Ever take an image in a hurry, only to be disappointed later because it isn’t what you expected. It’s not crisp, and there is no way you can blow it up to the large image you originally had in you mind.
It’s time to invest in a tripod.
When you think about tripods, do you think bulky equipment that makes it nearly impossible to take pictures quickly? By the time you set it up, level it out, connect your camera, get it into the right position, the image is long gone.
Well with today’s equipment, it doesn’t have to be tedious.
Tripods in general come in three separate types: heavy duty, compact, and mini. Depending on the type of photography you do, you may have a need for all three at different times.
Tripods come in many sizes and weights, with many different features, and ready to support different weight levels.
Tripods are made out of many different types of materials, and can at times be very heavy, especially if you are walking long distances to your subject. How do you most often shoot? Choose a weight level that matches how you shoot. Also look at the type of equipment you’ll be placing on the tripod. Tripods are built to support different weight levels. The last thing you want is your camera falling or tipping because the tripod can’t support it.
Depending on the type of photography you do, you’ll also want the ability to reach different height levels. Some come with a telescoping center column to add even more height, yet keep it compact and easy to transport.
Legs will come with different section levels. Two and three is pretty typical, but I have seen them with up to five sections. The more sections, the more compact, and in most cases provide with more stability with its sturdy construction. Two sections is easier to handle, and can come in handy for quick shoots. With both types of tripods, you’ll also want to consider leg locks. Different manufacturers build different types of locking mechanisms. We personally have always preferred the flip locking systems
Keep in mind that you can buy tripods either with or without a head, so make sure you know what you are getting before you buy.
Tripods typically come with two types of heads:
Pan and tilt – these provide a ton of stability because you can move the camera up & down, side to side, and lock it in place when you find the shot you are looking for. They are a bit tougher to move and get into the exact place you are looking for, but is often a great choice if you are looking for stability.
Ball and pistol grip – our choice for weddings. The pistol grip makes it easy to find your shot quickly. And with the ball and socket head, you have the freedom to move your camera in any direction.
And when the situation calls for something else, you may want to invest in some of the tabletop or mini tripods for being able to shoot anything, anywhere.
Give Gary Fong’s point-and-shoot tripod a try for quick group shots.
Or try out the Gorillapod flexible tripod for pro cameras.