No matter what type of video content creator you are, it’s important you have the right equipment for the job. FilmToolKit has read tons of reviews and done all the research to help you find the best monopod for DSLR video production. We’ve examined options at several different price points to get you the best value possible no matter what your budget is.
At the section below, we will also be discussing what features you should keep an eye out for when shopping for your DSLR video monopod, and how to determine which one is the best for you.
- 1 Why Do I Need A Monopod?
- 2 Best Monopod For DSLR Video Production – Top 5
- 2.1 1. Best Monopod For DSLR Video Production
- 2.2 2. Best Monopod Under $200
- 2.3 3. Best Monopod For The Money
- 2.4 4. Best Budget Monopod For Video
- 2.5 5. Best Cheap Monopod
- 2.6 Honorable Mention – Best Monopod Tripod Combination – Albott 70 Inch DSLR Travel Portable Tripod Monopod (Under $50)
- 3 Features To Look For When Buying The Best Monopod For DSLR Video
Why Do I Need A Monopod?
If you’re on the fence about needing a Monopod, here’s a few key reasons why you probably need one.
- They’re more mobile than Tripods -Tripods are great, but they can be quite unwieldy in addition to being heavy. It takes time to extend your tripod, and to balance and level it. Monopods are able to be thrown down to get you shooting in seconds.
- They can be really cheap – The cheapest monopod on our list of recommendations is only $30. A small price to pay to double the variety of shots you’re able to get if you don’t have any stabilizing equipment.
- Switch from motion to stability on the fly – You may not have a steadicam or a crane, but monopods can still help you create excellent dynamic shots. You can use your monopod as a stable stick as you walk with your camera, then plant it for instant stability!
Best Monopod For DSLR Video Production – Top 5
1. Best Monopod For DSLR Video Production
Manfrotto makes some great monopods. They have products that cover a wide variety of shooting situations, but if you are searching for their best DSLR monopod offering, then look no further. The Manfrotto Xpro Aluminum is an excellent monopod, and bundled with the 500 Series Video Head, it blows the competition out of the water. The MVMXPRO is the newest iteration in a constantly evolving series of monopods, and is some of Manfrotto’s best work yet. The whole thing feels incredibly stable, sturdy, and near impossible to break – while still remaining relatively lightweight.
The incredible design begins at the base of the monopod. Four of the monopods on our list feature the three legged design for increased stability, but Manfrotto’s implementation of them is by far the best. They lock into place, and are very difficult to break unlike the ones on Manfrotto’s previous offerings. The three-legged base also features a switch that can be toggled to enable the 360 degree fluid motion in the base. This allows you to tilt the entire monopod in any direction, and when used in conjunction with the fluid motion head, means you can stabilize at any angle with any type of movement.
What really makes this product shine as the best monopod for DSLR video production is the 500 series video head. This head is so good that we’ve seen other companies bundle Manfrotto’s head instead of a proprietary one with their tripods and monopods. The head’s fluid motion is as smooth as it gets, and you are able to customize all of the resistances to your liking. You can even get stylistic straight down shots with this fluid head! The fluid head has a quick release as well so that you can move your camera across multiple pieces of equipment quickly on shoots with time constraints.
In terms of statistics, this monopod continues to have some of the best in class numbers.
- Load Capacity: 11 lb
- Max Height: 79.9″
- Closed Length: 30.7″
- Sections: 4
- Weight: 4.6 Lbs
That’s pretty much the tallest height we’ve seen on any monopod we reviewed. The extending locks on the legs feel very high quality, and make loud satisfying snaps when you open and close them, giving you peace of mind that it won’t drop out from under your rig. The 11 pound maximum payload will cover any DSLR configuration, and even some heavier non-DSLR cameras. While 4.6 pounds is not the lightest Monopod we’ve seen, it is very reasonable considering the quality and stability you are getting here.
The included head is also removable, so you can detach it from your monopod and use it for perfect pans and tilts on any other monopod or tripod you use! Or you can just purchase it separately.
Note: If you would like to learn more about Manfrotto’s excellent line of monopods, check out our in-depth product rundown we put together awhile back.
2. Best Monopod Under $200
If you can’t afford the Manfrotto monopod we’ve recommended above, Benro has a very similar high quality option that is an excellent runner up. This monopod will give you all of the same high quality features as the MVMXPRO, albeit with a little less refinement. The brand power of Manfrotto might not be there, but most of the quality is!
The Aluminum 4 series has a variation of all the same features from the Manfrotto monopod. There’s a 3-way pan head, a quick release plate, a three footed smooth motion base, and even a bubble level in the tripod head! The maximum extended range is between 30″ and 70″, just 10 inches under Manfrotto’s, and it has the same maximum payload of 11 pounds, which will have you covered for any DSLR shooting situation. It’s slightly lighter than the above model, at just over 4 pounds, and is remarkably sturdy. It feels kind of like a baseball bat.
What we really like about this monopod is the excellent included warranty. It comes with a 3 year limited warranty, which can be extended to 5 years for free with online registration. This means that you are guaranteed a working monopod for the next 5 years unless you do something really stupid with it. This is a very safe purchase!
