How to Put a Camera on a Tripod

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Capturing photos can be improved through the use of camera accessories. Although there are many accessories, one of the most useful is a tripod. A tripod helps keep the camera steady while capturing photos, so let’s go through how to put a camera on a tripod before using it. 

How to Put a Camera on a Tripod 

To put a camera on a tripod, you must first check the compatibility. This is because there are several types of tripods suitable for various cameras. After that, set up the tripod on stable ground. Lastly, attach the camera to the tripod by screwing or clasping. 

Photographer adjusting his camera on a tripod, while a little girl tries to help

Step 1: Check the Compatibility

First, check if both the tripod and camera are compatible. To do this, see if your camera has a tripod mount (most do). You will find this on the bottom of the camera.

When it comes to tripods, you will find that there are a lot of mounts available. You will find a ball head, pan and tilt head, pistol grip, fluid head, and gimbal head. Each of these will be able to fit a camera and allow you to use the camera differently.

Just make sure that the camera plate has the same size as your camera’s screw size. Usually, a ball head is the best kind of mount because it offers you a lot of versatility and flexibility. 

After that, you have to see if your tripod will be able to withstand the weight of your camera. If you have a low-priced, clumsy tripod, it can fall due to the weight and damage your camera.

Step 2: Set up the Tripod

Before attaching the camera, first set up the tripod. Although you can attach the camera before setting it up, it increases the chances of damaging the camera. Thus, it is safer to set it up first.

First, find a level ground. This is so that your tripod is stable and does not fall. After that, extend the legs according to your height preference. Make sure that it is stable. Then adjust the height of the tripod later on according to what you want to photograph. 

Step 3: Attach the Camera

The process of attaching the camera to the tripod will differ according to the different mounts, as mentioned before. However, some of the steps remain the same. Follow the steps below:

Woman putting a camera on a tripod
  1. You first have to remove the camera plate from your tripod (all tripods come with one to make it easier to attach your camera). You can do this using a release clip or a simple lever. 
  2. Now, slowly screw your camera onto your tripod. As mentioned before, check if the screw sizes are the same. Make sure that the screw is tightly fixed and the camera is fully in position. 
  3. Alternatively, if your tripod has a clamping system, clamp your camera onto your tripod. Here, you might need a tightening system or a screw to fix it onto the tripod. Again, make sure that it is tightly fixed. 
  4. Lastly, hang a certain weight or your camera bag on the center of your tripod to give it extra stability. 

Advantages of Using a Tripod

A tripod is an essential accessory that can help you capture photos in several situations. Its main function is to hold a camera still while you can capture photos. It is very useful in low light conditions, HDR photography, and for long exposures.

Low Light Conditions

Low light situations such as capturing photos during the night require more light entering your camera to capture the subjects accurately. Hence, during these situations, photographers use a very slow shutter speed. They require a very stable camera and tripod allows them to capture photos in these conditions. 

HDR Photography

High dynamic range or HDR photography involves taking two or more shots at different exposures and then merging them together in a photo editing software. This allows you to balance the compositions between light and dark areas in the photo. 

However, it involves taking pictures from the same spot. A tripod can help achieve this as the camera is fixed on it. If you try to do it while holding the camera, you might move it and will not be able to capture the same composition.

Long Exposures

Similar to low light conditions, long exposure settings involve using a slow shutter speed. This might lead to motion blur if the camera is not held still. A tripod ensures that you are able to capture photos when you want to take long exposures. 

Camera on a tripod

Disadvantages of Using a Tripod

There are some disadvantages of using a tripod which include:

  • Heavy: The tripods are very heavy and this makes it difficult to move around while capturing photos. 
  • Inconvenient: Although tripods add a lot to photography, carrying them around wherever you go can be very inconvenient. Even if you get a collapsible tripod, it takes up a lot of space and can make it difficult for those who like to travel light.
  • Time: Setting up tripods can take up a lot of time. First, you have to open it if you have a collapsible one and then adjust the heights and move it around. All of this could lead to you missing the moment. 
  • Damage: By using a tripod, you can damage your camera and its lenses if you do not know how to set them up. Also, if you have procured a low-priced tripod, it can break easily.
  • Visible: A tripod is a large device that makes it very easy to spot. So, if you are trying to capture photos discretely in a busy street or candid situation, then a tripod will not be very useful.

Related Questions

How Do You Take a Picture on a Tripod?

To take pictures on a tripod, first attach the camera to the tripod. Then make sure the image stabilization option is off and use the mirror lockup option on your camera. Use a timer or a shutter cable as even though it is mounted, you can introduce a slight shake by pressing the shutter.  Adjust your tripod’s height and shoot.

How Do I Know if a Tripod Will Fit My Camera?

To know if a tripod will fit your camera, you should check a few factors before getting it. The first and most important is the weight rating. A lightweight tripod will break or collapse and damage your gear. Hence, make sure that the tripod can support at least 1.5 times the weight of your camera and your heaviest lens. 

Moreover, see that the size of your mount screw matches your camera. There are different sizes and it might become difficult to attach the camera if they do not match.  Also, make sure that the tripod matches your own height. This will ensure that you do not have to bend a lot to look into the viewfinder before capturing photos. 


A tripod is a very useful accessory that can be used in low light situations, for long exposure settings, and for HDR stability. Hence you need to know how to put a camera on a tripod which involves checking compatibility, setting up the tripod, and attaching the camera onto the tripod.