Keeping your camera equipment stable when shooting is a key factor in being able to produce sharp, correctly exposed images. There is no doubt that a tripod is one of the most useful pieces of equipment you can have in your camera kit. But not every situation requires the use of a tripod, and quite often a monopod could be just the thing you need to help add stability to your camera equipment.
Rather than having three legs as a tripod does, a monopod is a single pole with a screw thread on top to mount a camera, lens or even a monopod head for extra flexibility on positioning of your gear, and often comes with a wrist strap for added support. Monopods allow for extra mobility and speed when you do need to work fast while still being able to support very heavy camera equipment. Sports, wildlife, concert, wedding and other types of event photography can all benefit from the balance of mobility and stability a monopod can offer.
Sirui offer a range of monopods such as the photography specific Sirui P-306 and Sirui P-326 models through to Sirui P-326SR photo and video monopod which comes with a removable base to convert it into a mini tripod. Our range of monopods support equipment up to 10kg in weight with varying numbers of twist locks and leg sections.
Here are 6 reasons why you should have a monopod in your photography kit when shooting either photos or videos.
1. Monopods help when shooting in low light
In many event situations such as concerts or indoor weddings, the available light means you may need to shoot with slower shutter speeds than handheld shooting typically allows for. To compensate for this you would generally increase the ISO, meaning the potential for a degradation in overall image quality. A monopod can help to support your camera gear while shooting slower shutter speeds and offer extra stability while still allowing you to be mobile and move around. This could make the difference in being able to capture sharp images when shooting in low light situations.
2. Monopods help to stabilise telephoto lenses
Telephoto lenses can be quite heavy to carry and many of them offer a collar mount that a monopod can connect to somewhere around halfway along the lens, allowing you to support the weight while adding stability. When using a telephoto lens while shooting hand held you will generally need to shoot at much faster shutter speeds than with wide angle lenses. A monopod can assist in shooting slightly slower shutter speeds (if needed) while maintaining a lower ISO for overall image quality. By rotating the monopod you will be able to track a subject more effectively while still capturing sharp images. Sports photographers and wildlife photographers will especially benefit from the use of a tripod when using telephoto lenses.
3. Monopods may possibly be uses in restricted areas
In a lot of high traffic tourist locations in major cities (i.e museums, heritage building etc) tripods have been banned or are quite often just not allowed mainly due to safety issues. There are countless stories of tripods making a photographer seem like they are a “professional”, and many locations require permits or special permission if there is the potential for commercial use of the imagery we capture. While we cannot guarantee it to be the case everywhere, a monopod may be less intrusive and a little more discreet in some places and be less of a “safety” concern when it comes to high traffic locations.
4. Monopods support the weight of heavy camera gear
Camera gear is heavy, especially when you are carrying it around all day. Holding camera gear up to your face for long periods of time can lead to stress and strain on your arms and shoulders. A monopod can help support the weight of your camera gear and take the stress off your arms, allowing you to shoot for longer. This could be a big advantage when you are traveling or hiking as you could already be carrying extra weight in a backpack, leading to more fatigue and stress on your body.
5. Monopods add stability when shooting video
When you are shooting video un-stabilised footage just simply doesn’t look as good as when it is stabilised. Any shakiness in the footage can result in a poor quality video and have people feeling dizzy when looking at it. Some cameras and lenses offer in built image stabilisation which can be a big benefit when holding the camera in a single direction. A monopod can help to not only add extra stability and remove the shakiness, but allows you to pan, tilt and rotate the camera while keeping it stable through the movements.
6. Monopods allow you work fast
The mobility offered by a monopod when compared to a tripod means it is much faster set up for shots while still being able to move around. If you watch any major sporting event you are more than likely to see photographers using monopods to support their camera gear. A monopod offers the ability to carry the camera equipment and follow any action that may be happening while being able to set up and shoot those sharp images extremely quickly.