’s a great accessory to have if you’re a shooter. Using a monopod can keep your footage from being too shaky, it gives your arms a break, and lets you be a lot more mobile than a tripod would.

Downside? It doesn’t stand up by itself. But, it is light and portable – a very useful tool to add stability to your shots when you’re shooting in crowded areas or in fast-paced environments.

They range in price – from $15 for the most basic monopod, to over $350 for a monopod with small bracing legs and a tilt head. You can also buy a basic monopod and spruce it up with different accessories, like a tilt head, or this tripod base designed specifically to add to a monopod.

How to mount your monopod: MonopodWORDPRESS8

  1. 1. Take the plate off the monopod
  2. 2. Attach the plate (firmly) to the bottom of your camera
  3. 3. Attach the camera to the monopod
  4. 4. Go ahead and double check that’s properly attached – you don’t want to lose your camera
  5. 5. Adjust the length of the monopod to suit the shot you want
  6. 6. Shoot away!

Modification: The Waist Pod

To create a “waistpod,” find a comfortable, adjustable strap to attach to your monopod. It can be from a piece of luggage (that’s what we used in this tutorial) or from your camera bag. It should have some sort of clip. You can also buy a shoulder brace or a chestpod (something like this), if you want to use more professional gear.

  1. 1. Attach the strap to the bottom of the monopod, then put the strap over your shoulder or around your neck.
  2. 2. Tuck the end of the monopod into your waist, with your camera held at chest level, supported by the monopod and the strap. It’s still not as stable as a tripod, but it gives you the additional stability of your body.
  3. 3. Adjust the length of the monopod or strap as needed.

 Monopod2-Wordpress

When is a tripod better?

A monopod still isn’t quite as stable as a tripod. In environments where you’re using a very long exposure, like when you’re shooting photos at night, you’ll need a tripod to stabilize  your shot. Also, there’s no need for a monopod in a very controlled or quiet environment. If you’re doing a sit-down interview or portrait photography, you will have the space and the time to set up and move around a tripod.


More information on monopods:

Digital Camera World: How to Use a Monopod Correctly 

 When to Use a Monopod and Leave the Tripod at Home 

Disclaimer: We link to several different types of gear and purchasers in this post. We aren’t compensated for this, and don’t endorse specific brands or sellers. These links are included as examples. We always encourage you to research for yourself before making gear purchases. 

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