The world of camera-related inventions is a crazy place. One of the areas where wacky photographer inventions actually become quite practical is tripods and camera mounts. These devices allow you to take your camera to places it simply couldn't have gone before.
Today we've rounded up ten such devices to consider adding to your arsenal. Below you'll find ways to strap your camera to your head, clamp it to a car window and even stick it to a wall!
Haven't you always wanted a tripod that looks like a gun? I know I have. All joking aside, the design here is pretty fantastic. The trigger feature and gun grip allow you to quickly grab, unlock, and reposition your camera on a tripod with one hand.
The ball head provides an unbeatable range of movement and there's a built-in 72-point rotation feature for precise adjustments (clicks into place with each movement). If you're looking to ditch that plain tripod mount and move up to something professional, this is a great place to start.
Amazon Price: $99
You've seen GorillaPod tripods before. They're the ones with the crazy legs that can bend in every direction, wrap around trees and make your camera look like an evil alien attacker from War of the Worlds.
They make GorillaPods for everything from tiny snapshot cameras to iPhones, so you might think they're just for smaller equipment. However, GorillaPod also makes the Focus, a heavy-duty version perfectly capable of holding your 5D MkII with a zoom lens. In fact, the impressive grip can stay stable for up to 11 pounds.
Amazon Price: $65.00
Taking those self-portrait Facebook shots isn't always easy when you're lugging a DSLR around Disneyland. The QuickPod solves this problem by providing a way to extend your reach by over four feet, it even includes a mirror so you can get your smile just right!
Of course, the QuickPod does much more than self-portraits. It comes in handy any time you need to extend your reach, whether you're shooting over a crowd or off a cliff. It also doubles as a monopod making it an incredibly versatile tool to add to your camera bag.
Amazon Price: $35.63
This one isn't so much a tripod as a big, sturdy grip for your camera. It's designed specifically for stabilizing action shots such as those taken for extreme sports. A video on the Opteka website shows the example of someone taking video from a moving skateboard.
The basic idea is that it makes your camera easier to hold steady during lengthy action shooting sequences (still or video). It even has a removable shoe mount for lights, flashes and microphones.
Amazon Price: $34.95
Not everyone wants or needs a heavy duty professional grade tripod. If you've got a pocket-sized camera, you'll need a pocket sized tripod, and we found the perfect one.
At only five inches long and less than 2 ounces in weight, the Sunpak Mini Spider brings the idea of a tiny tripod to a whole new level. It'll run you less than $5, so why not pick up a couple?
Amazon Price: $2.69
The Flip is a little camera that made a big splash in the portable video world. They're small, cheap, user friendly devices that can produce some impressive HD footage. If you're looking to shoot some crazy action sequences, the Flip Video Action Tripod is the way to go.
It's lightweight and durable and can be used in a number of unique ways. It sits flat on the table, has an adjustable swiveling head and comes with two velcro straps that allow you to secure your Flip to whatever you're riding, driving or flying!
Amazon Price: $14.25
This may look like a silly novelty item, but it's actually a fairly impressive and professional piece of equipment. The Steadicam Smoothee transforms your iPhone 4 into a serious video camera by reducing the typical hand-held shake. It accomplishes this with a design similar to what you see on high-end Hollywood rigs.
As a bonus, the quick-release iPhone mount can be used as a table top stand or even inserted into any standard tripod. If you're thinking about producing a film completely on your iPhone, this might just be a must-have. But beware, it's one of the most expensive pieces of equipment on this list!
Amazon Price: $179.95
This next mount must have been designed specifically with private investigators and creepy stalkers in mind. It's a clamp that allows you to mount your DSLR to your car window. Perfect for all those drive-by action shots.
The use isn't limited to car windows. You can use this handy item to mount your camera to anything that's steady and fairly narrow. The max width of the clamp is 0.51 inches.
Amazon Price: $29.89
Sometimes you just need a quick way to balance your camera without the hassles of a full-on tripod. With this amazing invention, all you need is to grab the nearest bottle of Coke and you're ready to go!
The head is a rubber socket that fits snugly on almost any bottle top the tripod screw is standard so it should work with just about any camera. At the very least, it will make you popular at the next company picnic.
Photojojo Price: $10.00
The Monster Pod defies all logic and supposedly sticks to just about anything. According to the description, it's been tried on "brick walls, trees, marble, cement, steel, sheet rock, wire fences, metal poles, plate glass windows, upside down, in the heat, in the cold, on furniture, street lamps, and on a car."
It simply sticks on and peels right off when you're done. The Monsterpod can hold up to 20 ounces and has an adjustable pivoting head. Be careful though, they only promise that it will hold it's position for 1-10 minutes, so you better be ready to catch your falling camera!
Photojojo Price: $30.00
With the inventions above, you should be able to mount your camera in every possible way just about every possible place you could want, most of the time for less than $50!
If you're a professional purchasing for yourself, I would definitely recommend the Vanguard Pistol Grip and the GorillaPod Focus as they're both highly practical and effective.
If you're looking for a gift for the photographer who has everything, you can't go wrong with the Monsterpod. It's loads of fun to play with for amateurs and seasoned pros alike.
Leave a comment below and let us know about any wacky tripods you've spotted or purchased lately. Also be sure to point out your favorites from the list above!