So if this monopod is so similar to the one recommended above, and cheaper, why would you ever buy the Manfrotto monopod? Well, this is a very high quality monopod with a large quantity of positive reviews, but the quality is just marginally lower. The three pronged base and height adjustment levers don’t feel as snappy or satisfying, and the packaging and presentation is a little less pleasant. Those things being said, the tripod functions perfectly, and will give you flawless stabilization.
3. Best Monopod For The Money
If you’ve got a mid-range budget, and are looking to get the most bang for your buck, the Coman Kx3232 Aluminum Monopod is the best Monopod for the money. In terms of value given for the cost, this thing is amazing. Despite it’s low price, it feels high quality, and has the most bonuses out of any product we reviewed for this whole guide.
Even though it’s a lot cheaper than a professional grade monopod, this monopod supports a maximum payload of 13.2 pounds! That’s more than enough for any DSLR rig you could configure, and even enough for some larger professional camera rigs. The adjustable height ranges between 26″ and 73″, with a tilt range of 75 to 90 degrees using the fluid rotation base. The fluid head may not be as nice as Manfrotto’s, but it works perfectly to give you whatever smooth pans and tilts you would like. This particular tripod even allows you to remove the pan bar if you’re not using it to prevent obstruction.
At 3.9 pounds, this is the lightest premium monopod we have looked at so far. This is surprising because of the heavier payload capacity. It even features a quick release plate! This is the cheapest alternative to the Manfrotto monopod that still retains all the features. It’s a really solid purchase and all the reviewers seem to be happy. You won’t even need an extra carrying bag, as one is included with every purchase.
The coolest thing about this monopod – The fluid movement three pronged base can be detached and used as a mini table tripod. That’s super cool! Usually you have to buy that as a separate product entirely.
This is the safest buy on our entire list because of the included 6 year warranty. If anything goes wrong or is defective from this product from normal wear and tear, you will be able to get it replaced. From the reviews however, it seems as if this won’t be an issue, as the product is very durable and is usually still going strong after several years.
4. Best Budget Monopod For Video
If you’re looking for the best monopod under $100, this is as good as it gets. The Digiant MP-3606 DSLR is a much cheaper variation that still manages to retain a lesser version of all of the amazing features we have covered in the tripods recommended above. despite looking a bit cheaper, this thing packs a punch at it’s price range, and is an excellent monopod for aspiring YouTubers or student filmmakers.
In terms of statistics, the operating range is between 29″ and 70″, and the maximum payload weight is 11 pounds, which seems to be the standard across all the monopods we have researched. It weighs only four pounds, which is marginally smaller than all of our previous recommendations. There is a 3 way pan head with a quick release plate and even a bubble view. The tripod base also features the same three legged design we love so much, and a fluid motion base so that you can tilt your camera at any angle you desire. It even has a wrist strap, making it impossible to drop it with your camera. Finally, there’s a carrying bag included so you never have to worry about carrying it around! It seems like the cheap products always pack in the most features.
Really, with all these features, this is a great substitute for any of the more expensive recommendations on this list. There are practically no complaints about them breaking or being unreliable; it still feels really sturdy and safe. It might lack the satisfying snappiness of the Manfrotto’s locking mechanisms. It may not look as flashy. However, there is no denying this is a perfectly functioning monopod that has satisfied many people and will guarantee you consistent, fluid motions. If you are looking to spend as little money as possible, but don’t want to go with a bare bones model like the Amazon monopod we are about to recommend, this is your guy!
5. Best Cheap Monopod
I doubt we’ll ever see the day that we recommend AmazonBasics products on this site. They are incredibly high quality for their price, and every piece of equipment I have bought from them has been outstanding. Despite it’s cheap sub $15 price tag, we think that the AmazonBasics 67-inch Monopod is no different. This is the perfect no-frills product if you’re looking for some sort of quick and easy stabilization while spending as little money as possible.
This product is incredibly lightweight, weighing less than 1 pound, and extending up to 67 inches at maximum length! That’s longer than even some of our more expensive recommendations! It includes a non-skid rubber foot for glossy surfaces, and a retractable spike in the foot for extra stability on surfaces like dirt. Even though it is under a pound, it supports a camera payload of up to 6.6 pounds, which will be more than enough for the vast majority of DSLR users. People are very satisfied with this product, and despite some small durability issues, it has 4.5/5 stars with over 700 reviews. We don’t see that kind of ratio very often.
It even includes a carrying bag. I don’t understand how they were able to manufacture this kind of product for only fifteen bucks.
Note: I think it goes without saying, but you probably shouldn’t trust this Monopod to save your expensive camera rig. At the end of the day, it’s a very cheap product. It will do the job, but the thread is very small, and has snapped on a small group of users when pressure was applied. We don’t think this warrants losing our recommendation, as if you use this product with care, and understand you should always be holding your camera anyways, you’ll be fine. Cheap products like this are not meant to be abused.
