Are you reluctant to carry a tripod when you travel for photography? Do you want to reduce the burden of carrying a heavy tripod when you are going for a shoot? Let us check out the tripod alternatives.
March 2021 Update: The alternatives remains the same for 2021 also.
Monopod can’t be an exact replacement for a tripod. But there are many places where monopods are more useful than a tripod.
Wildlife photographers, Sports photographers, Event photographers and Journalist can make use of Monopods.
You can reduce the weight by almost one fourth if you carry a monopod. It doesn’t cost you much also. You can choose a Carbon fiber one with 4 section or 3 section. I recommend a 4 section one since it is compact and easy to carry.
If you are a Wildlife photographer or a Bird photographer then you should definitely consider beanbag as a tripod alternative. It is very useful when you go on a wildlife safari.
Nowadays, there are additional hook up plate accessories coming with beanbags. This will allow you to mount your gimbal head on top of it.
If you are lying down and photographing birds or wildlife then beanbag is a better choice than a tripod.
You can easily move around with a beanbag. It would be a pain to set up the tripod in such a lower angle. Only certain high end tripods support such lower angles.
Another good alternative for a tripod. Platypod serves the same purpose as a beanbag. It is easy to change the angle of shooting using a Platypod. This is very useful for shooting videos. You can mount your normal tripod head on top of the Platypop and use it.
If you want to put your camera set up at a height then you need to place the Platypod on top of a wall or on any raised level surface. They have got different models which are capable of mounting, high end DSLRs with a heavy lens, lightweight DSLRs and even mirrorless cameras. You can choose one accordingly.
This is the best tripod alternative. It serves the purpose of a tripod. It can be fitted in places where tripods can’t go. Joby Gorillapod is one of the well known Gorillapod brands.
Legs of the Gorillapod are very flexible. You can fix it on a rod or a branch by folding legs around the rod. The only disadvantage is that you can’t use a Gorillapod for high end cameras with heavy telephoto lenses.
5. Pocket Tripods
There are many pocket tripods on the market. They are also referred to as tabletop tripods. You can easily carry it in your pocket.
You can use it to attach camera and lenses set up which weighs up to 2kg. The payload capacity varies with models.
6. Use your Hands
You can shoot handheld if your hands are stable. It is not recommended to take handheld shots with heavy telephoto lenses. It can be tiring and can cause back pain and other health issues later.
There are clamps available in the market in which we can fix the tripod head or camera on one end. Other end is used for clamping on poles or windows or rods.
8. Suction Mounts
Suction mounts are similar to clamps. The only difference is that instead of clamping feature it has a suction cup on one end. This works on the vacuum principle.
So you need a clean flat surface to fix this mount and there would be a lock to tighten. It cannot handle heavy lenses.
9. Shoulder Rigs
These are costly options, mainly used by videographers. You can mount the camera on the shoulder rig and the extended bars on the rig are placed on the shoulders for balancing and support.
This is useful in places where you can’t keep a tripod. It gives you more mobility too.
10. Use your Environment
This is the easiest and cost-effective alternative. You can place your camera on top of any surface in the location and trigger using timer function or remote cable release.
Here, you will not have the flexibility to position the camera since you may not be able to move the thing on which you have kept the camera.
11. Bottle Water Technique
You can make use of this technique if you are carrying a Water bottle in the field. You can make use of the top part to keep your small camera like GoPro. Make sure that the bottle contains water. It is required for stability. You can even stick one of the GoPro mount using a double-sided tape to the bottle.
So, these are the various tripod alternatives. You can choose any of this if you are looking for one.