If you’re into sports and wildlife photography, or want something lighter than a tripod yet still stable enough to help you get clear shots, you should get a monopod.
Our most recommended is the Sirui P-326 monopod. It’s lightweight yet can support up to 22lbs weight, making it ideal for heavy telephoto lens use.
The biggest difference is that a monopod has only one leg, and can not stand on its own.
Monopod vs Tripod
- Monopod has only one leg
- Monopod is easier and quicker to set up
- Monopod is lighter, smaller, more compact
This makes them much more suitable for wildlife, sports and photographing fast moving subjects.
However, because of their compact size and light weight, they’re also a great accessory for any landscape and travel photographer, as it’s the quickest way of getting sharp shots without carrying a big tripod.
Here are a few situations where a monopod is excellent:
- Using big, heavy telephoto is quite a challenge. By using a monopod, you can shoot for much longer as you won’t get nearly as tired
- Because you’re more stable, you can shoot with slow shutter speeds without getting blur
- Outdoor macro photography requires fast shutter speeds, and you can’t always carry a big tripod
- If you hike or travel a lot and often get blurred shots, a monopod would help a lot without adding much weight
There’s a reason why you see most sports shooters use a monopod. Taking pictures with something like the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM for hours is super exhausting. Hand held, not only would you get tired after a few minutes, you also wouldn’t be stable enough and would have to raise the ISO to get acceptable shutter speeds due to your movement. Here are a few ways of holding the monopod to get the most out of it.
Best Monopods for Cameras 2018
1. Sirui P-326 Monopod
The Sirui P-326 is simply amazing for the money. It weighs a mere 0.9 pounds, yet is capable of supporting up to 22lbs weight. It’s always safe to assume every monopod and tripod supports a little bit less than the advertisted load, but even with an extremely heavy camera and lens, it’s rare to reach over 12 pounds.
When retracted, it stands at 15 inches so you can easily fit it in your bag. Extended, it goes up to 61 inches which should be plenty for almost everyone. It’s got 6 leg locks and the whole monopod feels very solid and really good for the price.
2. Dolica WT-1003 Monopod
If you have a smaller camera setup that weighs less, the Dolica WT-1003 would be a much better choice.
It’s much cheaper and can support up to 6.7lbs. Whether you use a point and shoot, a mirrorless camera or a smaller DSLR, it’ll be good, just don’t mount any heavy telephoto lenses on it.
It’s made of aluminium, weighs 0.8lbs and can extend to 67 inches. Minimum heigh is a bit smaller than both other monopods we recommend; 21.3 inches.
3. Gitzo GM5561T Monopod
The Gitzo GM5561T is an absolute beast of a monopod. It supports up to 55 lbs so if you’re looking for the safest monopod to use with an extremely heavy, big telephoto lens, it’s got the best price/performance.
What’s surprising is that the minimum height is 16.34″, less than the Dolica above. Maximum heigh is 61″ and it only weighs 1.65lbs. This Gitzo monopod, along with most of their other products, is extremely stable and feels excellent. Made out of carbon fiber, it’s lighter and more solid than aluminium monopods.
This is a monopod you get if you mostly shoot wildlife and sports with big lenses. The Sirui above will be more than enough for most camera setups, so only get the Gitzo if you absolutely need the maximum load.