Stabilizers For Digital Photography
A Guide To Stabilizing Systems For Digital Photography
By Damien Andrews
Stabilizing your digital camera properly will make an immediate improvement in the crispness and quality of your digital photography. In fact, a perfectly stable camera is essential in several types of digital photography such as double exposure photographs, low light photographs, high magnification telephoto photographs and extreme close-up photographs.
The most commonly used stabilizer for digital photography is a tripod. Tripods are great, but not always well suited to the shooting conditions. Monopods are quickly becoming more popular for digital photography. These units are lighter than tripods and require less setup space, but they also require more attention to shooting technique. Besides these two old standbys, there are some new stabilizers for digital photography. Let's take a look at some of all of them, and discuss what features will and won't be necessary for digital photography.
Considerations for tripods for digital photography: 1) You do not need to spend the extra money for a fluid head tripod for digital photography. If you intend to use your tripod for video camera stabilizing also, then a fluid head might be worth the extra expense. 2) As a rule, the heavier a tripod is, the more stable it will be. 3) A heavy tripod is harder to carry, harder to setup and usually will not breakdown as small as a lightweight tripod. 4) For general digital photography, a tripod that is quick to setup and breakdown, lightweight, sturdy and has ample sized control handles.
The Manfrotto Bogen 055XDB, 128RC Tripod and Head Kit. This unit costs around $200. Features: fluid head; 76" extension; alternate heads; 8.9 pounds. This is a top-of-the-line tripod for digital photography or digital video.
The Manfrotto Bogen Digi Black Table Top Tripod With Ball Head 709B. This unit costs around $40. Features: This tripod is for use on a surface such as a table or car roof; it's 4.33" tall; 7.87" long when collapsed; rotates 360°; lateral tilt of -90° — +90°. This pocket-sized tripod is great for many digital photography shooting scenarios.
The Canon Monopod 100. This unit costs around $40. Features: Weighs 1 pound; extends to 63"; collapses to 20½"; a wrist strap; quick release lever style legs. Achieving tripod-like results from a monopod will require a bit of practice. Still, the monopod is a very handy tool to have in your digital photography kit.
The Benro MC-96EX Carbon Fiber Monopod. This unit costs around $140. Features: 62.8" extended length; 20" collapsed length; 1.23 pounds; titanium fittings; lever style quick release legs; wrist strap and foam grip. This high end monopod is capable of supporting up to 44 pounds, thus making it a great choice for large lens (like 500mm telephotos and larger) digital photography.
The Cullmann 2702 Chestpod Magic Camera Support. This unit costs around $75. Features: A lightweight, wearable support usually used by videographers, but also popular for certain digital photography scenarios. Put the Chestpod on, attach the camera and freely move around – with the camera always at the ready. Frequently used for digital photography at weddings, parties, sports events and in the wilds when pursuing wildlife photos.
The Joby Gorillamobile Mobile Device Stand. This unit costs around $30. Features: made of ABS plastic; has multiple joints to configure to any angle; weighs 1.6 ounces; less than 6" long; this unit is designed ONLY for lightweight digital cameras, cell phone cameras, etc. If your digital photography is done with one of the new, lightweight digital cameras, this is a very handy unit to have in your digital photography kit. It will setup and grab hold of almost any surface, level or not.
Be sure to shop around on the internet to get the best prices possible on the digital photography stabilizers listed above. Prices can vary significantly. Simply clipboard the name of the digital photography stabilizer you are interested in (the full, correct names are all in bold type) and then search on the item. Sometimes you can also find these items used and in "like new" condition at a noteworthy savings. Frugal shopping for your digital photography accessories means more gadgets and gizmos to help improve your digital photography.
Pro Tip: If you want your digital camera to remain absolutely motionless while taking photographs, look into purchasing a remote shutter control device. They are available for many cameras. Also, if you are using some types of SLR cameras, you can select a setting which locks the mirror in place, so that even it does not move during the exposure. Finally, as a last resort, use the timer on your digital camera to snap a shot when you want the camera to hold perfectly still.