We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Tripods?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A tripod is any type of three legged device, but the term is usually used to refer specifically to a supportive device for a camera. Tripods are in the arsenal of most professional photographers, as well as amateurs who work in diverse situations. Purchasing the right tripod the first time is important, as photographers can easily spend large amounts of money before finding one which works. If you are considering the purchase of a tripod, do some research to find a model which will work for you.

Tripods actually have two components: the tripod, and the head. The tripod has three collapsible legs which can be extended at various lengths and angles to provide support for the camera. The three legged design allows a tripod to be extraordinarily stable on almost any surface. The head is the part of the tripod which the camera is mounted to, and there are several different head designs.

Essentially, heads break down into two styles, pan heads and ball heads. A pan head has separate controls allowing the user to tilt and pan the camera, while a ball head is mounted on a ball and socket. When using a ball head, it is possible to tilt accidentally while panning, because the controls are not separated. This can lead to choppy shots, but, when used deliberately, it can allow the photographer much more flexibility.

There are also two basic types of head mount. The first is a screw mount, while the second is a quick release, allowing the camera to be slipped on and off easily. A screw mounting head is guaranteed to keep the camera stable, but if the photographer needs to rapidly move the camera to grab a shot, it can become cumbersome. It is possible to spend a lot of money on tripod heads, so take the time to seek out one which is appropriate for your intended use.

When purchasing tripods, it is important to find a sturdy model. Lightweight tripods will wobble as the camera is used, disturbing the shot. If the problem is compounded with a very heavy lens, the front of the tripod may be dragged down. For this reason, most photographers use heavyweight tripods which can support a variety of cameras and lenses. A tripod case is also a useful acquisition, making it much easier to carry a tripod, along with other camera gear.

The addition of tripods to your photography tool kit can make a big difference, especially if you shoot at low light levels or you take a lot of action shots. If you are unsure about which tripods are best for you after research, consider taking a photography class or consulting a professional photographer for his or her opinion on tripods.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.