Shooting with a mobile phone is the easiest way to capture the bright moments of life. A smartphone is always at hand, and a photo can be processed and posted on social networks in a minute. True, photos do not always turn out to be the way we would like. Accessories like tripods for mobile photography will help make them better.
A monopod, which is more often called a selfie stick, allows you to take a selfie in such a way as to fit several people in a photo at once and not distort the proportions of the face. A tripod will allow you to take a picture at a distance, free your hands and fit a group of people in full growth into the frame. The phone stand is a versatile accessory that combines the functions of a monopod and a tripod.
1. When is it better to choose a phone camera tripod.
Tripods and stands are usually larger and heavier than a monopod, equipped with two or three additional legs, they can be installed on any hard surface. Tripods are most often chosen for professional photography, but they can come in handy for family photography or video shooting on a smartphone. The main advantages of a tripod: you do not need to hold it in your hands, so the photos are clear, the video is smooth, and you can fit a person in full growth into the frame. Also, the tripod can support even a heavy camera or camcorder.
2. What to consider choosing a tripod for a smartphone camera.
It is better to choose a tripod if you often shoot at home or in the studio, shooting a video blog. This is the best solution for indoor photography, but not for selfie lovers. When choosing, it is important to pay attention to the material from which the legs are made: it must be strong plastic or soft metal. The base should have silicone or rubber pads to prevent the tripod from slipping. Clarify to what height the tripod can be expanded. Check how all movable structural elements are fixed: there must be several available positions so that you can change the shooting angles. For convenience, remote control can be supplied with the tripod. It will prevent from using the snooze function or crop the first minutes of the footage.
Like monopods, tripods can be equipped with different mounts, for a smartphone and a camera or camcorder. Select the one that suits your needs.
3. Which type of connection is better for each cell holder mount.
Tripods, stands, and monopods can connect to a smartphone via wire or Bluetooth. Stands are most often not connected to gadgets at all: it is assumed that you will control the shooting directly from your smartphone or camera.
The wired connection is fast, ensuring uninterrupted communication. The headphone jack is most often used for connection: standard 3.5 mm, Lightning or Type-C.
Wireless connection via Bluetooth is quite convenient, most modern accessories connect in that way. When choosing, it is worth considering that the monopod may not be compatible with your smartphone model. Before buying, it is important to test whether the accessory will work with your gadget.
Most wireless monopods and tripods are battery operated. There are models with removable shutter buttons. If necessary, this button can be used as a remote control for selfies at a distance from the tripod. It is highly recommended to choose modern tripods with a wireless connection and a detachable button. These are versatile accessories that give you maximum flexibility while shooting.
4. Which additional features can include a tripod for a phone camera.
Among useful additional functions, it is possible to mention backlight, flexible legs, a mirror, a LED ring, and a stabilizer.
LED illumination expands possibilities of photography at night or indoors with poor light.
Flexible legs allow you to mount the item on almost any surface. They fix the gadget in any position: you can, for example, hang it on a branch, rail, or hook.
The mirror is a handy addition for selfie lovers. Before the photo, you can quickly touch up your makeup or hairstyle, evaluate the angle. This is true if you are taking a picture with the main camera, and not with the front one. A tripod with an LED ring is perfect for static use at home or in the studio. This accessory is a great choice for a beauty blogger, beautician, or makeup artist.
The gimbal is a special device that allows you to take clear photos and smooth videos while driving. Monopods with stabilizers are quite expensive and are most often chosen by bloggers. Before buying a monopod with a stabilizer, you should check if your gadget is equipped with its stabilizer. So, most action cameras have a built-in stabilization system.
5. Which activities require a smartphone camera stand.
A smartphone tripod, telepod, or a stand can be used for more than just shooting. It is worth highlighting a few more basic use cases.
Video call. When communicating via Skype, Viber, and other instant messengers, it is much more convenient to mount your smartphone on a tripod and place it next to you on any surface, for example, a tabletop, than to hold it in your hands.
Reading books. Reading books from a smartphone screen is much more convenient by setting it on a tripod if there is suitable support nearby for mounting and fixing the tripod itself.
Watching a video. Regardless of the source (a video in the smartphone's memory or YouTube), watching a video is much more convenient if the phone is placed on the table and its screen is directed exactly towards you.
Work in passive applications. Due to the huge number of applications, smartphones are often used to perform a variety of tasks (office applications, online monitoring of some information, games, etc.), some of which do not require constant work, but only require viewing the screen contents. Of course, using a tripod will make this work more comfortable and efficient.
6. Distinguish phone camera stand models.
Classic phone tripod. The classic phone tripod is designed in the format of the most common camera tripod and differs only in its compact size. Such models, as a rule, are installed on a table or other similar surfaces and have a height of up to 30 cm. Some have telescopic legs, which are very small in the folded position. The phone is attached to the tripod using a universal holder suitable for all models of smartphones. Depending on the model, this holder can be supplied with a tripod or purchased separately. There are also tripods made for one specific model and not compatible with all others, for example, the tripod for the iPhone 6 Plus Manfrotto.
