Whenever you’re new to photography, whether you are using an old film camera or a modern digital SLR (a.k.a. “DSLR”), for a time, you could be content just to roam about with camera in hand. Many modern DSLR camera lenses have constructed-in optical image stabilization, which helps counteract the movement chances are you’ll inadvertently introduce, despite making an attempt your greatest to keep your movements under management while taking your photos.

For some situations, you can typically get away without utilizing a tripod and, the truth is, having your camera mounted on a tripod can inhibit how creatively you use the camera to create your photographic masterpieces.

Nevertheless, there are situations when a tripod is invaluable. I’ll cover some typical example situations, after which focus on your options when it comes to purchasing a tripod – whether or not it be a more traditional aluminium or carbon fiber tripod, or one of the alternative tripods, resembling a Gorilla Pod, an Ultra Pod II, or a camera beanbag.

Why You May Want To Buy A Tripod

For every situation the place a tripod is needed, it is required with a purpose to keep away from introducing unwanted vibration into your camera, particularly throughout lengthy publicity images, the place the camera’s shutter will likely be open for a second or more, during which time any vibration can be picked up and, most likely, be represented as blurring of your topic(s) in your remaining image. Landscape pictures is one such sub niche that always benefits from having a very good quality tripod.

Another area of pictures where you want a tripod is if you happen to’re exploring light painting – this time, not only are you going to be using longer exposure times, you are also going to want to rest your camera on a stable platform, while you either stand off to at least one side with a flashlight, or go into the frame, painting light into your scene. As soon as once more, a tripod is your good friend for this task.

Anytime it is advisable to keep your camera at a specific angle – whether it be completely horizontal (corresponding to for panorama photos) or vertical (reminiscent of for portrait images of people) or some other angle in between – a tripod is one of the best instrument for the job. Being human, there’s only so long you may hold your camera in a totally still position, before you start to fatigue… and that is if you’ll wish you’d had a tripod to take the strain. Providing you have got a stable tripod that may comfortably hold the weight of your DSLR camera (and possibly and external flash on top), then it will keep your equipment on the angle you need it, for as long as you need it.

It is good to have a tripod when doing product photography – many occasions, I’ll take the photos without utilizing a tripod. However, it can quickly develop into a chore to hold a bulky DSLR, and that is once I’m glad I’ve bought the option to stick the camera on the tripod, so I can just deal with arranging the products to get the best shot.

Types Of Camera Tripod

Okay, so now that you simply’re hopefully coming around to the benefits of getting a tripod, the subsequent challenge is which type of tripod to get?

Nowadays, the way I see it, there are really two types of tripod:

Traditional Tripods
Various Tripods
Tripod Type 1. Traditional Tripods

These have three legs (hence the term “tri”pod) stacked in sections that collapse down on top of each other, to keep the tripods compact when storing them or when travelling with them. When you are utilizing these tripods, the legs might be eased out to a required size after which locked in place, for the precise height you need. Locking the legs is either performed by way of a spin-lock system (the place you rotate rings to lock the legs so your tripod won’t collapse unceremoniously to the floor), while others have quick-launch locks (with flaps that can be flicked open or securely closed).

One of the key decisions you’ll need to make is whether or not to get an aluminium tripod, or one constructed from carbon fiber. Aluminium tripods will likely be cheaper to buy than carbon fiber variations, however the carbon fiber tripods will weigh less, making them the higher option for many who like to go trekking with their camera gear and wish to take a tripod alongside as well.

Just bear in mind, because carbon fiber tripods are so lightweight, you’re likely to wish something to weigh it down, in order that the wind won’t introduce unwanted vibrations – good carbon fiber tripods, such because the 3LT “Brian”, which I own, have a hook underneath the central column, onto which you’ll be able to sling your camera bag, for added ballast.

Tripod Type 2. Alternative Tripods

There are three totally different types of alternative tripod which will curiosity you; they have their pros and cons, compared with a traditional tripod, and I’ve one in every of each.

The first offering is the Gorilla Pod. The benefit of this fashion of tripod, over a more traditional tripod, is that, as a result of distinctive development of the legs, the Gorilla Pod is healthier suited to putting on all kinds of awkward and uneven surfaces – corresponding to, rocks, grassy hillsides, etc. You can even wrap the three legs around tree branches, posts, railings and the like, to position your Gorilla Pod at all sorts of different heights… providing there are suitable objects available to do this. That is one of the advantages of an ordinary tripod: you’ll generally have enough height variations (by increasing or contracting the legs), to set up your camera at a reasonably first rate height. One thing you ought to be aware of are the subtle variations of Gorilla Pods, as one type will only fit the mounting bracket of bigger DSLR cameras. I’ve both a Panasonic FZ1000 (bridge camera) and a Panasonic GH4 (DSLR, however a micro 4 thirds camera, so smaller than bigger, full frame DSLR, comparable to Canon’s 1DX) and neither of them will fit on the unique Gorilla Pod. I had to buy a Gorilla Pod Zoom, which fit both cameras.

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