Before we dive straight into the best monopods for video - let's discuss what makes a monopod great. These aspects include
Also, to make this article a bit easier for you to navigate, read, and understand - I have included a table of contents and a comparison table below.
The comparison table is in 'best to worst' order (even though the 'worst' is still very acceptable). I have shuffled the monopods order below the table (the detailed info section). I continue to add to and change this article over time as I test other monopods or talk with someone in detail about one that I haven't used yet.
Have you ever wondered how videographers get such smooth pans and tilts?
It's actually not that difficult at all when you have a fluid head.
The biggest difference between a regular tripod head, and a fluid one, is the smoothness and control across panning and tilting.
Perfect, right? Well... here's a couple of things to think about when mounting a fluid head to a monopod:
I have included a few monopods with a fluid head. But, you have to be ok with the fact that a fluid head adds more weight, a larger head (with an arm sticking out) - and can be, at times, a pain to use in some circumstances. You'll also find the weight capacity is much lower on a fluid head (sometimes over half). But, again, I am not saying it is wrong (and I have used a fluid head many times on a monopod) - be aware that it's not always needed.
As explained in the image above - good monopods have a free floating lockable ball built into the base (or have the option to attach one).
This is very similar to a ball head. This allows you to not only adjust angles and lean with the tripod in any direction - but it also allows you to spin and turn the tripod to follow/track your subject.
This will take practice (like anything else) - but the benefit of not having a fluid head is:
Again, I am not saying it's a bad thing to use a fluid head. They're great - and they'll give you a great advantage over capturing footage than if you didn't have one.
What I am saying is you don't have to have one - You'll do great without one, if that's what you choose.
Lets dive into the monopods now, shall we?
As stated a little earlier in this article - this first section will be affordable to mid-tier monopods for video.
You'll be able to gauge if one of these monopods will fit your video needs or if you'll need to step up to the pro level.
Benro is a great company that has done very well since its debut on Amazon a few years ago.
I have used many of their products, including their tripods and geared heads. All have been fantastic and most of which I still use for landscape and product photography.
This specific model (the 4 series with the S4 head) - is an excellent 'starter' monopod with an excellent fluid head included.
Features and Benefits:
Overall: This is the 'go-to' monopod for beginners or those wanting to try it out and see if they like it—solid construction on both the monopod and fluid head.
The reason I have included another version of the Benro monopod - is that it falls below $250 and has some significant upgrades from its baby brother, the S4.
This is the S6 - and as you'll see here shortly with the features - there are some significant upgrades from the S4 that may tip the scales towards something more capable but isn't going to break the bank (like a Sirui or Gitzo).
At first glance, there isn't really anything different compared to the S4. However, the height is slightly longer with the S6 (6 inches) - because of the larger fluid head.
The real difference is in the head itself.
Let's look at a comparison of both heads against each other.
As you can clearly see - the S6 head is a significant jump in payload/performance - for a relatively low increase in price.
Yes, the S6 is slightly larger (and over a pound heavier) - but, you're getting nearly 5 pounds of additional payload capacity.
Honestly, the cons are the same as the S4 version.
The head is better on this model - but that's the only difference. Seeing as the monopod itself is the same - the cons to the monopod would remain the same as well.
I'm a longtime fan of Benro. They make solid camera equipment for beginners to intermediates that last the user a long time if taken care of.
This is not only for their monopods but their fluid heads, ball heads, tripods, and geared heads. They're a solid and trusted brand in the photo/video space.
You can't go wrong purchasing this or any of their other products.
This is a monopod I stumbled across about a year ago, and by just looking at it - it doesn't seem too special. That's until you look at the level next to the foot.
Once I did a little investigating and figured out what it did - I was super impressed and ultimately purchased one.
If you reference the image below, you may know exactly what it does by just looking at it.
It's equipped with a foot release for the lower section. That's right. You can fully extend the top section and control all height adjustments with your foot from that point forward.
It's an awesome feature, and after thinking about it, I'm surprised that no one else had come up with it before. However, from what I've heard from the company itself - there was a lot of R&D and patents that had to be made/approved along the way, which may be why no one pursued it.
It can support up to 15 lbs and reaches a little over 5 feet.
I'm sure you noticed right out the gate that there isn't a 3 legged base. Referencing back on what we spoke about earlier (R&D and cost) - the company also stated it wouldn't be cost-effective to create a base and have it fold and fit into a bag - so it's doubtful we will ever see one for this model.
