There are a variety of good monopods and reasons to use them.

I use monopods because I like to be portable and nimble. Even shooting some video, mobility can be important and using a monopod can help be more steady while still giving you the ability to move.

Two recommendations:

For photography:
I recommend the manfrotto 685b – have had this for over a year and love it love it… I’m 6’2 and it is the right height with a bit to spare. I also put this simple head on it. I don’t use it much for swiveling, but i do love the quick release. There’s a quick video on youtube from Yuri – a great stock photographer who uses this same monopod.

For video:

The Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod and Head is quite popular (and I bought one myself). It has a single direction video head (it doesn’t by itself rotate). So the head gives you more ‘filmic’ abilities than a photo head as I use on the 685.

If you’re going to get one monopod for both photography and video, I’d get the 561

Here’s a demo from @stillmotion on the 561:

Follow me!

planetMitch

chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com — which covers every aspect of HDSLR cameras (and a whole lot of other cameras as well). A lover of photography since his early days, he graduated to selling stock photos to make a little bit of spare cash. It wasn’t much, but it allowed him to upgrade to better cameras as well as computers, and it wasn’t taking money away from feeding his family.
He loves the stories that the still image can tell. In the summer of 2008, he read a story written by Arnold Kim called “I Quit My Job” — Arn is the owner of macrumors.com. He started macrumors in 2000 as a hobby, and by 2008 he was making more money with the site than he was on his day job, so he quit. The surprise to the story is that he was a doctor making more than six figures! Right then and there, planetMitch dreamed about doing the same thing.
September 2008 rolled around, and Canon announced this new version of the incredible 5D — the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was the first Canon DSLR to shoot full HD video and the earth moved! (It really was a huge deal in the photography world.) planetMitch knew if there was ever a chance to ride a wave of something he was really passionate about, this was it — and the blog at planet5D.com was born. It is now one of the most popular HDSLR blogs on the planet, and he is making a full-time living from blogging. He couldn’t be happier!
Follow me!