While modern cameras offer great advantages over the previous generation models, there are limits to their capabilities and usefulness that you can extend immeasurably by the use of a tripod.
You may be happy with the results of your holiday snaps, but if you want to extend your photographic experiences beyond the basics, then a tripod becomes a must have accessory.
For example, If you would like to take a night-time shot, or a fabulous sunset. In both cases, the available light is reduced, resulting in your camera requiring a slower shutter speed. However, the slower shutter speed increases the risk of shake while taking the shot if you are supporting the camera just by hand. A tripod will enable you to optimally position the camera, concentrate on the subject and eliminate shake that could ruin an otherwise perfect shot.
Or perhaps you are more interested in wildlife photography? It can be very tiring to hold a camera for a long time waiting for that elusive bird or animal to make an appearance, and by the time it does, your arm is so tired that you are likely to blur the shot anyway. By setting your camera on a tripod, you will be sure that you are relaxed and ready for that brief encounter.
There are many varieties of tripods to choose from, so how do you decide on the best for you?
One main consideration is the type of camera you use. A modern DLSR camera can be quite heavy, so probably the best choice here would be a sturdy tripod from a well-known manufacturer such as Manfrotto or Slik. Both offer a wide range of quality tripods suitable for just your needs.
On the other hand, if you mainly use a small digital camera, more commonly known as a point and shoot camera, you may be better served by using a mini tripod, such as the brand Gorillapod, or even a monopod. As the name suggests, the monopod is a one-legged support that gives great stability, but takes little space in your accessory bag and is quick to erect and move, ideal for action photography.
Another option, particularly if you like photographing wildlife from inside your car, in a game reserve, for example, is a car window mounted bracket to support your camera. Or if you really want to get into the action, how about a camera bracket that uses Velcro to attach your camera to any clean, smooth surface, such as a snowboard or a bike helmet?