In this guide, we’re going to take a look at camera tripods and list what we believe to be the best tripods on the market right now.
In the modern world of photography and videography, cameras are getting more and more advanced. The best cameras these days have many different modes to choose from.
However, some people find that their camera is still not working as well as they would like it to be in certain situations.
One such situation is low light where there isn’t a lot of light available for taking pictures or videos.
Therefore, one solution might be to purchase a tripod so that you can use your camera’s time delay option and avoid having blurry photos or videos at night.
Let’s jump into what we consider to be the best tripods currently on the market.
If you’re looking for a reliable, easy to set up the tripod that has great positioning possibilities and an impressive list of extra features, which makes it perfect for professional shooters then the Manfrotto 190XPro4 might be the product for you.
The new Quick Power Lock System provides superior locking performance at just half the weight of traditional lever locks.
The Easy Link plug allows instant accessory connection with no initial setting adjustments necessary, giving users limitless ways to customize their workhorse tripod.
100% magnesium construction ensures excellent stability and durability in demanding conditions where pressurized by salt spray corrosion or any other nasties.
- Solid and fast set up with the new Quick Power Lock System
- Easy Link plug for instant accessory connections
- Built in rotating bubble level
- Q90 Column for great positioning possibilities
- New leg angle selectors
The Manfrotto Befree Advanced GT Carbon Fibre is the ultimate travel companion – lightweight and with a robust carbon fiber design.
Ready to go at a moment’s notice, it features high-quality construction as well as the convenience of an extendable arm that allows you to capture both low angles and macro views.
The monopod can be quickly detached when not needed, taking up less space and weight in your luggage. Perfect for filmmakers and photographers on their travels!
Built for sturdy image capture, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced GT Carbon Fibre is a series of high-quality carbon fiber tripods that feature an extendable central column and convenient 90-degree pan capability.
This allows users to capture every detail with the minimum fuss and effort – especially when it comes to backing off for spider shots, digitals and portraits.
A significant upgrade from the classic 190XDB tripod, these new Befree Advanced trips are more compact in size due to their carbon fiber body combined with alloys in strategic points for rigidity.
- Leg-Angle Selector Its ergonomic leg-angle selector is designed to be used smoothly by both right...
- Shooting Versatility The Befree GT can easily be set to three independent leg angle positions ing...
- M-Lock System The BeFree's M-Lock twist lock system was developed by Manfrotto to satisfy anyone...
- Easy Link The spider featured on this innovative model also has an Easy Link allowing photographers...
- 496 Aluminum Center Ball Head This tripod is kitted out with Manfrotto's advanced 496 aluminum...
Easily achieve the perfect low-angle shots with the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminum Tripod Legs.
With quick flip leg locks and rubber feet with retractable spikes, these legs are easy to operate as well as allowing you to get into those hard-to-reach spaces.
The PH-32 three-way pan head features a quick-release plate that comes standard with this tripod kit and includes an anti-shock ring for making sure your camera is extra secure.
Use the hexagonal-shaped central column on this sturdy umbrella-type tripod for extreme angles when taking pictures or videos; it moves from 0 degrees.
- 26mm 3 section aluminum alloy legs adjust to 25, 50, and 80-degree angles to enable extreme low...
- Easy to operate with precise pan and tilt function, the PH-32 three-way panhead includes quick...
- Hexagon-shaped central column moves from 0 to 180 degrees. The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL)...
- Premium magnesium die-cast canopy and anti-shock ring. Outstanding stability and loading capacity up...
- Specifications: Folded height: 28.5", Extended height: 69.9", Weight: 5.7 pounds
The Peak Design Travel Tripod is a smaller, more adaptable option that enhances stability and delivers pro-level performance without the bulk.
Peak Design’s innovative tripod design – with three legs instead of four – allows for quicker setup/takedown while also delivering uncompromising stability due to its low center of gravity being reinforced by short rear legs.
This model can hold medium-to-heavy gear like your full-frame DSLR or telephoto lens combined weight up to 20lbs (10kg).
With an integrated mobile phone mount, you can securely grip any phone with or without a case while giving you an advanced selfie perspective.
