I've been wanting to get a decent monopod for some time. I have a couple of floor-standing tripods (as opposed to tiny little desktop ones); one very old and very heavy, with no quick release, and one very light and inexpensive, and fairly wobbly. In the spirit of µ4/3, I wanted to get a very lightweight monopod without sacrificing quality - preferably without breaking the bank. Helen already had a monopod, which we bought for her Casio compact camera. Having had a good play with it, I decided that I'd like one just like it, but with some sort of head. Helen's monopod is a Manfrotto MMC3-01, which is a lightweight, strong, black monopod. I decided to opt for an utterly unknown quantity, and went for the Manfrotto MMC3-02, which is... grey. These monopods only cost about £20 on the high street, which is less than some unknown-branded, heavy, weak rubbish. At 290g, it's more than acceptably light. it achieves this in part by having an oval cross section, meaning it can flex in one direction. It's a compromise I can live with. It took me a little longer to find a decent head to go with my monopod. I eventually found one in Jessops - and it's a store branded one, the Jessops BH-20. No quick release - that's twice the weight, and it takes only a couple of seconds to mount a camera on this one. Here's a picture of the monopods, along with the head: <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fQ0wx2iHWOc1kN-pK_WRLIyhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-UsY2ukSWlE0/T9IL3AwBo1I/AAAAAAAADek/TFOqN6QiBEw/s800/R6080671.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a> My grey one goes better with my silver E-P1, where Helen's black one goes better with her black GF-3. I took the strap off mine. There's a practical difference between the two colours. The black one is glossy and isn't quite as strong, and if you give it about 4kg it will slowly collapse from the bottom. The grey one has a matt paint, and I can't collapse it when it's clipped down. My ball head: <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/sBjS7BBiWaj1TF70S59mw4yhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-T1lyLVl5U2U/T9IL3_1QcUI/AAAAAAAADes/7AV2cDmZgxs/s400/R6080673.JPG" height="400" width="267" /></a> This was only about £12 on the high street (£1 cheaper than on the web site), and weighs 130g. I'm impressed with its strength, and [i]very[/i] impressed with how flush it sits on the monopod. It doesn't feel quite as good as one costing three times as much, of course, but it does its job properly. I was glad not to have to spend more on the head than I spent on the monopod! Helen isn't going without - she's ordered a tiny little Hama branded ball head from Amazon, which is an insignificant 35g. I wasn't keen to trust something so tiny, but she adores the leightweight aspects of this camera system (her go-to setup is the GF-3 with 14mm). With and without the ball head, here's Helen's GF-3 on the monopod: <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TrFiRzcLGfJQXfYQpQX99IyhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-fH74WMJx_hw/T9IL5LAam8I/AAAAAAAADe8/tbKd5s-CEm4/s288/R6080677.JPG" height="216" width="288" /></a><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rxvDBU1k6-3f5Wd7cxxnkIyhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZrlqtsLK4Pc/T9IL4YfbNqI/AAAAAAAADe0/D8KptR4kJQc/s288/R6080675.JPG" height="288" width="216" /></a> Clearly, portrait is the first advantage of a ball head; another is leaning the thing on a wall: <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Ivs6Jv7VlbhHoHVrCVbBB4yhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-hvIb9XfqGLM/T9IL5sVsovI/AAAAAAAADfE/azWKItM7JGc/s400/R6080678.JPG" height="400" width="300" /></a> The head has a cork pad, and a panning base in addition to the ball itself. Loosened right off, everything spins freely, allowing the camera to be mounted and removed very rapidly. Tightened up, it's a rock. <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1yaw2nM2lXnOn9gb3ZKXo4yhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-91lA218368s/T9IL7omtznI/AAAAAAAADfM/srcMNokXpNI/s288/R6080679.JPG" height="288" width="288" /></a><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TRmaAFa9mvPD-an4i63E6YyhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0azkMjmWb28/T9IL_Sd6JqI/AAAAAAAADfc/oAArXCWa9BE/s288/R6080682.JPG" height="288" width="288" /></a> The monopod is tall, having five sections. The bottom section is very slender, but it's surprisingly stable for its weight. Here's how my E-P1 looks on the silver one. Using the head, it's easy to tuck the monopod behind one knee for additional stability. <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iXCdQXmQC3LdElt4M1saeYyhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-46PezqeXJKQ/T9IL8Yft8pI/AAAAAAAADfU/dZarWN-NR4U/s288/R6080680.JPG" height="288" width="120" /></a><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RZvlnHLh3zWtzpoZaRXcWIyhY64iNpNpkT-DR0WfHHw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0L02c-hLk64/T9IL_1lkePI/AAAAAAAADfk/CuQuBbeuPlU/s288/P1010228.JPG" height="288" width="216" /></a> So, to sum up: Total cost for a monopod with a ball head was £32. Total weight of the monopod and head is 420g. The monopod is rated to 1500g. The monopod itself extends from 390mm to 1455mm, with the head adding 70mm when upright. The silver MMC3-02 is slightly stronger than the black MMC3-01 due to matt paint that doesn't slip. It's small enough and light enough to take along [i]even if[/i] you think you won't need it, which came in handy recently when I found myself wanting a support to take a photo of a tarantula inside a dimly lit terrarium. Look at this little cutie, at 1/5 second: [URL=http://imgur.com/VDfhf][ATTACH=full]210566[/ATTACH][/URL] Win. It's the ideal monopod and head for a small system camera.