A monopod is a single-legged camera support — basically a tripod with only one leg. Obviously a monopod is not as stable as a tripod and it would not be the best choice for most situations. However monopods do have some advantages:
- Lighter and easier to carry than tripods.
- Can be set up much faster than a tripod.
- Can be set up in places which are difficult or impossible for a tripod (e.g. rough terrain or in the middle of a crowd).
- Gives you some added flexibility for different types of camera movement.
You can make a monopod from an old tripod, in fact this can be a good way to get more life out of a tripod which has a broken leg. You can also use a tripod as a monopod simply by only extending one leg (it's not quite the same but close enough).
How to Use a Monopod
The key to using a monopod is to use your own two legs together with the monopod to create a tripod. Rather than trying to hold the monopod perfectly vertical, place your legs slightly apart and lean the monopod towards you. Adjust the monopod head to give you the correct angle.
A bipod is a two-legged camera support — a compromise between a monopod and a tripod. Bipods are not commonly used in video production and commercial models are rare. You can create a bipod effect with a tripod by only extending two legs.
That's the end of this tripod tutorial. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in our video production forum.