For sharp photos and video, choosing the right option for steadying your camera is essential
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A monopod delivers fast and easy support when you can't make room for a tripod. Besides weighing less, these one-legged units allow you more freedom to move the camera around when tracking scenes with a lot of action. Just remember that because you have to hold it, vibrations are possible.
Making both aluminum and carbon-fiber models available, Monostat of Switzerland offers a collection of monopods that are known for their Swivel Toe Stabilizer foot, which enables steady shots at angles up to 60º. Models in the lineup offer up to five sections of extension, and Anti Rotation Tubing allows for easy opening and closing in any position. The Monostat RS16SK ART monopod extends from 16.9 inches to 56.3 inches, weighs 1.4 pounds and can support 33 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $184.
If leaving the tripod behind has become habit because it's too large or heavy, consider using a mini-version. They're light, fast to set up and convenient to maneuver. Make sure the one you choose can support your camera system.
Weighing just 5.1 ounces and supporting a hefty 100 pounds, the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Pocket Pod is an ideal travel companion whether you're flying, hiking or hitting the road. It's 6 inches tall with the legs folded underneath, and durable rubber feet enhance the tripod's grip on challenging surfaces. Keeping the legs together basically turns the Pocket Pod into a mini-monopod. It's made out of anodized aluminum and stainless-steel parts. Estimated Street Price: $98.
For some photographers, a rifle-like shoulder support system such as the BushHawk 320D is comfortable and easy to use. The device is particularly useful when shooting with longer telephoto lenses. You can use the BushHawk 320D either left-handed or right-handed. The included shutter-release cord triggers the camera so you can hold the system comfortably in both hands through the double-handed grip. It's available in Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony mounts. List Price: $299 (Deluxe Kit); $399 (Professional Kit with quick-release system).
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