The 5.25 ft height leaves a little bit to be desired as well.
Lastly, it doesn't come with a head - you'll have to purchase it separately.
I am recommending it - but not to everyone.
The selling feature is obviously the foot lever height adjustment. I mean, it's the only reason I picked one up.
So, if you find yourself making height adjustments often and don't want to mess with twist locks or clamps - go for it. The build quality is great and works exactly how it should.
On the other hand - if you don't see yourself needing the easy height adjustment - pass on this and consider something else. The last thing you'd want to do is spend $350+ (with head) on something you would use or use how it was intended.
I hope you've heard of Three Legged Thing (sometimes referred to as 3LT or TLT). One of the top three brands for tripods/monopods - without a doubt.
From their awesome and consistent craftsmanship - to awesome customer service, you can't go wrong.
I've used both a monopod and a tripod extensively in the Real Estate Photography industry and have used TLT for a lot of it. Not a single issue.
What this monopod has going for it is size vs. payload ratio.
Weighing in at just over 1lb (and only 16 inches long when folded) - it can support a whopping 60kg or 132lbs.
Doing the math on that - it can support 110x its own weight.
Not only that - something this strong can easily create boom-style movements fully extended—no need to worry about it breaking.
The cons are about the same as the Steadicam (yet a but less expensive).
For what it is, Three Legged Things monopod is the strongest on this list (and not even close to being the most expensive). I highly recommend all of their products - and again, they rate higher than a lot of the top brands out there (heaps better than Manfrotto) if taken care of (beaten around a little bit) - this will last you years without needing to replace it.
This used to be my end-all-be-all of monopods. Incredibly strong, crazy durable, and backed by a company that's been building camera equipment for the better part of 20 years...
And then Three Legged Thing released the Alan 2.0
But, that doesn't mean this doesn't remain an amazing tripod - because, believe me, it does.
What it has over TLT is height. You get about a foot and a half more in height. This is great for tall (and don't want to hunch or kneel) - or if you like boom-style shots with a monopod.
We will knock the price right off the bat.
Look, this monopod might be a bit much for some of you. I get it. Believe me; I don't even own one (tested/rented/borrowed). But, with everything everyone has been through over the last couple of years - it's completely understandable.
Just know - in the future - consider buying Godox (or TLT). You won't find a 'tougher' brand. I know quite a few real estate photographers that have used the same tripod for more than 15 years. This is over 250 days out of the year.
You also won't find a longer-lasting brand that remains to deliver the highest quality product amongst those who are cutting corners to save money, as we speak.
I recommend this to those who need a monopod to last them. It would help if you also were using something like this very often - it's about the only way you can justify it.
The Sirui P-224SR with the V5 video head falls in the mid-tier level of video monopods covered in this article.
Sirui is an 'upper class' (if you wanna call it that) manufacturer of camera gear/tripods. With that being said, you may have never heard of them... Don't let that worry you; they're a solid/reputable brand.
To solidify the brand and how reputable they are - they're the company that makes very affordable, well-performing anamorphic lenses. Their lenses have had great success over the last year and a half (ish) and are doing equally well in the tripod department.
What I like about Sirui is an industry filled with twist-lock tripods/monopods - they stay true to offering clamp locks.
Clamps, while they may be as secure as the twist (over time, plastic clamps can get weak) - they're so much faster to adjust. I absolutely love them.
You'll also get a great video head along with the monopod.
There isn't really anything that I can say negative about Sirui.
You know the feeling when you're trying to find something wrong with something - and you really can't... then you get that confused/frustrated look on your face? That's about where I am with Sirui.
It's just solid for what you pay. Are you getting Gitzo quality? No - but you aren't paying Gitzo premium either.
If you're looking for an affordable monopod/fluid head combo that's solid and adjusts very easily - look no further.
This is another Sirui monopod that I've had the pleasure of using (a buddy of mine owns one).
A friend of mine is a diehard fan of theirs ever since their anamorphic lenses hit the market.
They have treated him great whenever he had questions or needed replacement parts on a product. They even sent him a brand new base (3-foot stabilizer at the bottom of the monopod) - when all he needed was a new pin for one of the legs. After that point, he was hooked.
I have to agree that this monopod is friggin' solid. It feels as if you could literally throw it anywhere and into anything - and it would take the beating (like a Gitzo). You will find it's quite a bit heavier than the other monopods on this list because of that (almost 10lbs, without a camera).