- The Travel Tripod brings you pro-level stability, load capacity, and deployed height, yet packs down...
- Unique design allows quicker, easier setup/takedown. Secure, fast, and ergonomic camera quick...
- 20lb weight capacity (optimized for a full-frame DSLR + telephoto lens). Low and inverted modes...
- Built-in and stowable mobile mount. Securely grips any phone/case .
- Weather and impact-resistant materials. All parts are serviceable, cleanable, and replaceable....
Vanguard’s VEO 2 GO 265HCBM is a travel tripod for taller users looking to get closer to the action.
It has an adjustable height and reversible center column, plus 80° of vertical range with up to 66.9″ maximum extended height (21° ~ 50 °).
The extra-robust Arca Swiss compatible ball head configuration offers unique benefits for extreme sports and mirrorless camera configurations, in addition to a variety of other creative applications.
Whatever and wherever you’re taking photos or video footage, we recommend this versatile tripod.
- The ultimate balance between portability and performance
- Extends up to 166.5cm with a maximum load capacity of 10kg.
- Folds down to 41cm and weighs just 1.4kg
- Ball head features an Arca Swiss compatible quick release system and separate pan-lock
- Robust bh-102 Arca Swiss Compatible ball Head with separate pan-lock.Three easy set leg angles, FREE...
The Manfrotto Compact Advanced, Aluminium Tripod features a protective padded bag for safe and comfortable transportation.
The tripod is convenient to carry thanks to its ingenious design with leg locks for simple set-up on any terrain.
With this tripod you will enjoy compactness and intuitiveness: it’s built from lightweight materials so it doesn’t have any problem when shooting high up or getting down low to film small creatures, for example.
The flip-lock junctions make use of a single-action mechanism that provides tight stability across all ranges to guarantee sharpness in your photos or video footage every time.
- Black reinforced aluminium for optimal rigidity
- Compact size and fold-away levers for easy carrying
- Quick release plate for fast camera connection
- Includes padded carrying bag for portability
- Height of 165 cm when extended
The Benro FTA28AB1 Travel Angel is designed for compact and lightweight camera support.
It weighs just 4.6 lbs, so you can easily travel with it in your suitcase, or on a nature walk where heavy gear might not be necessary.
Its four-section legs are held in place by twist locks and can be adjusted independently, giving you the freedom to adjust the angle based on what’s required for your shoot.
This applies to low-angle shots of small trees close to ground level or overhead shots from above a crowd during an outdoor concert, for example.
Equipped with interchangeable screw-in rubber feet and 4 stainless steel spiked feet for increased stability.
- Designed to offer compact and lightweight camera support. Weighing just 4.6 lbs. and able to hold up...
- The 4-section legs are held in place by twist locks and can be adjusted independently.
- Equipped with interchangeable screw-in rubber feet and stainless steel spiked feet for increased...
- The B1 Ball Head has separate pan and ball locks, and an Arca-type compatible clamp with a...
- Limited 3-Year Warranty (Extended to 5-Years with Online Registration).
The GorillaPod SLR Zoom Tripod’s rubberized feet grips and wrappable legs keep your cameras stable and secure as they hold their stance to any surface.
The tripod is capable of holding professional camera equipment up to 6.6 pounds, making it versatile for a range of different situations requiring professional-quality photography or videography.
With 360-degree panning and height adjustability, this compact investment will make sure you never miss the shot again!
- Flexible: Grip it, wrap it or stand it, wrappable legs allow you to secure professional camera...
- Precise: 360 Degrees panning bed and 90 Degrees tilt and bubble level for optimal position control
- Modular: Works with JOBY pro-level accessories, including grip tight pro mounts, GorillaPod arms and...
- Joby JB01507-BWW GorillaPod 3K Kit - Black/Charcoal and materials - ABS plastic, aluminium,...
- Versatile: Allows for mounting of lights, mics, monitors etc up to 3 kg
The new Ranger Ultra Compact Tripod is your go-to accessory for all your travel needs. Ideal for an adventure-addicted lifestyle, this tripod can be set up quickly and easily in just one or two minutes as it folds neatly into a rugged little package.
