Tired of looking for the best tripod for photography? No wonder, nowadays the choice of tripods is huge. And the amount of features gets you easily confused. So, how do you choose the tripod that fits your needs? Keep on reading and see what are the best tripods for photographers on the market.
There isn’t a perfect tripod for every photographer as the requirements differ. Some shooters will feel comfortable with a small table-top model, which occupies little space in their bag, while others needthe tripod that is large, high, and made of metal. I’ve compiled a list of 20 best tripod brands to meet a range of budgets and demands.
Price: about $3500
Weight: 5 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 29 x 5 x 5 in
It is the best camera tripod if you are looking for a solid construction, which ensures freedom of movements. It is very strong to support big DSLs and video cameras. The price is rather high but if you use lenses up to 400 mm, thisis definitely the best tripod for DSLR that is worth the money, as you will have your camera reliably fixed. The developers make the tripod perfectly adjustable, so you can choose the height level you need. The locks work fast and secure.
Price: about $783
Product’s Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 27.36 in
This Manfrotto tripod, similar to all other brand models, was created in Italy and is known for its impressive durability. Thanks to the central column and well-developed construction, this model is intended for professional work with video and big still cameras. ManfrottoMT057 has a huge load capacity (up to 26.5lbs) and sturdy carbon legs, which ensures motionless support for large devices. This model is the best tripod for real estate photography.
Price: about $270
Weight: 14.9 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 42 x 12 x 12 in
Berlebachtripods are a great eco option for those, who want to keep up with the trends but not at the expense of performance. The wooden sections are wide, thus, provide stability. They aren’t that sensitive to the high frequency resonance. The wooden tray at the bottom of the tripod offers the additional steadiness and keeps the tripod legs stable. 36.6-inches are maximum spread ability while 39-inches are a length of the tripod in a folded state that is quite enough for good results.
Price: about $190
Product’s Dimensions: 12 x 3 x 2 in
Gorillapod Focus tripod is a universal model for the SLR cameras with massive zoom lenses used by professionals. The tripod is perfect for creative portraits or landscape shots thanks to the precise arrangement and effortless movability. This best tripod is very flexible, so a photographer can use it even on the unsteady surface, which is beneficial for various circumstances. JOBY can support 11 pounds, which makes it ideal for the advanced camera equipment. However, it can be used for traditional compact cameras as well. The image below may help you understand what kind of JOBY tripod will work the best for your gear.
Price: about $980
Weight: 4.1 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 24.4 in
It can’t be called the best budget tripod, but it is ideal for extreme shooting conditions like on the volcano. The strong wind is a common thing there, thus, a tripod should be kept as close to the ground as possible. This one is surprisingly compact model that can withstand windy weather. You can also remove bottom legs and protect the middle ones with the plastic caps to turn it into an even more compact version. However, I would recommend keeping a column in the middle in the initial position.
Price: about $9,371.75
Weight: 30 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 6.6 x 6 x 61.8 in
With 1030D Ultimate adaptable mount, this tripod stand for camera is perfect for any experienced photographer. 1030D flexible head provides stability and control over entire shooting process. Another wonderful bonus is a soft case that protects OConnor Ultimate during traveling.
Price: about $856.25
Weight: 8.7 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 6.6 x 6x 61.8 in
With this ultra-tall tripod, you’ll impress everyone with the perfect pictures, no matter which angle you choose. Manfrotto tripod is also handy when it comes to the large cameras, thus, weight won’t become a problem. The exact weight it can hold is up to 44 lbs. Besides, you don’t need to worry about safety; it meets the most important standards and is very durable. 2.67m is a maximum tripod height so you can realize your boldest ideas. At the same time, you can easily convert the tripod into a short device. It can be shortened to 40+cm and offer you a full range of motions and flexibility you desire.
Price: about $784
Weight: 2.2 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 20 in
This best tripod for travel is a perfect choice for photographers who are constantly on the go. It’s a full-size variant that can be folded according to your needs. Sturdy flexible legs are multi-layered and made from 100% carbon. You can also regulate a middle column to experiment with the angle shots. The 3 position feet angle makes it relatively easy to stabilize a tripod on the uneven surface. The complete set comes with the useful extra pieces such as shoulder strap to carry a tripod around, padded case and manual to make the process a lot quicker and simpler.
Price: about $139
Weight: 5.56 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 26.4 x 5.9 x 7.1 in
The monopod consists of 5 sections. The aluminum legs are strong enough to ensure overall stability and durability. You can extend the tripod 63inches according to the angle you want to get. A 4-inch tripod base is made for the additional support. The 90-degree incline allows getting sharper pictures during shooting. The vlogging and film making are among other purposes, for which ASHANKS Camera Monopod was initially created.
