When Should You Use Tripod Monopod Or Shoulder Rig

Mobile Accessories
Source: Tilta.com

In the world of photography and videography, having the right equipment is essential to capture stunning shots and create professional-level content. When it comes to handheld filming and maintaining stable footage, three popular accessories come to mind: tripod, monopod, and shoulder rig. But when should you use each of them? Understanding the differences and knowing when to utilize these tools can greatly enhance your shooting experience and the overall quality of your videos or photos. In this article, we will dive into the uses and advantages of tripods, monopods, and shoulder rigs, so you can make informed decisions based on your specific shooting needs. Let’s explore the world of camera stabilization and find out which accessory is best suited for your next creative project.

Inside This Article

  1. Tripod
  2. Monopod
  3. Shoulder Rig
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs


When it comes to capturing stable and professional-looking photos and videos, a tripod is an invaluable accessory for your cell phone. This three-legged stand provides a steady platform to eliminate camera shake and ensure sharper images. Whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, or long-exposure shots, a tripod is a must-have tool in your mobile photography arsenal.

There are several scenarios where using a tripod can greatly enhance your cell phone photography experience:

  1. Low-light situations: When shooting in low-light conditions, such as during sunset or at night, longer exposure times are required. Holding your phone steady for extended periods can be challenging, resulting in blurry images. By using a tripod, you can keep your phone stable, allowing for slower shutter speeds and capturing stunning nighttime shots with ease.
  2. Macro photography: Macro photography involves capturing tiny subjects up close, such as flowers or insects. It requires precise focusing and stability to capture intricate details. A tripod ensures that your phone remains still during these close-up shots, enabling you to capture sharp and detailed images without any blurriness.
  3. Long-exposure photography: Long-exposure photography involves capturing motion over an extended period, such as light trails or star trails. To achieve these effects, the camera needs to be perfectly still during the entire exposure time, which is often several seconds or more. Using a tripod allows you to keep your phone steady, resulting in clear and mesmerizing long-exposure photographs.
  4. Group photos and self-portraits: It can be challenging to include everyone in a group photo or capture a self-portrait without a tripod. Instead of relying on a shaky hand or asking strangers to take your photo, you can simply set up your phone on a tripod, set the timer, and ensure everyone is in the frame. This way, you can capture memorable moments without any hassle.

Using a tripod gives you greater flexibility in your composition and allows you to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply enjoy taking beautiful photos with your cell phone, a tripod is a versatile accessory that can significantly elevate your photography game.


In the world of mobile photography and videography, a monopod is a versatile accessory that offers stability and freedom of movement. While not as stable as a tripod, a monopod allows you to capture steady shots while on the go.

With its single leg design, a monopod is lightweight and easy to carry, making it a popular choice for photographers and videographers who value mobility. Whether you want to capture stunning landscape shots or record smooth video footage, a monopod can be a game-changer.

One of the key advantages of using a monopod is its ability to stabilize your shots in various situations. Whether you’re shooting in low light or need to capture fast-moving subjects, a monopod can help reduce camera shake and deliver sharper images.

Using a monopod also allows for greater flexibility in positioning your camera. While a tripod restricts movement to a fixed position, a monopod gives you the freedom to adjust the angle and height smoothly. This is particularly useful when shooting in tight spaces or in dynamic environments.

Additionally, a monopod can serve as an extension of your arm, providing added reach for capturing unique perspectives. Whether you need to shoot above a crowd or get down low to capture a unique angle, a monopod can be a valuable tool in your photography arsenal.

Another advantage of using a monopod is its versatility. It can be used not only for photography but also for videography. It can help you achieve smooth panning shots or even act as a makeshift stabilizer for shooting handheld videos.

When choosing a monopod, consider factors such as height, weight capacity, and stability. Look for models that are adjustable and lightweight, so they can easily fit in your bag and accompany you on your photographic adventures.

Overall, a monopod is an essential accessory for mobile photographers and videographers who want to capture steady shots and add versatility to their work. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, incorporating a monopod into your mobile photography gear will elevate the quality of your shots and open up new creative possibilities.

Shoulder Rig

A shoulder rig is a versatile mobile accessory that can greatly enhance your photography and videography experience. Designed to provide stability and support, a shoulder rig helps you capture steady shots while on the move. Here’s everything you need to know about shoulder rigs and when to use them.

1. Enhanced Stability: One of the key benefits of using a shoulder rig is the stability it offers. By resting the rig on your shoulder and holding onto the handles, you can maintain a steady grip while capturing videos or photos. This stability reduces the chance of shaky footage, resulting in professional-looking shots.

2. Improved Comfort: Holding a smartphone or camera for an extended period can lead to hand fatigue. However, using a shoulder rig allows you to distribute the weight evenly across your body, reducing strain on your arms and wrists. This makes it comfortable to shoot for longer durations, making it perfect for capturing events, sports, or documentaries.

