Tripod Alternatives

7/26/2012 3:32:53 PM

Tripods can often be too bulky to carry around, so we test out the top five alternatives for keeping your camera steady

The pod

Price: From $19

Socre: 4/5

Description: The pod

The pod

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 professional DSLRs.

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

Score: 4/5

Description: Manfrotto pocket series

Manfrotto pocket series

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.


Price: $15

Score: 4/5

Description: Tiltpod


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

Score: 5/5

Description: Gorillapod


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.

Giottos monopod

Price: From $55

Score: 4/5

Description: Giottos monopod

Giottos monopod

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.

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