The attachable monopod provides extra stability for use by the pool, on top of a mountain, or at the beach.
And it also provides a superior close up shot by extending from 8’3″ to 13′ feet tall with measurements of 3mm upwards and downwards adjustment and hold off capability below 15°.
- ➽LOW ANGLE AND MACRO VIEW ENABLED: With an included short attachment(3.6”/9cm), you can shoot at...
- ➽DETACHABLE MONOPOD: Our TYCKA Rangers Tripod also features a removable leg (with foam grip) that...
- ➽EASY SET-UP AND PORTABLE: Four-segment poles with quick release flip-locks allow you to adjust...
- ➽360° PANORAMA AND ULTRA STABLE: With two independent control knobs, the specially designed...
- ➽GUARANTEE: Backed by our industry-leading 24-Month warranty. We stand behind our products. Please...
For the smaller use cases and for awesomely effective travel and portability, next up we have the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod.
The Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod is perfect to use on vacation to capture sharp, stable videos with your Compact System Camera when shooting wide-angle scenes or vistas.
This low-priced and sturdy tripod provides a stable base, making it ideal for family portraits too!
The compact camera support has a typical payload of 4kg (8 pounds), which will accommodate most cameras up to 450mm long, including the Sony A7R II with grip or Canon EOS 5D Mk III.
Designed in Italy by Manfrotto’s experienced designers, this is an impressive piece of kit.
- Mini tripod for Compact System Cameras
- Comfortable handgrip to capture great videos
- Push button locking mechanism for easy setup
- Lightweight, intuitive to use and easy to carry
- Attractive Italian design
GlobeTrotter is a compact travel camera tripod that folds up inversely, stows on its back, and turns into a monopod.
Accommodates cameras with standard ¼-20 mounts (1/4” threaded screw). Precision Matched Q Series ball heads and Arca-Swiss style compatible plates included.
It includes five leg sections for comfortable shooting on uneven surfaces.
This tripod features a 360-degree panning capability that eliminates the need for a panoramic head.
The recessed center column hook slides to accommodate slanted horizons out of view.
- The MeFOTO GlobeTrotter is a compact travel camera tripod that folds up inversely and turns into a...
- 360-degree Panning: Accurate panoramas can be easily orchestrated using the graduated panning scale...
- Recessed Center-Column Hook: A spring loaded recessed hook, located in the bottom of the...
- Precision Matched Q Series Ballhead: Dual action heavy-duty ballhead with Arca-Swiss style...
- Compact: The tripod legs can be inverted and folded back 180 degrees making it small enough to carry...
A Brief History Of Tripods
The invention of the camera tripod is not exactly clear. Some people say it was invented in 1839 by British inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot.
Others claim that it was first used in 1843 when French photographer Louis Daguerre created a photograph of his studio with a simple wooden box standing on its three legs to hold up his equipment and provide an even surface for him to work on.
A tripod is a must-have for any photographer or filmmaker who wants to take their work seriously. Learning about how to use a tripod will lead you to take better images in the future.
Tripods – Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to tripods. Maybe one of these questions is on your mind.
What Type Of Tripod?
Tripods are an essential component of any photographer or filmmaker’ss gear.
They provide a steady base and the opportunity for getting creative with camera angles, but there are many different options to choose from.
The three most common types of tripods include the tabletop tripod, full-size tripod, and mini-tripod.
Is it a ball head, or a three-way pan head? What about the weight and height of your camera?
These are all important questions to ask before purchasing one. You want to make sure that what you have is going to be able to hold your camera effectively so that you can take amazing shots.
Choosing which type of material your tripod should be made out of depends largely on what you plan on using it for. There are three major materials used in tripods: aluminum, carbon fiber, and plastic (most often seen with cheaper tripods).
Tripods vs. Monopods – What’s Best?
Many people don’t know the difference between tripods and monopods, but there are some significant differences. Monopods offer an alternative to a tripod that is more portable since it can be collapsed into one piece and carried by hand.
However, this doesn’t make them any less stable than their counterpart because they still have three points of contact on the ground for stability.