Honorable Mention – Best Monopod Tripod Combination – Albott 70 Inch DSLR Travel Portable Tripod Monopod (Under $50)
Perhaps you’ve read our article discussing the differences between Monopods and Tripods and couldn’t make a decision. This honorable mention is the answer. This item is definitely very different, and if you are an aspiring filmmaker looking to round out his kit at a very cheap price, this is the perfect option for you. While priced at under $50, this product gives you a tripod that can be dismantled and transformed into a monopod!
When assembled in tripod mode, the device weighs only 3 and a half pounds, and has a height range of 21″-70″. For such a cheap tripod, it’s remarkably sturdy, and the carry handle means you can take it everywhere you need with ease. The flip locks are solid and feel strong, and the three legs each have an option between rubber feet and metal spikes for outdoor and indoor shooting.
In the 5-section Monopod mode, the height range is between 18″ and 65″, which is not as long as the expensive options on our list, but should be sufficient for a majority of shooting situations. We think this product is great if you’re going to be shooting in a situation where both a monopod and tripod are useful, but you don’t want to carry both around!
What we really like about this product is the addition of a center column hook. This hook allows you to hang weights like sandbags from the tripod, dramatically increasing the stability and allowing it to rival tripods at much higher price points. Despite the cheap asking price, this product even manages to include essential filmmaking features like a 3 way Pan/swivel/tilt head and a quick release plate! This really is an excellent product, and is the perfect buy for any filmmaker who has yet to buy any equipment.
Features To Look For When Buying The Best Monopod For DSLR Video
Quick Release Plates
QUICK. RELEASE. PLATES. We’ve talked about these in our tripod buyer’s guide as well as our shoulder rig buyer’s guide. If you’re more than just a hobbyist, and are expecting to spend full days working on filmmaking, you really ought to invest in a quick release plate. Quick release plates will allow you to mount and dismount your camera from your monopod in seconds. This will allow you to switch between monopods, steadicams, shoulder rigs, and tripods in the blink of an eye. In the film industry, you’re switching between these things a lot, and shooting schedules would not work out if you had to unscrew your camera every 5 minutes.
If you’re just a casual filmmaker that shoots some YouTube videos from time to time, this feature is less important. Many videographers will be okay with just screwing their camera into their monopod once and shooting the whole day. If you know you’re one of these people, you may be able to save a bunch of money by skipping out on this feature.
A Fluid Motion Head / Base
This is one of the most important thing you need to make sure you have if you’re buying a Monopod for video purposes. Unless you know for a fact that you’re only going to be doing static recordings with no motion, it’s important that you are able to tilt or pan your camera. These movements are nonexistent in the realm of photography, so photography monopods will often not have this feature.
Make sure that the Monopod you are buying has a fluid motion head, or at least a 3-way tilt and pan head. Sometimes the fluid motion feature will be built into the base rather than the head, as this is possible with monopods. Just keep an eye out for either, and remember that your monopod should have some sort of mechanism for camera pans. Also, if you already have, or accidentally bought a device that is not capable of movement, you can always buy a fluid motion head separately. Just make sure it’s compatible with your monopod.
Carbon Fiber Vs Aluminum
When shopping for just about any sort of metal film equipment, it always boils down to either carbon fiber, or aluminum. Carbon Fiber and Aluminum are about equal in terms of strength and stability – the only major difference is price and weight. Carbon Fiber equipment is often much more expensive, but is more lightweight and portable. Aluminum equipment is cheap, strong, but is just a little bit on the heavier side.
In our opinion, unless it’s a piece of equipment you’re planning on using every day, for several hours at a time, the difference is negligible. Don’t hesitate to go with an aluminum product. They’re great, and will last you just as long. They just may end up being a little more cumbersome over the course of a long career.
The level bubble is a feature that is just undeniably useful no matter what kind of content creator you are. When shooting video footage, if you fail to properly level your camera, the shot will come out slanted and will often times be completely ruined. The level bubble is not always 100% necessary – sometimes you can eyeball it, and other times you can bring your own separately. Nevertheless, we think it is a very important feature in any monopod, and that including one definitely scores points and increases the overall value of your tool.
Max/Min Height and Weight
The nature of your work will dictate the ideal height and weight specifications you will need for your monopod. Some monopods are incredibly lightweight and easy to transport, but be more difficult to stabilize, and unable to support heavier rigs. Others may be quite stable, but too heavy for your trek through the woods for your nature videos.
Tripods that are taller also tend to cost a bit more money. Not everybody needs a tall one though! We think that all of the products we recommended here on this list are long enough for the vast majority of shooting situations, so don’t stress too much!
Payload Support Weight
Finally, of course, you need to make sure that the weight of your camera rig + accessories will be compatible with the monopod you are purchasing. This list was curated with DSLR’s in mind, so if you’re a regular consumer shooting things on a DSLR, all of our recommendations should have you covered – even if you have a lot of accessories. If you’re shooting on larger cameras however, you should definitely consider looking into some more heavy duty equipment.