If you are a passionate photographer and do not have a camera tripod, you are missing out on a lot. A tripod is typically considered an extra weight to carry around when you are on trips, which is not valid. It helps you get super sharp images while maintaining any camera placement even in low light.
Most people think that since a tripod is only used to hold and support the camera, spending too much on a camera tripod might not be worth it. Hear this; if you want to get good-quality photos, you would have to invest in a sound tripod system sooner or later. You will find several reasonably priced tripods in the market but if you are overwhelmed with the choices and do not know where to start from, see our detailed buyer guide on best tripods under 100.
We have listed the best hiking tripods, studio tripods, and best travel tripods of the most popular tripod brands under 100 in our guide.
Why Invest in a Good Tripod System?
Before jumping straight into the topic, we first want to highlight the importance of investing in a sound tripod system. Many of us make poor choices when it comes to buying tripods only to realize that we need something better.
You can get tripods in as little as $20 or $30, but they would not be of any use after a while. Cheap tripods with low-quality heads struggle with stability, especially in windy areas. They can also not provide an adequate load capacity and ball heads, which reduces inconvenience and strength.
However, if you don’t want to buy a heavy-duty camera tripod, you can always make one at home! Check out our detailed guide on how to build your tripod.
Usage of Camera Tripod
Using a camera tripod is not as easy as it sounds. While most people learn the best way to use a camera tripod over time, we have listed some tips and tricks you can use to become an expert in a few hours.
When to Use a Camera Tripod
The first thing you should know is; when to use a camera tripod. Yes, you do not have to take out and set up your camera tripod every time you want to click a picture. Here is when you should use a camera tripod
If you are photographing for extended periods, it is better to use a tripod. You should avoid hand-holding the heavy gear since it will tire your hand quickly.
Photography genres like landscape, architecture, and macro might require a tripod for better photos. Using a tripod can help in getting explicit images that have better framing and consistency. If you want to introduce intentional motion blur while photographing waterfalls or moving clouds, a camera tripod can help you. It also can be used in techniques such as timelapse, HDR, and panorama shots.
ISO Performance and Noise
Some cameras can produce images at high ISOs without bringing in too much noise or losing dynamic range. However, if you do not like too much noise and want to adjust the quality yourself, it is mandatory to use a tripod in situations that call for higher ISOs.
Shutter speed depends upon the distance of the lens. A longer lens means that the shutter speed needs to be faster to generate sharp images. If you want to do photography with shutter speeds longer than 1/60th of a second, you will need a tripod to avoid blurry photos.
Best Ways to Use a Camera Tripod
Listed below are the best ways to use a camera tripod if you want unique and high-quality photos.
Extend the Tripod Legs Only When Needed
The stability and sturdiness of a tripod start to reduce as you go on extending the legs. Just because a tripod offers the right height, it doesn’t mean you have to open it to its fullest to take every picture. The extended length of a tripod causes problems when taking a photo at a windy location as the stability decreases.
If you want to extend the tripod, it is best to start with the legs’ topmost section and then expand the lower ones. Extend the neck of your tripod at the end. Also, spreading the tripod’s legs entirely will give more stability rather than keeping them part-way closed.
Use the Mirror Lock-up Feature
A mirror inside the digital camera exposes the image sensor by moving when the shutter release button is pressed. This moving of the mirror can cause a shake, which can affect the sharpness of the image. This mostly happens when you are photographing at slow shutter speed. To avoid this, you can lock the movement of the mirror to get the perfect sharp photos. When you disable the mirror movement, the camera will keep the mirror raised until the feature is enabled again.
Hang a Camera Bag From the Center Post for Stability
Many tripods come with a hook for the users to hang a camera bag or any other heavy object to increase the stability. If your tripod does not have a hook, you can get one online quickly. However, it is best to avoid hanging anything when it’s windy because it may result in losing stability than adding it.
Point One of the Tripod Legs Towards the Subject
You can stand between the tripod’s two legs and take amazing photos if you point the tripod legs towards the subject. It also increases stability and allows photographers to take better photos.
Mistakes to Avoid While Using a Tripod
To get high-quality photos, listed below are some mistakes, you need to avoid.
- Extending the thinner/smaller sections of the legs first
- Positioning the legs incorrectly and standing in a position that can make you trip over the tripod.
- Failure to insert the camera securely
- Raising the center column
- Keeping the knobs, leg locks, and levers loose.