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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Benefits of a Tripod?...As above really. I`m wondering whether or not it`s gonna be worth buying a tripod with my new camera? I ...
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Old 23-02-2005, 16:17   #1 (permalink)
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Benefits of a Tripod?

As above really. I`m wondering whether or not it`s gonna be worth buying a tripod with my new camera? I realise that I will get no shaking compared to handheld shots but what other benefits will it achieve? Oh and are all tripods as good as each other or are there specific things I should be looking for?

Cheers as per

NB The camera I`m thinking of buying is the Canon A95
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Old 23-02-2005, 16:35   #2 (permalink)
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I would consider a tripod as an essential part of my photography equipment. They do vary massively both in terms of size, weight, quality, sturdiness, features and price but you have to consider that in relation to your equipment now and what you might use in the future. Prices start from as little as about £15 and can run into many £100ís at the top end of the scale.

Unfortunately there is no simple answer here and itís very hard to recommend a tripod for your use. As you are going to be using a small, relatively light camera, you should be able to get away with a lighter and often less sturdy tripod, if you look around and choose carefully, something from the cheapest end of the market will probably be suitable. The usual aluminium types will probably do and if you have not used any of the better models you wonít miss what you have not seen. The problem as I see it is that if you get hooked on photography and upgrade from the A95 later on, it is also likely that you will have to upgrade your tripod at the same time. I personally hate having to sell something and pay out again for something that essentially has nothing wrong with it.

They are useful not just for steadying general shots but for use in the more creative areas of photography. Ever fancied photographing moving water, light trails, fireworks, lightening or doing indoor macro photography. These and many other areas absolutely depend on a tripod to get reasonable results.
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Old 23-02-2005, 17:20   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, and I should use one more often, but I'm lazy. Although they're no good for 'set piece' shots, consider a monopod as well. They can help to steady a shot, and are much easier to carry than a tripod. I have one that is adapted from a hiking stick, so it serves the dual purpose of supporting both me and the camera.
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Old 23-02-2005, 21:52   #4 (permalink)
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One of the biggest benefits is that it slows you down... forced you to think, and really look around the viewfinder. This helps your eye see things you wouldn't if hend held. Trees out of people's heads etc... Plus.. shrpness is increased, as there's almost no camera shake, and of course, in low light, it's essential.

Try not to get a really cheap one, as they're almost useless. Too light, and they won't offer support... too heavy and you won;t want to use it :lol:

I've always used Manfrotto pods, and one I really love is the 190. You can select from a range of heads for them too. Not cheap, but worth it... I've dropped mine down mountains, in rivers.. and had cars drive over it.. still going strong. It's been all over the world with me, and outlasted almost all my other photo gear.
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Old 24-02-2005, 16:53   #5 (permalink)
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Essential kit, even for a war phot like me. How else can you do stunning shots of Iraqi tracer fire over Baghdad?
Get a carbon Gitzo if you can afford it, if not the Gitzo reporter range are good and solid (heavy is best, despite the burden of carrying it).
If you get a light one, make sure it's got a hook on the bottom of the centre column so you can hang a camera bag to weight it down when shooting.

I also use a bean bag with a screw attachment for the tripod socket - enables me to use existing walls, car bonnets etc.
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