Sometimes it’s not convenient to carry a tripod with you — especially the big bulky sturdy pieces of equipment that some of us like to use. But not every occasion requires a heavy duty tripod, and something much smaller will suffice.

A while back, I picked up one of these tabletop tripods (well… my Mom got me the Sunpak Mini-PRO Plus for Christmas). It’s really nice to have since I rarely want to carry my Slik Pro 700DX equipped with the Slik AF2100 Pistol Grip Ballhead because it looks like a rocket launcher and weighs as much as a tank. My tabletop tripod, however, fits in a lens compartment in my camera bag and I can use it in a pinch. Of course, if I want to do some serious landscape or sunset work I’ll break out the big guns.

Most tripods in this category are about the same size and price — approximately 7 inches folded down, about 12″ fully extended, as big around as a typical lens, and under $30. One thing to look out for when researching one of these tripods: make sure it can hold the weight of your camera — some are intended for compact cameras while others are capable of supporting a dSLR.

So if you’ve ever found yourself without a tripod in a time of need, check out some of these tabletop versions shown here (especially the one at the top of the post… it’s new and it looks awesome for dSLR users).

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These smaller tripods are useful as when you state you do not want to carry all the weight of the full size models.

I now carry the Gorrila Zoom for the larger DSLRs and it work great as a small tripod and more importantly I can almost attached my camera to any post or railing with its bendable legs.

Niels Henriksen

April 28, 2008 12:27 pm

I bought the Gorillapod SLR Zoom last summer and hardly used it. Only when I got myself a flash I started using it to stand my flash somewhere I like. Who knows, maybe I’ll start taking it with me on my trips since my Giottos MT9261′s screw broke about a week ago. It will be away for repair for 3 to 5 weeks… :-(

April 28, 2008 3:26 pm

Just like the Niels said, it’s all about the gorillapod. You just can’t beat it for functionality and versitality

April 28, 2008 10:52 pm

it IS all about the gorillapod!!! I love that thing and its almost always in my bag… but you are right there is no substitute when doing serious landscape work for a good, sturdy tripod.

April 28, 2008 11:29 pm

Dang… we have a lot of Gorillapod fans around here, don’t we? I’ve never tried one myself — I might have to pick one up and check it out.

April 29, 2008 12:18 am

It may say Gorilla Pod but I think Octopus Pod is more appropriate as it seems to attached to anything.

I used this for camera attached to the walking stick

Niels Henriksen

April 29, 2008 7:09 am

Good article Brian. I found my self in need of something to put the camera on a couple of days back. The Gorillapod looks like something I might have to look into.

April 29, 2008 10:06 am

I use the SLR gorillapod, its a handy piece of kit.

April 29, 2008 4:15 pm

The Gorillapod SLR Zoom works for me too. Took some nice shots with it in situations where it would not have been practical to bring the big tripod.

April 30, 2008 8:13 pm

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