All photographers, from beginners to pros will almost certainly have used or invested in a tripod. But have you considered something smaller and more versatile for your photography like a monopod?
Doing what they say on the tin, with one leg instead of three, monopods can be far more compact, lightweight and easier to use for photography at short notice than tripods.
- Manfrotto Element MII – Best budget monopod for photography
- 3-Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0 Monopod – Best overall monopod for photography
- Manfrotto Compact Photo Monopod Advanced – Best entry level Monopod for photographers
- MOZA Slypod Pro Monopod – Best monopod for video shooting
- Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T – Best monopod for professionals and serious photographers
This is a great range of the best monopods available which can hold a range of different cameras and can be used for everything from wildlife photography, video shooting and for travel photography where the monopod can fit in your backpack!
Let’s get into it!
Manfrotto Element MII – Best budget monopod for photography
One of the biggest difficulties in finding a monopod or tripod is that it needs to be super lightweight, and in this respect, the Manfrotto Element MII won’t let you down.
The monopod does this through having a full aluminium body and compact design, weighing a total of just 1kg.
At only 60cm long, the Manfrotto Element MII is an ideal accessory for any photographer.
However, the minimalist design means it has a maximum height of only 140cm, which may be too small for certain uses, and the head is built-in rather than detachable.
However, if you are looking for something that is both portable and versatile then this Manfrotto monopod will be a nice little addition to your kit.
- Lightweight: only 1KG
- Compact – only 60cm long
- Affordable although additions such as a fluid head can add cost
- Compromises on height at only 140cm
3-Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0 Monopod – Best overall monopod for photography
The Thing Punks Trent 2.0, although slightly bulkier than some, brings robustness and length – over 2m tall when fully extended, making it one of the best monopods for wildlife and sports photography.
These best wildlife cameras for photography would go hand in hand with this monopod!
It is made from a durable magnesium alloy and has been designed for easy use – featuring locks than can be removed even one handed or when wearing gloves, ideal for any adventure photographers out there.
However, it folds down to around 60cm which may be too long for many general uses, particularly if you’re wanting to take it on holiday, but the upside here is that it supports 30KGs, easily holding most high-end cameras and lenses.
It also weights just 700g, although when you add the foot stabiliser which will improve usability, this goes up to about 1.2kg.
Overall, the 3-Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0 Monopod makes for a great monopod for local use, however it is quite tall to carry further afield, and many people many argue that 2m height is not essential for most photography.
- Very tall – 2m full extension
- Supports up to 30kg – great for a full frame DSLR or mirrorless camera
- Reasonable price
- Has received excellent reviews!
- Collapses to around 60cm, quite long versus competitors.
Manfrotto Compact Photo Monopod Advanced – Best entry level Monopod for photography
Made from lightweight aluminium, supporting up to 3KG, and extending to 155cm, the Manfrotto Compact Monopod Advanced is ideal for those looking to get their first monopod.
This Manfrotto monopod weighs a tiny 0.35kg and has a quick attach wheel, as well as folding down very small to just 41cm.
This makes the Manfrotto Compact Photo Monopod Advanced great for those who own lightweight DSLRs or mirrorless cameras looking for something versatile and small that can be easily packed in your camera bag.
If you have a higher end camera or are looking to shoot with a long lens however, this tripod probably won’t support its weight.
- Very lightweight, only 0.35kg
- Folds down to 41cm
- Average price pretty good
- Trustworthy brand that also appear on my list of best travel tripods and best mini tripods for photography.
- Won’t support heavier camera models or long lenses
MOZA Slypod Pro Monopod – Best monopod for video shooting
For those looking for a serious, durable and long-lasting monopod, the MOZA Slypod Pro could be just the thing.
The MOZA Slypod Pro is made of light but strong carbon fibre, can hold up to 6KG and extends to 146cm.
Weighing in at the heavier end of the market at 1.8kg, the MOZA Slypod Pro is not something to just pop in your bag on the go.
However, like its predecessor, the MOZA Slypod Pro Monopod is extremely versatile and can be used as a tripod as well.
Although this is an incredible monopod, it is not best for still only photographers as most of its high-spec capabilities are directed at shooting video.
- Range of high-tech features
- Doubles as a tripod
- Best monopod for video
- Heavy at 1.8kg
- Very expensive
Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T – Best monopod for professional photography and serious photographers
A strong mid-range contender for best monopod, the Gitzo Series 2 is slightly more expensive than competitors, however, with a carbon fibre body and weighing in at only 0.4kg this is a must for serious and enthusiastic photographers alike.
It can hold up to 12kg which means it suits virtually all DLSRs with long lenses attached.
On top of this, although it extends to an impressive 142cm, once folded down it is only 36cm, which means it can easily be packed away or stored in the pocket of your hand-luggage.
Although at a much higher price point than many others, this Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T monopod both performs and will last, supporting all camera shapes and weights for years to come.
- Super light, just 0.4kg
- Folds down to only 36cm
- Can support heavy DSLRs, even with lenses attached
- Pricier than most, but mid-range and excellent value
While all of these are the best of the best when it comes to monopods currently on the market, the Gitzo Series 2 takes the prize for being the most lightweight, versatile product out there, if you’re serious about your photography.
Although slightly pricier than Manfrotto tripods, the value for money is clear from its tiny weight, to its compact 36cm collapsible length.
If this is still outside your budget, the Manfrotto MII and Compact Photo monopods for photography make for the best alternatives, however some features will be compromised, such as length and support for heavier cameras.
The MOZA Slypod monopod is at the highest end of the market and is best for video lovers, but for photographers the price is hard to justify if you’re only shooting stills.
Finally, the Thing Punks Trent is an ideal all around monopod purchase if you don’t need something super compact, as its 2m extension is excellent for both wildlife and sports photography and it can be paired with a range of attachments for better stabilisation.
Go get shooting!
If you are on the fence about a monopod or tripod, check out these best tripods for photography!
DISCLOSURE: I may earn a small commission from some of the links above. For the benefit of the doubt, please assume all links might be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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