Price: about $895
Weight: 12.65 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.6 x 8.5 in
This is the best tripod for shooters who specialize in different photography genres. It offers an automatic multi-shot stitched image mode as well as the continuous movement settings for time-lapse dynamic videos. The 360-degree horizontal panning base and 180-degree vertical incline ensure a wide spectrum of motions to get creative pictures. There’s something for still photographers as well, namely, a multi-frame panorama and possibility to take 20 shots per one position for HDR shooting.
Price: about $21
Weight: 11.2 ounces
Product’s Dimensions: 17.9 x 2.6 x 1.3 in
The trump card of this best camera tripod is its high endurance; be it wind, dirt or water, you can be sure that it will remain safe and sound. The tripod is very compact, so you can fit it in a regular backpack. The legs are fully bendable, so you wrap them around the trees, fences etc.
Price: about $31
Weight: 12.09 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 21.4 in
This one is a high-quality model that is completely worth the investment. The camera bag looks stylish and professional and suits this good tripod well. There’s also an extra case for the head that offers a high level of protection.
Price: about $550
Weight: 6.4 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 24 x 6 x 5 in
You just can’t but admire the beautiful design of this tripod. This is the perfect option if you are used to quick work and often have to fast mount your camera and then remove it in a matter of seconds. Thanks to the release plate, your equipment is reliably fixed. Though this tripod stand for camera has a significant weight (approximately 6lbs), it is quite compact and has an impressive load capacity. There are several leg angle positions (23, 55, and 80), depending on your needs, which makes it the best budget tripod for landscape shooters.
Price: about $450
Weight: 7.7 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 29.5 x 9 x 5 in
According to the 2018 TIPA Awards, which took place in Lisbon, this model was called the best tripod, judging by its technical characteristics. The model with such a beautiful design attracts many photographers. It is light and compact, still very durable to hold even big DSLRs. The developers paid attention to every single detail to create a really appealing product. You can use it in various shooting conditions, to reach different angles.
You’ll probably like the constructions, which is durable, still very flexible. You may test for different photo genre, but it is primarily intended for macro pictures and overhead video shooting.
Price: about $300
Weight: 3.1 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 15.4 x 3 x 3 in
MeFOTO Roadtrip is professionally done. The tripod is light, easily foldable and quite compact, so you can fit it in your carrying bag. It is called the best flexible tripod for travel, as it features all the necessary functions for this shooting type. Besides, you can convert it into a full-fledged monopod, which is a one-leg camera stand, without specific tools. Such a monopod is firmly fixed on its own, unlike other models which can’t function this way. It is perfect for different camera types – mirrorless, DSLRs with zoom lenses, point and shoot. The tripod head is smoothly done and works well. If you intend to buy the best monopod additionally, have a look at Sirui P-204SR P. It is the best iPhone tripod of this brand.
Price: about $260
Weight: 6.06 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 27.2 x 5 x 5 in
Manfrotto products are always among the best tripods on the market. This model is another example, which confirms the reputation of the brand. If you look for small and lightweight tripods for cameras, this one won’t suit. But if reliability and sturdiness are your key demands, Manfrotto MK will definitely please you with technical parameters. It was initially created for large cameras with long lenses, so it will perfectly hold smaller devices. There are two padded sections, which make your works even more convenient and pleasant in a cold weather. Manfrotto tripod Fluid head is effective, real, and easy to operate.
Price: about $290
Weight: 5.3 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 56.7 in
If your best tripod looks like a small and trendy camera support, you’ll surely like ManfrottoBeFree. The model is very compact and you can fit it into a stylish padded bag, which is included into the kit. It won’t weight too much and you can comfortably transport it while traveling. Photographers like this tripod because of its beautiful design, small dimensions, fast set up, perfect constructions, and a ten-year warranty.
Price: about $105
Weight: 3.7 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 20.5 x 5.1 x 5.1 in
It is often called the best cheap tripod, as the manufacturers offer a very reasonable price. Zomei 2018 is made of Carbon fiber and pleases the photographers not only with reliable construction but also with a small weight. It is designed in a way that each shooter can adjust it personally for a convenient work. It takes several seconds to set the tripod up, which is the definite advantage for beginners. Zomei 2018 is very trendy and fantastically functional according to camera tripod reviews.
Price: about $480
Weight: 13.56 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 39.8 x 7.4 x 7.1 in
It is a great Manfrotto tripod with all the basic functions and many other pleasant features. If you look for the model that will serve for many years, this one is worth each dollar. The developers classified it as the “studio” type, so you won’t feel comfortable carrying it around for traveling shooting. Still, there is a special strap attached to the tripod, if you intend to transport it on one shoulder or in your hands. You can use a special trigger to lengthen all the legs simultaneously instead of adjusting each of them, which saves your time.
Price: about $360
Weight: 4.6 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 21.3 x 5 x 5 in
The central column mechanism makes the work a real pleasure, as you can extend the column either horizontally or vertically, which significantly increases your chances to take awesome shots. Thus, Manfrotto video tripod is very multi-functional and perfect for different photography types. The quality & price ratio is really reasonable. The leg locking system ensures fast set up and reliable fixation on different surfaces. So, if you look for a lasting tripod, Manfrotto 055 is a great investment.
