I just wanted to introduce you all to one of my new favorite toys. Well, it’s really a wonderful tool, but then again, so are all of the other “tools” I have in my “toolkit.”

The Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head is one of the most functional and versatile items in our toolkit. Not only does it serve as a monopod while shooting still images, it’s fluid pan video head makes it an amazing tool for shooting video as well.

The monopod‘s feet also have a “stick” feature allowing it to stand all by itself, which I often use for shooting as a tripod when using a cable release. However, I definitely wouldn’t recommend leaving it as it obviously isn’t that sturdy. A good gust of wind could tip it over. But, for a quick hands free shot, it’s pretty awesome.

When shooting video, the fluid pan head used in conjunction with the head’s arm and monopod’s feet make it an incredible tool in creating stabilized video. With a little practice, the monopod can be used to create wonderfully creative cinema style video footage.

The team at Still Motion has done a wonderful job showing it’s possibilities and teaching some of these techniques, so be sure to check it out below.

deconstructing the story // a monopod tutorial from stillmotion on Vimeo.

While the $290 Amazon street price is by no means “cheap” its Manfrotto signature high quality build and versatility in shooting stills and video make it a wonderful value and an SLR Lounge Approved product.