Have trouble holding your small DV camera steady when you shoot?
You could use a tripod, of course, but sometimes a monopod is a less cumbersome solution.
Monopods can be used in several ways. Fully extending the monopod and placing its tip on the ground works well in some situations, but there are other ways that may work even better. In addition to an inexpensive monopod, you'll need a Manfrotto tilt head, part number 3229, which you should be able to locate easily in a professional camera supply house (in Seattle, Glazer's for example.)
The Manfroto tilt head allows for the camera to be tilted through an almost 180 degree arc, and will accommodate a standard quick release as well, so that the camera can be tilted up and down, and detached from the monopod quickly when desirable.
There are many ways to make use of a monopod. With the camera attached, place the tip of the monopod in the side pocket of your trousers, for example, and adjust the length until the viewfinder of the camera is comfortably positioned. You now have a surprisingly stable "platform" for your camera, one which allows you to roam freely as you shoot.
Some videographers use a slightly different arrangement, placing the butt of the monopod into a cloth pouch, similar to that used by standard bearers in a flag ceremony, suspended from the front of their belt. I prefer the pocket, but chacun à son goût.
|Yet another method involves the use of a shoulder brace in conjunction with the monopod. Here the shoulder brace -- a Videosmith "Mighty-Wondercam," no longer available, but any similar shoulder brace will work -- is connected to the swivel head of the monopod, creating a sturdy brace for situations in which extended shooting with small digital cameras is required.|
|Sometimes folding the monopod and shoulder mount flat, to form an underarm extension, provides a steady platform from which to shoot, especially in "run and gun" situations where it's necessary to follow a moving subject.
It will take some practice to become proficient with a rig such as this, but the reward of steady shots without the encumbrancer of a tripod is well worth the effort.
Finally, Manfrotto makes an excellent monopod that comes equipped with three "feet," providing the convenience of a monopod with some of the stability of a tripod. Although this is often referred to as a "self standing" device, never trust your camera to it by leaving it unattended on top of the monopod.
You might also consider the Manfrotto squeeze grip monopod, which allows for height adjustment by merely squeezing the handle.
Last update 8/3/16