The main advantage to a monopod is that it’s much easier to carry around when you’re traveling or hiking in rough terrain.
But many photographers choose not to use them because they hinder movement which could cause your camera to shake while taking photos with heavy lenses.
Monopods also lack height adjustment unless you purchase an additional attachment.
What Size Of Tripod Do I Need?
Tripods are one of the most essential pieces of gear for any photographer (or filmmaker) and are an investment that you need to take seriously.
It can be difficult to understand what size tripod you should buy without knowing your preferences, but it is a decision that will affect how well your work turns out.
The key factors when considering the right tripod for you are:
- weight capacity,
- height limit,
- maximum load capacity (weight),
- attachment type, and
- if it has a center column or not.
Do I Need a Carbon Fiber Tripod?
Carbon fiber tripods are lighter than aluminum because they’re made out of carbon nanotubes.
They’re commonly used in creative work, surveillance, and science research. Carbon is also more difficult to break and provides better support than other materials.
Why Does A Tripod’s Load Capacity Matter?
While heavier tripods have higher load capacities, lighter ones can also be designed to carry a heavyweight. This is especially true if you are willing to invest in a top-end lightweight tripod that will hold even the heaviest DSLR camera.
What Types Of Tripod Head Are There?
The tripod head is a necessary part of any camera system. It provides stability and makes it easier to take pictures with your digital camera.
There are many types of tripod heads that you can use for different purposes, but the two most common are ball heads and pan/tilt heads.
The ball head is designed to provide quick adjustments in order to get the perfect shot, while the pan/tilt head offers more control over movements when shooting video or taking photos on uneven terrain.
A tripod head is the most important part of a tripod system and will determine how well it performs.
There are many different types of tripod heads, each suited for a specific type of use.
Understanding which type you need is essential to making an informed decision when buying your next one
There are two main types of tripod heads: ball head and pan/tilt.
A ball head is best for situations where you want to quickly reposition the camera from shooting horizontal shots to vertical ones, or if your subjects aren’t always in front of you.
The pan/tilts are better suited for action photography like sports because they allow a photographer to smoothly follow their subject by rotating the handle while keeping it level.
If you’re in the market for a tripod head, then you might be wondering what types of heads are out there.
There are many different types of tripod heads and each one has its own unique features. Some examples include ball head, pan-tilt head, fluid head, 3-way pan-tilt head, and more.
Camera Tripod Leg Angles
Most tripods offer independent leg movements that make it easier for users to shoot on slopes or in a crowded area.
The tripod’s standard legs are fine for regular use, but these often need to be adjusted on uneven surfaces or resting against walls. To shoot at a lower angle, you can extend the legs of your tripod.
The tripod leg angles are important to know because they differ depending on the type of surface you will be using your camera on.
If you have a tabletop, then the angle should be set at 30-degrees: if you have a floor, then it should be set at 45-degrees.
And finally, for an uneven surface like dirt or sand, there is no need to use any special settings but just make sure that two legs are in contact with the ground at all times.
How To Buy A Tripod?
When buying a tripod, you have to keep in mind what type of camera or video equipment you will be using. This is because tripods are designed for different weights and heights depending on their use.
For example, if I want to take time-lapse photos with my phone then I need something lightweight that doesn’t extend too high so it won’t shake as much from the wind.
But if I’m shooting an interview outdoors where the sun shines brightly down all day long, then I’ll need a big sturdy tripod that can hold up heavier items like cameras and microphones!
The best way to find the right tripod for you is by testing them out in person. If you are looking at buying a used one, make sure there are no signs of wear and tear on it.
A tripod should be sturdy enough that if someone were to stand on it, they wouldn’t break through the legs.
What Is Tripod Low-Level Shooting?
In photography, low-level shooting is a technique of taking photos from the ground up. It’s also called “tripod low level,” because you need a tripod for stability and to keep the camera steady.
This type of photography is typically used in landscape or nature shots that are taken at eye-level with the subject, but it can also be used in portraits when you want different perspectives than your typical standing-up photo.
Have you ever seen a video on YouTube or elsewhere that was shot with the camera at ground level?
