March 7, 2008, Newsletter Issue #80: A Quick-Release Head Takes the Hassle Out of Tripod Use

Tip of the Week

Owners of digital SLR's (Single Lens Reflex) and advanced super-zoom cameras will especially appreciate one little-known camera accessory: the tripod quick release.

One reason many photographers don't use a tripod when they know they probably should (such as with macro shots) is that it's such a bother to screw the camera on and off the tripod. A quick release solves this problem easily.

A quick-release tripod head comes with a special camera mount that snaps into and out of the head with the flip of a lever. You can even leave the mount screwed into the base of your camera all the time; it's small and light.

More expensive tripods sometimes come with one, but you can buy a decent quick-release head for under $20.00. In most cases, you can simply replace the existing head on your tripod. For a few dollars more, some manufacturers offer spare camera mounts so you can buy one for every camera in the family.

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Lynne Christen