In the battle between choosing to record using a tripod or a monopod there is one simple common denominator - they both offer steady support for your camera, but which is best?
The answer is both - but they each meet different needs for different uses and circumstances. The tripod is an ancient structure (three legs) which does a great job of supporting your valuable rig, is unlikely to be knocked over (it can be further secured using a central weight such as a kit bag), is very portable and easy to set up, offers excellent support for creating camera pans and tilts and is pretty reliable ....depending on the quality of the design and build. It's also brilliant for heavy rigs and can support other equipment such as a mini-crane or slider.
Image Credit - Benjamin Albert Huseman
The monopod is lightweight, highly portable and is fast and simple to deploy. It's the perfect support for operators who are frequently on the move or who work in tight spots or public spaces, as it uses so little space and doesn't constitute a trip hazard! (The feet provide the necessary support, though I would not leave my rig unattended as it is after-all one leg on three mini legs!). Monopods also allow for more creative shots as some have a tension controlled ball joint at the base which allows for further camera movement.
Some monopods have a removable base providing you with a minipod or high-hat which opens up even more possibilities such as desktop recording, vlogging and the ability to safely and securely support a heavier rig. Monopods can also be used as mic boom poles and lighting stands, making them very versatile indeed!
In my kitbag you'll find a tripod and a monopod, as I like to choose the right camera support for the job. So in my eyes they both have their special place depending upon what I am doing, where I am, how much time I have, the rig I'm using and the type of movement that I am looking for at that time.
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