Do you have a video camera? You need a monopod!
This Christmas I got the Bogen-Manfrotto Pro Black Monopod with Swivel Tilt Head. This item has been on my wish list for a long time and after having it for just a couple days I wish I would have pulled the trigger on it a long, long time ago.
I had thought that I would use this for photography, and it will be great for that. Particularly if you are going to put a really long telephoto lens on and take a lot of shots. The monopod will help with stabilizing and framing the shot, as well as just keeping your arms from getting tired of holding the camera rig. Great for a photo trip to the zoo or arboretum.
However, the video side is the unexpected killer application. I popped my Panasonic PV-GS400 on the monopod and started to take some footage. The difference in the shot was amazing and immediately noticeable. Even with the video cameras optical image stabilization you always get a bit of shake when shooting handheld. With the monopod I was able to just lock the frame.
A tripod just wont work in this mode. That is the brilliance of the monopod. You still have the freedom to tilt, swivel and twist the camera around under full control. Then, just lift it up and walk around. No hassle. Really, go buy one.
Another cool use I found today when shooting with Mazie was to flip the video camera screen over and turn the camera back on yourself. Mazie and I took some video together just by swiveling the camera 180 degrees and then pointing it back at ourselves. I never could have done this hand-held. Very cool!