How to choose a tripod

A type

Floor tripods are the most common models and can be used in almost any environment due to the length of the legs and their stability. As the name implies, they are installed on the floor or on the ground without additional supports.

projector tripod stand is compact tripods that need to be set up on a table, chair, stone, or any flat surface before shooting. Advantage – small weight and size, which is very convenient for transportation. The disadvantage is that they are not as stable as floor tripods, designed for compact cameras.


A monopod is a tripod with one leg. The advantage is compactness and low weight, which is convenient for moving or sports shooting. You need to put such a tripod on a stand or on a belt thrown over your neck. The disadvantage is that although the bulk of the camera is transferred to the stand, the device can still shake or stand unstable.

The tripod is the most common and convenient design. Such a tripod is presented in the form of a rod with three legs. The tripod is the most stable, it can change the height of the camera. Disadvantages include bulkier size and weight.

A tripod-clamp and a tripod-clothespin are structures that allow you to attach the camera to an immovable object, for example, to a tree, using a clamping screw (spring clip). Advantages: take up little space, have a small weight. The disadvantage is that such tripods can not be used in all areas (open areas).

Original design tripods are non-standard designs, usually small in size and weight. They are highly specialized devices. How convenient and practical they are should be judged from personal preferences.

selfie stick

A selfie monopod (selfie stick, selfie stick) is a kind of monopod for taking selfies (self-portraits using a smartphone or camera). By using the selfie stick, you can easily take pictures from different angles, and the coverage of the photo is greatly increased. The monopod allows you to change the focus (zoom), select modes (photo or video shooting).

Camera launch

Wired – the monopod is equipped with a cable with a plug that connects to a smartphone. The camera shutter button is built into the handle of the selfie stick. Such a monopod does not require charging, as it is powered by a smartphone. The disadvantage is the possibility of damage to the cord.

Wireless – unlike the previous version, the connection between the smartphone and the monopod is made using Bluetooth . Recommended for lovers of outdoor activities (including snowboarding, underwater and surface sports, fishing).

Depending on the model of the wireless selfie stick, the button is built into a tripod or taken out into a separate device (Bluetooth button, remote control). The second option allows you to work with different monopods, but its disadvantages are much more significant: the device occupies both hands of the user (a tripod in one hand, a remote control in the other), and the button itself is often lost.

The disadvantage of wireless monopods is the need to periodically change batteries (AA size) or charge the battery.

Important : In inexpensive wired monopods, the button often breaks quickly, and the cable may fail. Wireless models may work intermittently due to wireless instability.

The wireless monopod with battery is suitable for users who have an external battery (Power Bank) on hand.

There are outdated models where there is no camera shutter button. To take a picture, you have to set the timer on your smartphone, which is inconvenient.

Mounting screw – available with inch or metric threads. It is better to choose a monopod with an inch thread, since it is more versatile – it allows you to install a large number of different equipment, for example, a SLR camera or a camcorder. But you can’t attach anything other than a smartphone to a selfie stick with a metric thread.

Length – the longer the monopod, the wider the coverage of the space in the photo, but at the same time the weight of the device increases. With a long monopod, it is easier to get more varied shots. You should not buy a tripod shorter than 0.5 m. The optimal parameter is 0.7-1 m. A monopod over 2 m long allows you to take wide-panoramic photos, but it is inconvenient to take it on the road.

Application area

Video camera tripods – Unlike camera tripods, they are equipped with a long handle and a damper for smooth rotation of the camera.

Camera Tripods – No panning grip.

Universal tripods – suitable for both cameras and camcorders. They have a handle. They are usually cheaper than camcorder tripods and also lighter in weight.

Head type

2D/ 3D – this head can rotate around two (2D-head) or three axes (3D-head). To rotate the camera in each of the planes has its own handle.

Ball – at the heart of the design is a hinge. The camera can rotate in all planes, and having taken the desired position, it is fixed for shooting. Advantages – the cost and weight are less than previous models. Disadvantages – does not allow for panoramic shooting, gets dirty faster than a 2D and 3D head.

Video head – guarantees smooth panning when shooting video, so its design has a special damping device that suppresses shocks (in the most expensive models – liquid). The video head is controlled using one rather long handle.

Main characteristics

Working height – the distance from the surface on which the tripod stands to the platform where the camera is fixed. Each tripod has a maximum and minimum working height. It is necessary to evaluate this criterion based on your own growth. The mounted camera on a tripod should be approximately at the level of the photographer’s eyes. For the most stable tripod, the maximum shooting height should be greater than the height of the photographer.

The maximum load is the weight that the tripod can support. If you do not calculate with the weight and install too heavy a camera on a tripod, it can fold or even break. It is especially important for owners of heavy “DSLRs” to pay attention to this parameter.

The folded height and weight of the tripod are determined by each user individually, depending on the operating conditions. If you often travel, then the tripod should be optimally light and compact so that it is convenient to carry it in a photo bag or a special case. If you plan to use it indoors permanently, these parameters will not play a special role. It should be remembered that you need to find a reasonable compromise between the weight and stability of the tripod.


Depending on the model, the tripod can be equipped with:

  • tripod head – you should be aware that not all tripods may have it;
  • a hook for a bag – an additional weight is attached to the tripod to increase stability;
  • lifting mechanism – a special rotating handle that allows you to smoothly change the height;
  • remote control – usually located on the tripod handle, it is convenient to use for video shooting;
  • interchangeable platform – attached to the camera in a tripod socket, allows the user to quickly change cameras on the same tripod, if necessary.

Also, tripods can be equipped with pleasant little things in the form of a cover, various tips of supports that are convenient to use on different surfaces, etc.


  • Inspect the monopod for damage, burrs, and other defects. Seams and surfaces must be well finished. Make sure that the telescopic tube is secure: it should not bend under the weight of the phone. In cheap monopods, the tube is made of thin metal, which negatively affects its reliability.
  • Test the selfie stick by connecting a smartphone or other device with a camera to it.
  • It is worth paying attention to the fastening. Well, if it has a lot of rubberized inserts – this increases the reliability of fixation. Before buying, attach your phone to a tripod and give it a good shake. It will not be superfluous to put a case on the gadget – this will protect it from damage in case of an accidental fall.
  • It is better to choose a tripod with a rubberized or plastic handle (soft plastic). The hard plastic handle glides in the hand. An excellent option is a handle with a loop.
  • The weight of a smartphone or other gadget must be less than the maximum load parameter for which the selfie stick is designed.
  • If you plan to work with a heavy device, then it is better to opt for a monopod with a fixation of the telescopic mechanism from torsion.
  • For better shots, choose a selfie stick with a mirror for the rear camera.

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