Whether you’re travelling light or shooting on rough terrain, a tripod isn’t always the most practical support. Try one of these triopd alternatives to keep your shots sharp.
1. Manfrotto Large Pocket Tripod
First up, a tripod but not as you know it from Manfrotto that’s perfect for photographers who need a simple but secure support to balance on a flat surface. The Manfrotto MP3-D01 pocket series can support a payload of up to 1.5 kg and is perfect for whipping out at a moment’s notice. Its three little legs have non-slip rubber feet and can be folded away to make it perfectly portable. There’s even a little independent adjustment possible between the legs, meaning you can set up on uneven surfaces.
A unique support device, the Steadepod resembles a small tape measure. You attach one end to your camera via the tripod bush, then pull the retractable steel cable to the ground and hold it in place with your foot. From there, the tension in the cable gives you your support. You’re of course not going to get three-hour time-lapses, but for a quick, on-the-move support it’s very effective.
3. Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and Ballhead
The classic grippy support, the Joby GorillaPod boasts flexible legs that can be manipulated to cling onto tree branches, light fittings, lamp posts, and whatever else you encounter on your travels. Able to support up to 3kg of weight, its rubberised ring and foot grips enable the GorillaPod to cope well with tricky terrain, while the included ballhead adds both security and versatility.
4. The Pod bean bag
Serving as a camera platform for DSLRs with long zoom lenses attached, The Pod is an idea of impressive simplicity and effectiveness – it’s a bean bag with a screw mount attached for keeping your camera in place. It also includes an adjustable strap that you can place around your camera’s lens to keep things even more secure, and like all bean bags it’s easy to transport and perfect for travel. Its water-resistant shell means it’s useful whatever the weather.
5. Fat Gecko Triple Mount
Suitable for payloads of up to 5.4kg, the Fat Gecko Triple Mount from Delkin is a heavy-duty support that can be useful in a multitude of situations. Its three suction cups can attach to the contours of any smooth non-porous surface, whereupon the mount locks into place and can then be positioned to exactly the right angle with the six adjustable points. The Fat Gecko can also suppress vibration with its rubber washer and tightening knob, ensuring your shots come out pin-sharp.
7. Gitzo monopod
Finally, no list of tripod alternatives would be complete without the humble monopod. Light, compact and eminently useful, monopods are a great way to get a no-fiddle, no-fuss support while you’re out on the move – there’s a reason they’re so beloved of sports and action photographers. You can’t go wrong with something from Gitzo.
The Monsterpod may at first glance look like it belongs in science fiction. The folks at PhotoJoJo claim it can stick to over 1,000 surfaces, even upside-down, and peel right off when you’re done. Its pivoting mount can tilt and rotate to any angle, while the viscoelastic polymer material moulds and sticks to hold to almost any surface. Fits in your pocket, too!