Choosing the Right Tripod For the Job

When it comes to selecting a good tripod it can be a little confusing. All tripods are not the same and selecting one may come down to what you need to shoot. In this post, I want to go over some of the most common types of tripods. I own all these types of tripods and use them regularly. When I use them depends on the shoot, the camera, the lens I use, and most importantly the types of images I want to capture. Let's look at the most popular types of tripods that you may want to consider for your photo shoots.

Ball Head

The ball head tripod is a very popular tripod for many photographers. It is my go-to tripod because the flexibility it provides me during a photo shoot. Have a rotating ball allows me to place my camera in wide-variety of positions. However, the ball head does have it issues when it comes to using a large and heavy camera with a heavy lens. Since the tripod requires a locking screw to secure the ball head, there may be an issue with the screw not being able to lock the ball head in place. In turn, that may cause the camera to move and affect the stability of the camera. In most cases, the ball head tripod works great if your camera and lens are not too heavy.


Fluid Head

When it comes to shooting video you cannot go wrong with fluid head tripods. The fluid head allows a photographer to simply drag the head. It allows more control by providing a degree of friction when you have to pan and tilt. The result is a much smoother shot when shooting video. I know when I shoot any video I like to use the fluid head tripod. No one likes video that is choppy and shaky. If you are going to shoot video I highly recommend getting yourself a fluid head.


Pan and Tilt Head

The pan and tilt heads is a unique design. It has two axes that work independently. If you need to pan and tilt you can simply twist and lock your camera into the position you need. The pan and tilt head does have an advantage of the ball head tripod. It makes applying a minor adjustment for your camera must easier. However, the pan and tilt heads design are larger than the ball head and can take up more space. I really enjoy the flexibility of the pan and tilt head.


Gimbal Head

I am a big fan of the gimbal head. I use mine when I shot video and I looking for smooth shots. The gimbal head is great because it allows the camera to be perfectly balanced. The camera's weight is completely balanced which allow me to move the camera horizontally and vertically. There are all types of gimbal devices to choose from. I have a gimbal head for my iPhone and it makes shooting video smooth and effortless. Gimbal heads are nice and great for shooting video, but be prepared for the price. Most are pretty pricey.


Pistol Grip Head

I have to admit when I first saw a pistol grip head I was a little confused. I was confident I would never have a need for it. I was wrong. I love the pistol grip head tripod. I like the tripod because of its size, weight, and how quickly I can position it. It is very easy to use and convenient. All I have to do is just throw it into my bag and I am set. I never thought I would use the pistol head tripod and I probably wouldn't if it wasn't free. I am glad I tried the pistol grip. It has come in handy for me on my simple photo shoots.



A monopod is not used by too many photographers. However, there are some advantages to owning a monopod. First the monopod does not require a lot of setup. Secondly, it's easier to carry when you walking around in a crowd or taking it along on a hiking trip. In many cases, a monopod can be seen at a sporting event, like a football game. Other sports photographers use monopods. I like the use the monopod to stabilized video shots that require me to move my camera from side-to-side and forward and backward. You can get some uniques shots and video footage when using the monopod. Plus, monopods make great walking sticks.


In this post, I covered six types of tripods. Each tripod is unique and can be very helpful when shooting images or video. I really enjoy m gimbal devices. They have helped me in becoming a better photographer and videographer. Yes, using a tripod can be a little cumbersome, but the pros do outweigh the con of using them.

Until next time!