Aside from having the same features as the previous model - you have added features of the monopod itself and the video head. Those include:
As stated in the previous Sirui model that I mentioned - you're not only purchasing a high-quality item, you're purchasing from a brand that does nearly anything to keep you as a customer.
That says so much more than a great product from a company that doesn't care about me as a customer. Seriously - start considering Sirui as a company to buy from - you won't regret it.
I haven't been much of a fan of Manfrotto over the last 3-5 years.
I believe their quality and customer service have tanked - with numerous returns, callbacks, and claims from customers - do you blame me? A couple of years ago, I paid $90 for a light stand that wasn't any better than one from amazon basics for $16... I'm serious.
But then you have the Xpro Monopod... and I don't know what to say. I mean, their quality is shitty now, but in the tripod/monopod department, they're doing just fine.
I saw one first hand a few months ago. It was excellent and fluid for a friend of mine who paid for it.
As long as I have been recommending this monopod - I think I had 1 person send it back. It was through Amazon, so I'm not able to see the reason why... but with ~50 of these monopods purchased with only 1 being sent back is pretty damn good - especially considering their reputation these days.
Other than the quality issues of other products (mentioned earlier), I don't have any negatives to say about it. It hits all the points at a great price point.
When you hear iFOOTAGE - you may think it's a cheap knock-off camera gear brand trying to make it among all the other average players... I don't blame you(if you were) - I sure was. That was until I did some extensive research - and boy - that'll be the next monopod I try (this monopod was added by me in Sept 2021).
Regardless, I hope to shed a little light on a product and brand you may have thought negatively about - and show you that they're trying to change the monopod game.
There are a few aspects of the A180 that are patented.
One is the quick release of the camera plate. It's small - but rapid releases from the ball. This would allow you to swap out cameras and heads quickly and easily.
The ball also allows you to take it off the top of the monopod and mount it to the base legs. This would act as a mini-tripod (like a tabletop).
The clamps are metal and clamp down very securely (unlike cheaper plastic models).
All of this is pretty innovative in a market that seems to have done all it can do... but it's guys like iFOOTAGE (and peak design) that continue to think of new ways to do something so basic.
I recommend adding the iFOOTAGE fluid video head to your order (seen above).
You'll then have a great monopod with an awesome ball and video head - for a little less than $300. You can not beat that.
I can't wait to get my hands on this model really soon (hopefully before Thanksgiving) - I'll be able to take it with me on our yearly family vacations. Their previous model was rock solid - but fundamental (about 5 years ago) - this one on a whole other level.
This is the least expensive monopod on the list... but don't think of it as cheap - and don't think of it as just a monopod...
That's because this K&F Concepts 'monopod' is actually a tripod. It can convert into a monopod when you need it to.
Sporting a ball head is a very capable monopod/tripod combo at a very inexpensive price point.
I have known K&F for quite a long time.
Early in my videography days, I purchased a few sets of K&F's ND and VND filters. They're actually pretty solid for affordable massed produced filters. Check out our related article, Best Variable ND Filters, to learn more about that (and when you would use one if you don't know already).
Anyway, this tripod/monopod combo is no different. Well built and reliable. This model is new (released in 2020) compared to its previous model (released in early 2017). It has all new locking rings (around center column) - same sturdy construction and overall aesthetics.
Remember, we're coming in at a $79 price point here... but, if I could change a few things, they would be:
All well and good, right? Well, if I was to ask for that and K&F actually delivered on it, do you know what would happen? The price would be more than double.
For what this is - it's fantastic. If you can look past no having carbon fiber, fluid head, and only about 5 feet of height... pull the trigger. It's a great package.
I thought it would only be fitting to include a video on of a few different ways to use your monopod - you know, to stand out among the rest.
It's brought to you by... you guessed it... Perter Mckinnon himself. Worth your time to watch!
Yeah, that was a long one!
But we got through it! And at this point, you should have a much better understanding of monopods in general, what to look for, and the average price point for what you need!
By now, you can make a much better, educated decision on the best monopod for video and which one would work best for you.
If we had to choose one 'affordable' and one 'overpriced' monopod, and one Pro level, it would be:
Thank you for reading, and please feel free to leave any feedback or questions in the comments!
You can find us on Facebook and Instagram as well! Don't forget to check out our other related articles, Shutter Speed For Video, Best Variable ND Filters, to learn more about those topics if you aren't confident in those areas.
Until next time, be safe and take care!