How to Choose Mini Tripods
Mini tripods are small, light, and compact. You can easily carry them in your backpack or pocket. They're ideal for situations where full-size tripods are impractical or not permitted. Generally intended for use on stable surfaces, they provide a firm platform for photography. Some models feature adjustable legs, allowing their use on uneven surfaces, while others have flexible legs that you wrap around a convenient rail or branch. Small tripods are also optimal for ground-level photography and macro photography, and for taking candid shots.
Advantages of Mini and Tabletop Tripods
Although many cameras feature image stabilization, there are instances where lighting conditions or the need to use a slow shutter speed makes it difficult to hold your camera steady enough to avoid camera shake. While shake may not be obvious when viewing photos on your LCD screen, it becomes apparent the moment you enlarge or project photos. That's why it's best to use a tripod whenever possible. Small camera tripods are a boon because they fit inside most any tripod cases, take up little space in your gear, are easy to set up, and unobtrusive in use.
Camera Mounts for Mini Tripods
Most mini camera tripods have a simple tripod head that's ideal for light-duty work. However, more sophisticated tripod heads for still photography are readily available, including panning heads, ball heads, and geared heads. Additional camera quick release brackets and L-brackets allow you to leave tripod mounting plates attached to your cameras, while providing the ability to mount cameras in vertical portrait mode. Whether you have a full-size tripod or a mini one that you always use, it's a good idea to choose a tripod head that's compatible with your existing tripod mounting plate.
Load Rating of Small Camera Tripods
It's vital to choose a mini tripod with a camera-weight rating that's adequate for your camera, or you'll find that the tripod won't hold your camera steady, especially if you have a heavy lens. Mini tripods for DSLR use are more robust than those for compact cameras, and they usually have legs that extend wider for better stability.
Tripod Legs for Mini Tripods
A rule of thumb for selecting tripod legs is to make certain the legs extend further than your camera lens. This ensures that the tripod cannot topple over due to the weight of your lens. The simplest tripods have short, stubby legs that you can set at various angles to provide limited height adjustment. Others have collapsible legs that extend to raise your camera to eye-level height when placed on a table or desk. Several manufacturers make flexible tripod legs that wrap around pipes, rails, or tree branches. Joby uses legs with flexible joints; however, others have flexible plastic or metal legs.
Add a mini tripod to your camera gear and take better photographs in situations where your full-size tripod won't work. Choose from the wide selection at B&H Photo and Video.