Questions You May Have When Choosing a Monopod

Monopods allow you to mount your camera when you need stability during travel or in the field. They are usually made from materials such as aluminum and come in a variety of colors, sizes, styles, and head types. If you are shopping for a camera monopod with a ball head mounting system, consider some of the functions and key features of this product before making your selection.

What is a ball head monopod?

A monopod is a one-legged apparatus you can use to mount your camera and keep it steady during photography or filming, whether you are recording a time-lapsed video of a sunset or taking pictures at a sports event. Monopods are usually constructed from interlocking pieces of aluminum. You may be able to adjust the height on some models using these interlocking tubes. The bottom of the monopod has small feet to help it stand on its own, while the top has a mounting system that can accept your camera.

What are some ways you can use a monopod?

Whether you practice still photography or record film, monopods open up a range of possibilities when you are working in the field.

  • Steadier angles: With a monopod, you can hold your camera at a steadier angle than you would otherwise be able to do on your own. This means you may be able to take sharp pictures at slower speeds or with longer lenses.
  • Lightweight: Some monopods can be relatively lightweight, making them a portable option for taking photos and video on the go.
  • Adaptability: You may be able to use a monopod in conjunction with your surroundings to form a bipod that eliminates unwanted horizontal motion.
  • Selfies: Depending on the size of your model, you may be able to rest the base of the monopod on your hip to take selfie shots.
What are some features of monopods?

The types of features on your monopod can vary depending on the specific model you choose. However, some common features you may find during your search include things such as:

  • Pods with ball head mounts: These usually offer 360 degrees of rotation.
  • Automatic or flip locks: These will keep the pod in place once you have set it up.
  • Adjustable dials: These will adjust the angle of the pod's leg and your shot.
  • Rubber feet: This feature can help the pod maintain its grip on uneven terrain.
  • Quick release latch: This can help you fold the pod and carry it easily when you are traveling.
How do you set up a monopod?

There is more than one way to set up your pod, and specific instructions may vary according to the model or manufacturer you choose. The steps below describe one way to set up your pod:

  • Step 1: Steady the pod against your leg to add to its stability if necessary.
  • Step 2: Grab the shaft with your off hand near the camera mount.
  • Step 3: Use your main hand to operate the camera.
  • Step 4: Push the pod into the ground to stabilize it.
  • Step 4: Mount your photography equipment on the head attachment when your pod is at an angle.