Flexible phone tripod. The flexible smartphone tripod has flexible legs, which is obvious from the name, for example, the Joby RM-90. Unlike a conventional tripod, the flexible smartphone tripod can be installed on any uneven surface by arching the legs. Some models with very flexible legs can be attached to any structure such as a car seat, tree branch, fence, etc.
Spider phone tripod. The so-called spider tripods, which also have flexible legs, deserve special attention. Spiders have 8 legs instead of 3. They don't have regular phone holders. Some types of the 8 legs are used to mount the smartphone, and the other part is used for installation on a surface, or fastening to some structures. Such options are usually not very convenient for taking photos and videos, but they are ideal for all other tasks.
7. Which smartphone camera tripod to choose.
Determine why you need it, which tasks do you intend to solve with its help. And the second important point is the installation features. For photo and video shooting indoors, the ideal solution would be a classic tripod for a smartphone. It will be convenient for watching videos or communicating via video communication. But working with applications will be extremely inconvenient due to the instability of the tripod when you press the touch screen.
The situation with "spiders" is exactly the opposite. It will handle photo and video shooting, since fixing the phone on a spider, pointing it at the subject, fixing it on the surface is a very time-consuming process. And if legs get into the field of view of the camera, if they are in the wrong position, it can generally ruin the frame. But reading books, watching videos, video calling, working with applications - all this increases the usability of the phone several times.
A flexible smartphone tripod takes the middle ground and is quite suitable for the whole range of tasks. Although it will have minor flaws. Besides, the flexible smartphone tripod is especially useful for travel and any outdoor use, as it can be installed and fixed almost anywhere.
8. Consider option difference in quality, price, and weight.
The big difference between camera phones and regular cameras is that camera phones don't have tripod connectors, so you'll need to use a different method when connecting a mobile phone. The solution is to "clamp" the phone camera. Sometimes they are sold separately, sometimes they come with a mini tripod. The advantage of separate clamps is that you can use them with any tripod or tabletop, including those designed for conventional cameras. Just know - one way or another you will need a clamp.
Manfrotto PIXI with a universal smartphone clip. It is a Complete tripod and clamp set, durable, simple, and versatile. It will be cheaper than buying individual components. Works well for both cameras and phones. There is no height adjustment and has limited movement of the ball head.
Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod. You can get PIXI without a clip for a regular camera. It has an elegant and compact design. Excellent value for money and quality. But it doesn't rotate enough for portrait orientation. The model is originally designed as a tabletop tripod for cameras weighing up to one kilogram. When closed, the fold-out legs provide a comfortable and secure grip for handheld and video footage, and they fold out to provide a secure grip on the surface.
Manfrotto TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp. With this smart clip, you can mount your phone to any tripod. It is very compact and beautifully designed. Still, the option is relatively expensive and the tripod is sold separately. Because it is a clever universal smartphone clip, which allows you to connect your camera phone to any regular tripod, including the aforementioned Manfrotto Pixi. It also folds down for storage in your pocket. You simply twist each end to rotate the clamping jaws so they can be attached to any phone.
Manfrotto handles an additional TwistGrip bar. This model allows you to hold your smartphone firmly and naturally, giving the possibility to attach additional accessories. It is quite expensive and cannot be used as a tripod. This two-piece set includes a handle and an “accessory bar” for the Manfrotto TwistGrip universal smartphone clip. The grip attaches to the clamp using a ¼-inch tripod thread, but you can also use the accessory bar horizontally between the two.
Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini. A tiny but effective flexible adapter for your camera phone. It is very small and lightweight, which will easily fit any camera model. But it has limited maximum height and lacks the versatility of large smartphones. You can raise it like a mini tabletop tripod. It comes with a phone mount, so it's a versatile solution. The only real drawback is that each leg is only 60mm long.
Joby GripTight ONE Micro has very small dimensions. But its position is very low to the surface. Legs cannot be extended vertically. This tabletop tripod comes with rigid legs that move around. This makes the entire tripod very small and thin when folded, while still providing a secure base when the legs are spread out to their maximum position.
Joby GripTight ONE GP with Magnetic Mounts. This is a novelty - a tripod with magnetic feet for metal surfaces! It has good versatility and grabs on almost anything. The Magnetic edition also includes magnetic feet, so you can easily attach the GorillaPod to anything metal. The phone clip is the same as on the GripTight ONE Micro.
Joby GripTight Gorillapod Stand PRO. This larger tripod has a rotating telephone clip. It provides solid support and a fully swivel mount, being quite weighty and bulky. It is equipped with a locking screw to adjust the clamp to the exact size of the phone, and this screw also allows you to rotate for portrait and landscape orientation while making a shot.
Joby GripTight PRO TelePod. This tripod is larger but more versatile and allows you to attach accessories. It can be used in more varied situations. The comfortable handle has three longitudinal sections that fold back into a set of tripod legs with two working angles. The kit also includes an Impulse wireless remote shutter button that connects to most iPhone and Android smartphones via Bluetooth.
Vortex Optics Car Mount. Shoot from the comfort of your car! Because it is firm and provides tough support. The item is easily attached to the car window and immediately ready to shoot images. The idea is that you attach the bottom of the pole to the window, and the top acts like a normal tripod head, providing pan and tilt functions.