Tripods can often be too bulky to carry around, so we test
out the top five alternatives for keeping your camera steady
Price: From $19
The pod is a very simple alternative to a tripod, acting as
a cushion on which to rest your camera. The pod range is available in a variety
of different sizes, designed to suit every style of camera from compacts to
They are basic beanbags with built-in tripod-mounting
screws, allowing you to secure them to the bottom of any camera. When you place
the pod down on an uneven surface, it will disperse, making an even and stable
place for you to rest your kit.
The design of the pod lets you carry it anywhere, or even
leave it attached to your camera. This ease of use makes the pod a great
alternative to carrying a large, heavy tripod with you when you’re out shooting
for the day.
Manfrotto pocket series
Price: From $28
The manfrotto pocket series is an extremely compact
alternative to carrying a tripod. There are two different sizes available,
aimed at both smaller compact cameras and large interchangeable-lens cameras.
They essentially act as a small set of legs on which to stand your camera,
being attached through the tripod mount.
A huge benefit of the pocket series is that the extending
legs can be folded up to make it almost flat, meaning you can simply leave it
attached to your camera at all time. However, those with larger cameras such as
DSLRs, or even CSCs with longer lenses, may find that the pocket won’t firmly
hold your camera still.
The tiltpod is the smallest and simplest of the tripod
alternatives on test, being a truly tiny solution to keeping your camera steady
on any surface.
It is designed as two different part: the first is a metal
bolt that attaches to your camera, either with a sticky pad or using the tripod
mount, and the second is a small stand with a rubberised grip. The metal bolt
then simply attaches to the magnetized socket in the stand.
This simple, super-portable solution will hold any compact
or cameraphone perfectly still. The added capability of being able to tilt your
camera on an axis means that you can capture the action from whatever angle you
need to, wherever you might be.
Price: From $20
Gorillapod are available in a huge selection of sizes,
making them the perfect tripod alternative of any camera.
They are tough and fully adjustable, meaning they can be
bent, shaped and moulded to suit any situation. Adjusting the legs can keep
your camera steady on absolutely any surface, using the rubberised feet to
ensure your camera is held safely in place. The legs can be bent railings to
hold your camera in almost any position imaginable.
On top of all this, the Gorillapod is also small,
lightweight and easy to carry around, which, when combined with its
versatility, makes it the perfect companion for any photographer.
Price: From $55
Monopods are a very common alternative to traditional
tripods. They follow the same principles in design and functionality, but use
one leg rather than three. This offers the benefit of improved portability, but
at the cost of reduced stability when out shooting.
Monopods are very portable, and can often be strapped to the
outside of a camera bag. When compared to the other alternatives though, they
aren’t ideal for carrying with you at all times.
However, this larger size does have its advantages. Monopods
can generally reach the same heights as tripods, meaning you can have the camera
right up at eye level while keeping it stable.