If so, then you’ve likely seen tripod low-level shooting. This technique is often used for video production because it has many benefits and can be done with nearly any type of camera.
What Is High-Level Shooting?
When filming from a high vantage point, it can be difficult to get stable shots without the use of a tripod.
With Tripod High-Level shooting, you attach your camera to an extendable pole and then place that pole on top of a sturdy object such as a chair or stool.
By doing so, you are able to capture high-level footage more easily than if you were just holding the camera in your hands.
The best part about this technique is that it doesn’t require any additional equipment because all of the necessary pieces are included in one tool: the tripod itself!
Should You Buy An Aluminum Or Carbon Tripod?
There is much debate over the quality of aluminum vs. carbon fiber tripod legs, but there are definite differences between these two materials that you should consider before making your decision.
First, as a general rule, aluminum tripods tend to be heavier than their carbon counterparts because they have more material in them (i.e., metal).
This means that an aluminum tripod will weigh up to twice as much as a similar-sized carbon fiber one with the same features and specs.
Second, if you’re looking for stability on uneven or slanted ground then aluminum is probably not your best choice. This is because it can flex under pressure from wind or other environmental factors.
So if you want something stable enough for high-end cameras with large lenses then carbon fiber is a great bet for you.
What Are Tripod Leg Locks?
Tripod leg locks are a feature that is used to lock the legs of tripods. The tripod has three legs, each with threaded holes on its ends. These holes can be screwed together or apart and they act as feet for the tripod.
Tripod Leg Locks have screws that fit into these threaded holes and tighten them down so that the tripod does not move on uneven surfaces such as grass or gravel.
What Are Tripod Leg Sections?
Tripod leg sections are the three individual pieces that make up a tripod. They can be made of steel, aluminum, or other materials and they each serve different purposes for the stability of the tripod.
The center section is called the “post” and provides support for both height adjustment as well as lateral movement.
The two outer segments are called “legs”. These legs provide additional stability to ensure even weight distribution on all three points of contact with whatever surface you’re shooting from.
What Are Tripod Center Columns?
Tripod center columns are a commonly used piece of equipment in video production.
They are primarily used to stabilize the camera during filming, but they can also be helpful for stabilization during interviews and other situations where there is a lot of movement.
A tripod center column is typically shorter than the head height on most tripods, so it doesn’t get in the way as much with subjects that are sitting or standing.
What Are Tripod Types Of Feet?
There are three types of tripod feet used in videography: rubber, spiked, and ball. A rubber foot is the most common type because it provides a more stable surface for filming than spikes or balls.
Rubber feet are typically easier to carry around, but they tend not to be as sturdy or as high quality as other types of feet.
Spiked tripod legs make your camera less likely to slip on wet surfaces like grass and dirt, but they may damage the flooring if you’re indoors.
Ball-type tripod feet provide stability when shooting videos at an angle so that your shots don’t go off-balance when you tilt the camera up or down.
Best Tripods – Wrapping Up
The best tripods are the ones that you find a good balance of quality, weight, and cost.
Make sure to test out each tripod before purchasing because no matter which one is right for you, they all have some flaws in their design or execution.
They have a stable base with no center column or leg spreader needed. When you’re using them on uneven ground, they can be used as a monopod without any issues.
The legs should allow quick height adjustments even in windy conditions while still being easy to carry around from place to place.
If in doubt, consider a tripod with a ball head feature so that you can get the perfect angle every time without needing an extra person or additional equipment like a gimbal!
If your budget is tight then there are plenty of affordable options that will get the job done well enough though we recommend spending more if possible because it’s worth it!
Whilst we really like Manfrotto’s awesome range of tripods, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to tripods. The best tripods are the ones that fit your needs.
When it comes to what works for you and how much money you want to spend on these products, you should consider the kind of projects you’re going to be using your tripod on. And consult our guidance throughout this article.
We hope this article on the best tripods has helped guide your purchase decision! And if it hasn’t then we’re here for any questions along the way.
Did we miss out one of your favorite tripods? Let us know in the comments below!
We have Gear Buyer’s Guides on every type of Filmmaking Equipment!