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So, I'm newbie and I bought part of my first kit second hand. It came with a monopod. I use the tripod when necessary of course but, I find the monopod is so much easier to carry on hikes or in the city. I usually take pics from handheld but it's great being able to whip out that monopod for more stability than handheld. Its fast, nimble and light.
Weight isn't the only consideration. I don't mind lugging around what I need but, rapidly setting up a tripod on a crowded city street can be an exercise in futility.
I was scolded by some other more advanced photographers that monopods are for tourists and they're only good for doubling as a walking stick.
I'll keep using it regardless because it works for me though I'm curious about the prevalence of monopods by other photographers.
I have a tripod that is also a monopod so I get the best of both worlds and can honestly say that the monopod is way better to use in a lot of situations, that is not to say that the tripod isn't better to use in other situation because it is, as the saying goes it's horse for courses. Both a tripod and monopod are essential parts of a photographers kit professional or armature.