Do small cameras and smartphones need a tripod?

At slow exposure times and in the telephoto setting, the risk of camera shake is high, so stabilization will be necessary to get sharp images. It doesn't have to be a tripod, a monopod or Steadify are already a great help and often completely sufficient.

Does the antishake function on cameras and lenses replace a tripod?

Not necessarily. Antishake allows a gain of up to 5 f-stops or 5 stops in exposure times, that's where the limit is (state of the art 2021). Particularly long lens focal lengths reduce this margin even further. Beyond the exposure time, however, there is another important criterion: a tripod or monopod or Steadify also carries the weight of the equipment, a factor that should not be underestimated in many situations.

How is a travel tripod different from other tripods?

By compromising on lighter weight and volume. A travel tripod should fit in your luggage and be easy to carry. In return, it may be somewhat more unstable than its more robust siblings. With heavy equipment, a travel tripod could be unsuitable for many situations, while it is usually perfectly adequate for smaller cameras. Much also depends on the photographic task, the weather conditions, the subject.

How do I find the right tripod fitting my needs?

All depends on these factors: Size of camera and lens, stationary or traveling, weather conditions, time of day or night, photographic task, the need for portability or optimal stability in any conditions, luggage. Some examples:

*Harsh weather or extremely low light conditions sometimes require the stability of a tripod or monopod.
*Long focal lengths of 200mm and above often cannot do without additional stability, especially in low light conditions.
*Slow shutter speeds from 1/30 sec. down require more stability, depending on the speed and focal length of the lens, as well as the ISO sensitivity.
*For small cameras, bridge cameras, smartphones, and for wide-angle photography, a lightweight to medium-stability tripod is sufficient.
*Heavy equipment or particularly long focal lengths require high-quality tripods and ball heads. Video cameras also require high-quality tripods and, in addition, pan heads for smooth, professional camera movements. 
*For outdoor, action and event use, tripods can be more of a hindrance. If you want to stay mobile and still need stability, monopods or Steadify are the more attractive solution.

By the way, the use of tripods is not allowed in some national parks of the USA and in cultural sites of various countries. Exceptions: Gimbal (for video), Steadify (for photo and video).

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