Shiny New Tripods – Choosing the right one for your photography needs

Many people spend so much time researching their options for cameras, lenses and other equipment that they completely forget about a tripod. A tripod is much more than just a three-legged piece of metal; it is an extremely important and useful piece of equipment for any kind of photographer. Here is an introductory guide to choosing the right tripod for your needs.

Consider your own height – If you’ll be standing up when taking your shots, constantly stooping to use your tripod will be uncomfortable, so try to find one that rises all the way to your eye level.

Consider the size and weight of your camera and lenses – All tripods have a weight limit that they can support, so always remember to check the load capacity compared to your camera equipment. If you only have a compact digital camera, your tripod won’t need to be able to support much weight at all. If you are thinking about upgrading to a heavier camera with advanced lenses in the future, you may want to take this into consideration when you make your tripod purchase.

Think about the kinds of photography you want to do – If you want your camera to be close to the ground for shooting small objects or macro shots, consider a reversible tripod which lets you hang your camera from in between the tripod legs. Or, if you want your tripod to go travelling with you, you’ll need something compact and lightweight which can fold to fit in your suitcase or backpack. Meanwhile, if you’re using your camera primarily for studio shooting or home use, you may need to consider something larger and sturdier, but less portable.

Think about your budget – Like cameras and lenses, tripod prices vary hugely depending on the kind you’re after. Be wary of very cheap models, as they are less durable, and the joints often tend to become loose over time. Materials greatly affect the price of a tripod. Carbon fibre or magnesium alloys are the lightest materials and offer the greatest weight to stability ratio, but are much more expensive.

Video or photos? Tripods come with different head attachments. Pan/tilt heads are ideal for shooting video, because they provide the ability to lock each axis (tilt, pan, and roll) separately. A ball head is better for still shooting.

Don’t take the term “shiny new tripod” too literally – anything made out of highly reflective metal may create reflections when shooting reflective objects and windows.

Balancing all of these options can be tricky, but the most important thing of all is that your tripod is sturdy and made of durable material – the last thing you want is to end up with is your precious digital SLR camera falling off an unstable tripod…

This article is brought to you by Canon Australia – Shiny New Tripods. For more great Canon products, including EOS cameras, visit their website.

Mars Cureg

Web designer by profession, photography hobbyist, T-shirt lover, design blog founder, gamer. Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anyone who doesn't have a keyboard. Willing to walk to get to the promised land. Photo and video freelancer, SEO. Check out more on my Google+

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  • nice read thanks. i need a new tripod asap actually cause ive lost the head of my old one and now im stuck with a really shitty one =S

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