Using a tripod alternative instead of a tripod involves some limitations, the main one being that it requires a support object to hold it. The availability of supports determines where you can place the camera, unlike a tripod which can be set up anywhere it is allowed. Of course the ground is always available if a low angle shot is acceptable. But raising the camera higher requires something to support the tripod alternative.
No Shortage of Supports
Fortunately, in urban areas and tourist destinations, such support objects are plentiful—poles, columns, railings, fences, walls, doorways, anything that the tripod alternative can engage provides camera stabilization. But using a tripod alternative on different supports depends on the method used to secure it to the support. Many available supports are vertical like poles and columns. Bean bag type devices must sit on a level surface and are useless on vertical objects.
A Solid Connection is Essential
A secure connection is needed on vertical supports. One common method is flexible mini-tripod legs such as Gorillapod and its many imitators. It connects to objects by wrapping the flexible legs around the support and squeezing until a solid grip is achieved. The how-to instructions in this link demonstrate the technique. It works very well on small supports like those illustrated in the article. But objects more than a few inches in diameter are too large for the legs to grip. It can’t be used on power poles, light standards, columns or anything reasonably large.
Other mechanical connections face similar limitations. Velcro straps and clamps will only engage objects of a maximum size. Adhesive material or suction cups will only work on certain types of surfaces. Click this link for a discussion of various tripod alternative connections.
HandlePod—The Tripod Alternative with a Difference
HandlePod was designed to take advantage of literally any support object available. Size, material, vertical or horizontal—it makes no difference. Anything solid can be used for camera stabilization. That’s because HandlePod needs no mechanical attachment. You simply press it against any support with your hand. Steady hand pressure and a firm object is all it takes. I have done a rock solid four minute exposure in moonlight just by holding it against a fencepost. Long exposures in low light are possible anywhere there is a solid object to hold the HandlePod against.
What if you want to attach it to supports for hands-free operation? That’s easy too with the elastic cord. Simply wrap the cord around the support and secure it into the slot in the HandlePod. And the cord stretches to over four feet to accommodate large objects. HandlePod opens a world of possibility for camera stabilization on any solid support.