3. Versatile Angles: With a shoulder rig, you can achieve various angles and perspectives that would otherwise be difficult to capture. The rig typically features adjustable handles, allowing you to position your mobile device or camera at the desired height and angle. This flexibility enables you to shoot from low angles, high angles, or even achieve smooth panning shots.

4. Smooth Camera Movement: Another advantage of using a shoulder rig is the ability to achieve smooth camera movements. The rig is equipped with a mount or platform where you can attach your smartphone or camera. This mount is often designed with a gimbal or stabilizer, which helps minimize camera shake and provides smooth gliding movements for dynamic shots.

5. Ideal for Filming on the Go: Whether you’re shooting a documentary, vlogging, or capturing fast-paced action, a shoulder rig is perfect for filming on the go. Its compact and lightweight design allows you to move freely while maintaining stability. You can easily navigate through crowded spaces, run alongside your subject, or capture steady shots while walking or running.

6. Great for Action and Sports: If you’re into action photography or sports videography, a shoulder rig is a must-have accessory. It enables you to follow the action smoothly and capture every thrilling moment with ease. Whether you’re shooting extreme sports, outdoor adventures, or fast-paced events, a shoulder rig will help you capture the action with precision.

7. Perfect for Run-and-Gun Style: The run-and-gun style of shooting requires quick setup and mobility. A shoulder rig excels in this type of shooting scenario as it allows you to set up your shots swiftly without compromising stability. You can easily go from handheld shooting to using the shoulder rig to capture steady shots, giving you the flexibility to adapt to different shooting situations.

8. Ideal for Travel and Documentary: Travel photography and documentary filmmaking often involve capturing moments in different environments and challenging conditions. A shoulder rig provides stability, comfort, and maneuverability, making it an excellent companion for such scenarios. It allows you to capture the essence of your surroundings while maintaining the quality and stability of your shots.

9. Compatible with Mobile Devices: Most shoulder rigs are designed to be compatible with smartphones and smaller cameras. This means you can use them with your mobile device, allowing you to take advantage of its advanced capabilities in photography and videography. Additionally, many shoulder rigs also come with smartphone holders or mounts to securely attach your phone.

When Should You Use a Shoulder Rig?

A shoulder rig is an excellent accessory to use in various situations. Here are some scenarios where a shoulder rig can be particularly beneficial:

  • Vlogging while walking or moving
  • Filming events or performances
  • Sports photography or videography
  • Documentary filmmaking
  • Travel photography or videography
  • Capturing action-packed moments


Choosing between a tripod, monopod, or shoulder rig depends on your specific needs and shooting style. Tripods provide excellent stability and are ideal for situations where you want to capture steady and sharp images, such as landscape photography or long exposure shots. Monopods offer a balance between stability and versatility, making them great for capturing action shots or shooting in crowded areas where setting up a tripod is not feasible.

Shoulder rigs are designed for videographers who need steady shots while on the move. They provide stability and support for longer durations and allow for smooth camera movements. Ultimately, your decision should be based on the type of photography or videography you will be doing and the specific requirements of your projects.

Remember, investing in the right camera support is essential for capturing high-quality images and videos. So take the time to evaluate your needs, consider the shooting conditions you’ll encounter, and choose the option that best aligns with your goals and preferences.


Q: When should I use a tripod?
A: A tripod is useful in situations where you need maximum stability and want to minimize camera shake. It is ideal for capturing still subjects, long-exposure shots, and when shooting in low-light conditions. It provides a solid and steady platform for your camera, allowing you to achieve sharp and well-composed images.

Q: When should I use a monopod?
A: A monopod is a great tool when you need some level of stability but also require mobility. It is perfect for situations where you need to move quickly or shoot in crowded environments. It helps to reduce camera shake while offering more freedom of movement compared to a tripod. It is commonly used in sports photography, wildlife photography, and other fast-paced shooting scenarios.

Q: When should I use a shoulder rig?
A: A shoulder rig is primarily used in video production to provide stability and support while shooting handheld footage. It distributes the weight of the camera and accessories across your shoulder, chest, and back, allowing for longer, more comfortable shooting sessions. A shoulder rig is particularly useful when filming events, documentaries, or any situation where you need to move around while maintaining steady shots.

Q: Can I use a tripod, monopod, or shoulder rig for my smartphone?
A: Yes, you can. There are various tripod, monopod, and shoulder rig options available specifically designed for smartphones. These accessories provide stability and control for smartphone photography and videography. They are particularly useful for capturing professional-grade content, vlogs, or live streaming. It’s important to select accessories that are compatible with your smartphone model.

Q: Are tripod, monopod, and shoulder rig accessories expensive?
A: The cost of these accessories can vary depending on the brand, build quality, and additional features they offer. You can find options that cater to different budgets, ranging from affordable entry-level accessories to high-end professional-grade equipment. When purchasing these accessories, it’s important to consider your specific needs and the level of durability and functionality required.