Monopods aren’t always talked about when it comes to gear and I never thought too much of them. I figured a handheld rig and a tripod was all I needed. As I heard more people talk about them and saw versions with a fluid head on them, which gives the shooter even more options, I began to think that this could be a powerful took onset. After using one for the first time, it quickly became my favorite piece of gear to shoot with.
For those that don’t know what a monopod is let me explain.
What is a MonoPod?
It is a single pole that extends and compresses with either flip or twist locks. Simple enough right? Video monopods have 3 small folding feet (see photo below) and tripod head on top while a basic monopod will have a single rubber foot and 1/4” male screw on top to mount a camera.
For video, the basic monopod is too limiting and won’t achieve dynamic shots, but it will offer you more stability than handheld while being much smaller than a tripod. Not to mention how much energy you save from either having a camera on your shoulder all day or lugging around a tripod. Here are a few key differences between a monopod and tripod:
- Monopod is lighter and quicker to setup
- Monopod takes up less room
- Tripod can be let go
- Tripod can handle heavier cameras and rigs
Like everything there are pros and cons but for getting broll quickly, with a small footprint, the monopod is the way to go. For interviews and locked off shots, the tripod should be the tool used.
Video Monopod Features:
There are a few options for a video monopod and my favorite is from a company called Benro. For the gear heads, the specific model is the A485 with S4 Head. They make a quality piece of equipment while also keeping costs low.
Below are the features that make this a great video monopod:
- Fluid tripod head (both pan and tilt)
- 3 Leg Folding base with tension control
- Built in bubble level
- Flip leg locks
- 69.9” maximum height
- 27.2” folded lenght
- 8.8 lb load capacity
- Carry case with strap
I can talk all I want about features and specs but what really matters is the shots that this tool allows you to get in a timely manner. Here’s a quick demo with shots that I was able to get with the Benro Monopod.
As you can see there is a wide variation of shots that can be done with a video monopod. I feel that any shoot with broll can benefit from this tool. Just remember that there are tools out there for certain shots. If you are looking to get controlled, smooth and dynamic shots without much of a setup time, then the monopod is for you. Be sure to check out our other posts on more camera tools such as:
Let us know if you have any questions on monopods and how it can be used on your next video project.