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).