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You’ll often hear that there’s no “one variant fits all”, which is also relevant for tripods. The best tripod can look differently, depending on the situation and the result you want to get. The majority of the professionals have their so-called “primary” option that will work for most cases and a few additional ones that have a more specific shooting purpose. There are thousands of tripod variants; they differ in size, form, and price so it takes some time to understand what exactly that you need.
There are obviously several crucial points to consider while choosing a good tripod.
This is one of the most important topics especially for the beginners who are just figuring out the nuances of the profession. It would be quite irrational to invest a lot of money into something that turns out to be a probing undertaking. There’s another common mistake though; some of the novices decide that they’ll train using the first available thing and only after mastering a skill, they’ll change a tool. Of course, you can try to find the best cheap tripod and experiment with it as much as you wish. After a while, it won’t be enough and you may consequently lose a desire to practice. As they say “If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly”. To get better results, you need to get a tripod that provides stability. There’re decent options for every budget but the rule of thumb is that a quality accessory is going to cost some money. The more expensive variants cost much but you won’t have to buy a new one in a month or so. I would name a hundred of dollars as a starting point.
The material which a tripod is made from matters a lot. There are two possibilities; it’s either from carbon fiber or aluminum. Each has its own advantages. Primarily, both of them ensure a stable fixation. However, a carbon fiber tripod with a head from the same material is generally around ten percent lighter than an aluminum model. It also looks good, casual but smart, even stylish, dare I say it. Still, the legs are more prone to breakage in case of careless usage. The other thing to remember about is that when there’re two analogs available, the carbon fiber tripod can be two times more expensive than the aluminum one. Thus, the latter can turn out to be the best budget tripod for your bucks.
If you want to be mobile and efficient at the same time opt for a good tripod that doesn’t weight a lot. It can also become very handy if you’re going to do a lot of nature shooting which involves a decent amount of physical activity. If that’s relevant, every kilo would feel like a burden to overcome. Otherwise, you don’t have to search specifically for the miniature tripod and pay extra money for it.
The photographers know that, without a tripod, you have to hold a camera in your hands in a particular manner:
Having a tripod makes it even easier to eliminate camera shakiness. However, you can completely minimize it by weighing something on the additional holder.
The lens and their focal length partially define the height of your tripod. If you can control the height of the setup, you can get in charge of the process, change the angle, etc. Besides, it’s important for the health: a low tripod makes a photographer slouch that typically has serious negative consequences. The tripod that is too high forces you to stand on the tiptoes, which is also harmful.
Nowadays there’re innovations everywhere and a rotatory center column is one of them. The modern design allows reaching a ninety-degree angle with a center column or using it horizontally. It ensures more effective shooting if you want to get the scaled-up and wide-angle photos. Some of the most progressive tripod manufacturers are even more inventive; the best tripod offers an opportunity to place a center column at any angle in a full 180 degree rotating range. Imagine how creative the whole process becomes.
There are two main kinds of the footing you may see choosing a tripod. The first one is a spiked footing, which is the most suitable for the field shooting and works for the uneven surfaces like a ground or room carpet. The other option is a rubber foot which is great for the smooth places, mostly, for the indoor photo shoots. The best flexible tripod comes with a retractable metal spiked footing and suits any shooting conditions.
When choosing a tripod, you should know exactly how much weight it’s supposed to hold. It refers to both the camera and the lens. 20 lbs is a golden standard that should cover most of your needs.
You’ll traditionally see a mounting screw on the tripod that is responsible for the camera fixation. The quick release mount comes with the plate to attach it to the bottom of the camera. It makes up for the faster process in order for you to concentrate on the shooting.
The newcomers often wonder if the tripods are compatible with all the cameras. The tricky answer is that it’s not about the tripod but rather about its head. That’s the reason why it is important. There is the good news though, most of the tripod heads are actually standardized and work with any camera gear you have.
The name is quite explanatory. You place a camera on the sphere-like head and get to work. The benefit is that you can control it in different positions. The same thing becomes a challenge because of the necessity to keep a direction still.
Pan and Tilt tripod heads
This is a tool for the finer operations that allows only horizontal or vertical movement. It gives you more control over the process and is great to achieve the panning effect.
You are probably informed about the two main types of lens, prime and zoom ones. The head above is designed specifically to hold the heavy lens that is more than 400 mm. These are also called the telephoto lens regarding their sphere of application. They get rotated corresponding to their gravity center; the camera movements are more smooth and effortless.
The tripod is a tool to use when you feel that it’s necessary. You certainly can go without such a device but it would be useful, at least, to get acquainted with the options and their characteristics. We hope that our thorough guide gave you some data to think over.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.