Types of Camera Mounts

Updated: Aug 30, 2023 10:55 AM
types of camera mounts

If you are new to digital photography, you may want to learn all about the various types of camera mounts. Many of the best digital cameras, are DSLR models, and these cameras integrate with plenty of lenses and mounts to suit different consumers. So why learn about the camera mounts available with the best DSLR cameras, and what should you keep in mind as you shop? Continue reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • There are a variety of camera mounts out there, such as the EF mount, depending on the type of camera you have and the type of shots or videos you want to take.
  • Standard camera mounts affix to just about anything, including cars, boats, metal objects, and even chairs, impacting the flange focal distance accordingly.
  • Tripod mounts affix to tripods and camera lens mounts, like bayonet mounts, allow you to switch out different interchangeable lenses for a unique focal distance, micro four-thirds shots, and more.

Camera Mount Types

Camera mounts are mechanical adapters that allow you to attach a number of lenses to the camera body or affix the camera to a stationary object, even if you are shopping for the best mirrorless camera. When learning how to choose the best digital camera, the lens mount is an important consideration. This mount dictates which lenses will integrate into your camera body if you are comparing an E mount vs an A mount.

Insider Tip

No matter which lens mount you buy, clean and maintain your lenses regularly, so they last a good while.

There are many types of DSLR lenses out there and many corresponding camera mounts. Here are the major types of camera mounts available.

Camera Bracket

This extremely simple camera mount allows you to affix a camera to various objects like poles, chairs, and others. This bracket is, essentially, just an extension arm that goes from the camera’s undercarriage to whatever object the camera is attached to. Some advanced videographers on a budget even use these brackets to make a DIY dolly track by attaching it to a trolley dolly.

A standard camera bracket mount is a simple and elegant way to integrate your camera in a multitude of brand-new scenarios. They are easy to use and work with cameras from many of the leading manufacturers.

Reasons to Buy

  • They are great for unique styles of shooting, such as dolly shots in videos.
  • These are budget-friendly, especially when compared to some of the more advanced mounts on this list.
  • Camera brackets are easy to install and use, with a plug-and-play design that is great for beginners.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • They are not as sturdy and durable as some mounts, which could impact longevity.
  • Though they affix to nearly any object, they are not as stable as, say, a tripod mount.
  • These brackets do not integrate with all DSLR cameras, as the designs vary.

Tips for Buying a Camera Bracket

  • Some cameras ship with a bracket, this saves some money by shopping for combo packs.
  • Make sure the bracket you are researching can attach to your camera successfully.
  • You can buy used, but thoroughly inspect the body before making a purchase.

Tripod Mount

The humble tripod mount is the most common type of camera mount out there, both in professional photography and videography. These mounts are especially sturdy, especially when paired with a decent tripod. What is the end result of using a tripod mount on a tripod? A camera that stays in place, even when you accidentally jab it with your arm or bang into it,

After all, there is a reason why these common mounts are so popular. They are simple bare-bones mounts that just get the job done, though they require you to already own or purchase a tripod.

Reasons to Buy

  • Tripod mounts are particularly sturdy if you need stable shots or videos without too much fuss.
  • This is the most common type of mount available, so you have plenty of options to suit various tastes.
  • If you are going to be using a tripod, a tripod mount is a necessity. Without one, most tripods are useless.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • You may not have to buy one, as many tripods ship with an appropriate mount for DSLR cameras.
  • They only affix to tripods and not nearby stationary or moving objects, so dolly shots, for instance, are difficult to pull off.
  • These are for still shots or static video feeds, not for action shots or wide movements.

Tips for Buying Tripod Mounts

  • Check to see if your tripod doesn’t already include a mount before making a standalone purchase.
  • On the same page, check to ensure your camera, the tripod mount, and the tripod itself all play nicely together.
  • You can buy used here with confidence, but not before trying the mount out for yourself with your camera and tripod.

Standard Camera Mount

The tripod mount attaches cameras to tripods, and the bracket attaches cameras to a limited set of stationary objects. The standard camera mount attaches cameras to just about everything else, from cars and boats to outdoor surfaces. They ship in a wide variety of sub-types depending on what surface you are connecting to. For instance, mounting a camera to a car often requires a suction cup mount or a magnetic base mount.

The diversity on offer here makes this a particularly popular type of camera mount for budding photographers and videographers. If you can stick something to an object, the odds are you can mount a camera there.

Reasons to Buy

  • If you need to mount a camera to a unique object like a car, there is no other game in town.
  • They attach to just about anything, depending on the underlying design.
  • There are many universal standard camera mounts that ingrate with a wide variety of camera makes and models.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • They are often sturdy when attached but not as sturdy as a tripod mount, though this depends on how the mount is affixed.
  • Most designs do not allow for movement, so dolly work is out of the question.
  • Though they can attach to just about everything, they do not often integrate with tripods.

Tips for Buying a Standard Camera Mount

  • Your first order of business is ensuring the mount integrates with your camera and the object to be mounted on.
  • These mounts differ wildly in price, so be sure to compare shops.
  • Some cameras ship with a standard camera mount of one type or another, so check ahead of time.

STAT: A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet type, or a breech-lock (friction lock) type. Modern still camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between the lens and body. (source)

Lens Mount

Camera mounts are not just for attaching cameras to various objects to capture unique shots or videos. They are also for attaching various lenses to capture unique shots and videos. You need a lens mount if you want to use a wide-angle lens, a fisheye lens, or any unique type of lens. Depending on the manufacturer, these mounts integrate with all kinds of lenses, which lets you step up your game.

Different types of lens mounts are available in a diverse array of sizes and compatibility spectrums. Many manufacturers force consumers into a walled ecosystem with roprietary mounts and lenses that only work with one another. This can not always be avoided, depending on the make and model of your camera.

Reasons to Buy

  • Do you want to use lenses other than a standard prime camera lens? This is what you need to make that happen.
  • Once you have a lens mount, you can choose from a multitude of lenses to create unique effects.
  • Lens mounts are sturdy and last for years, sometimes outlasting the camera itself.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Your camera may have shipped with a lens mount, so you would not have to purchase another one.
  • Not all lens mounts integrate with every type of lens, and there is plenty of confusion out there.
  • Companies sell proprietary lens mounts that only work with the lenses they manufacture.

Tips for Buying a Lens Mount

  • If you can, look for a universal common lens mount so that you have the option for third-party lenses down the line.
  • Check to see if your camera shipped with a lens mount when you bought it, saving some hassle.
  • Some advanced lenses come with a mount, so also check on that before making a purchase.

Camera Mount FAQs

What type of tripod head is best?

It really depends on the tripod itself and your camera. Some tripods allow for a wide range of shots, while others are rather limited in what they can provide to modern shutterbugs.

What does a lens mount do?

A lens mount allows you to affix different lenses to your rangefinder camera, C-mount camera, video camera, film camera, and standard still photography camera. The common mount with changing out lenses is called a bayonet-style mount.

What are all the different lens types that are available?

There are many lens types out there that integrate with bayonet mounts and other lens mounts to change up flange focal distance, allow for micro four-thirds shots, and more. These lenses often require unique mounts, such as a screw mount, EF-S mount, and more.

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