DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY - Point and Shoot Cameras

Pro Tips For Amateur Photographers




Photo shot with Canon Point and Shoot Camera
with Long Shutter Mode, 1 to 15 seconds

For This Photo: ISO at 100 - Shutter at 12 Seconds
photography tips,digital photography, how to use a tripod for photos


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Tripods - Useful in Photography For Many Reasons


They keep the camera still while shooting in 'slow or long shutter mode',

common for night photography, or when you have your shutter mode to a long exposure, like 5 seconds; even pressing the shutter button can cause the camera to move, and that can ruin your shot,and, for that reason tripods are recommended.

They are good for action shots,

especially if your zooming to your subject, again, the tripod will eliminate any movement in the camera, and thus eliminate the blurred photo.

Ideal for taking shots using a remote shutter release,

as the camera is prefocused on the subject or subject area, and then the shot can be taken remotely with the shutter release. This keeps the camera still while using the shutter release.

Recommended for 'panning' a subject;

a technique whereby the background is blurred to give a sense of movement in the action photo shot; common for sports like cycling, racing and even some wildlife shots.

Tripods are also useful in a photo shoot situation; when you need to wait for your photo subject, the tripod allows you to prefocus your shoot.

Types Of Tripods

There are many tripods to choose from;

tall - medium height, and small tripods, and even tripods that cling to things. Each tripod is similar but also different in the frame materials used to make it, and also the features it has. Some tripods are made for lighter cameras like the point and shoot compact cameras, to the heavier point and shoot cameras, and DSLR cameras that have zoom lenses attached. The most expensive tend to have the most features and usually are lighter. Aluminum tripods are very popular, and probably the most mid priced tripods sold, while those made from carbon fiber tend to be the most expensive.

Types of Tripods for Photography

Tripods give a weight rating, so when browsing them, best to choose one with a rating appropriate for your camera's weight.
Tripods need to be durable, and the top where the camera sits, need to be firm, and without much give, otherwise, it won't serve it's purpose, which is to keep your camera still when shooting. Tripods can also be used to mount your LED lights as shown above. Many LED lights include an adapter so you can easily use them with your tripod or DSLR camera shoe.(if you have a DSLR camera). LED lights are not something you can attach to a point and shoot camera, at least not the less expensive brands.

Tripod Prices

Prices for tripods can start at around $20, for a tall tripod, and cost as much as a few hundred dollars; depending on brand and features. The small tripods, are usually at $25- $85. The really expensive tripods, costing a couple hundred or more, are made from quality materials, and should last a good number of years. Tripods are rated by camera weight; so for a point and shoot compact camera, you could use a tripod with a smaller weight rating like to 2 or 3 lbs. If you have a DSLR pro camera with lenses, then you would probably need a tripod with a weight rating of 6 or more lbs.

Common Features of All Tripods

Tripods can have a release mechanism where the camera sits - meaning you can release the bracket, then add your camera to the bracket, and then add it back to the tripod. Also popular is the tripod with a ball head type as shown in this photo. Depending on the make, it can swivel to 90 degrees front, and some swivel to 90 front and back. The camera itself is positioned on top of the ball head 1/4 inch attachment and tightened by turning the white dial. Both types of tripods are used by photographers, and it depends on personal preference. Before you decide to buy one, bring your camera along to test it on the tripod to make sure it has the features you want.
Tripod - Ball Head Type, Manfrotto

Level indicators are common on many tall tripods. These levels help to ensure your tripod is level.

Extends on the legs are another common feature, which enables the tripod to extend its full length which is usually between 45-65 inches for the tallest styles. If your shooting on uneven ground the leg extends are helpful to level the tripod.

Many tripods are usually capable of panning - left and right; and these styles usually include a handle you can use to pan.

The weight of tripods varies, depending on brand and materials used to make it, however, most are still quite lightweight, even the more unexpensive brands; and, many include a carry bag. Some have a built in carry handle which is convenient.

If you are using a tripod for a photo, you should turn off your IS mode, in your setting. On Canon, it is in settings, IS, and you just need to choose OFF mode. This is the image stabalization, which is usually enabled, as it helps prevent camera shake in your photo. But when using a tripod you don't need to have this enabled.