If you are a videographer or a travel photographer who shoots videos with DSLR, you will definitely need the best video tripod to keep your film looking professional. For balanced and stable videos, you can buy one of the following 10 tripods.
In case you wonder if your DSLR tripod for still shots will be good for video recording, the answer is not really. If you actually want to get quality videos, you have to start searching for the best video camera tripod that is balanced and stable for an affordable price.
Price: about $900
Weight: 11.02 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 40.3 x 10.5 x 10.3 in
Manfrotto 504HD is a perfect option for those, like me, who look for a mobile model. There’s no need to compromise between design and functionality. The pan control is easy to regulate and is protected from knocks. The payload capacity is up to 16 pounds, which makes the tripod suitable for a broad variety of equipment. The head is easily leveled due to the 70+ mm diameter half ball. The tripod is made of carbon fiber that guarantees great sturdiness and impressive maximum height, as well as a comfortable and handy design. I used it for a variety of my filming projects and it never let me down.
Price: about $315
Weight: 4.14 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 17.9 x 5.2 x 4.9 in
Initially I didn’t have high hopes for this tripod, but it quickly changed my mind. This is the best video tripod for trips and is a wonderful choice for those who are constantly on the go. It's lightweight and convenient for bloggers, content creators, and videographers. If you have a YouTube channel, this model is for you. It can record video from the DSLR cameras and miniature camcorders up to 8 pounds.
Price: about $270
Weight: 5.8 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 31.1 x 1 x 1 in
Being quite compact, this best tripod for video recording can hold up to 8 pounds. It’s perfect for videographers who strive for smooth camera movement thanks to a 360-degree panning rotation and mount with a fluid drag structure. The head is equipped with a safety lock, while a sliding quick release plate brings more balance to camera positioning. You can replace the 501PL compatible release plate any time you need. The bubble level ensures accurate adjustment of the level horizons.
Price: about $160
Weight: 10.8 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 31.1 x 6.5 x 6.6 in
This one deserves to be named the best tripod for DSLR video recording, though it is a rather bulky and cheap model. It can support up to 9 pounds. The fluid head has a half-ball mount that’s 65 mm wide and comes with two pan bar mounts on both sides. All head controls are located on the left side; thus, you can use your right hand to regulate panning. Although this model has a low price point, it definitely delivers on performance!
Price: about $970
Weight: 7.16 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 23.6 x 7 x 7 in
Manfrotto MVT535AQ is another one of my favourites. It’s been a reliable option for me for years. It has an adapter to transform a 75 mm half bowl into a 60 mm one. You can adjust an angle of the leg to operate the height whenever you need to. The locks are perfectly designed; they’re sturdy enough to hold weight but easy to loosen at the same time.
Price: about $425
Weight: 4.41 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 62.20 x 16.93 x 16.93 in
It’s compatible with a majority of digital cameras, lenses, small camcorders, GoPro gear, and even telescopes. The center column hook makes it possible to hang some extra equipment or add a little weight to stabilize it if needed. The camera is attached fast to the tripod thanks to a QRP. The 3-way smooth pan mount provides you with a 360-degree panorama angle, and that’s why it can be called the best tripod for video shooting.
Price: about $100
Weight: 5.2 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 7.9 in
The feature that I like in this best cheap video tripod is the portability. It’s a perfect match for modern lightweight video cameras and casual shooting on-the-go. This tripod’s payload capacity is 9 pounds and it has a fluid pan-and-tilt mount. The height of 5.6l feet can be achieved with center column extension.
Price: about $570
Weight: 33.1 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 66 x 35 x 39.5
This is a powerful tool that I have used for a variety of filming needs before. It’s made of high-quality aluminum and is quite heavy, so it’s not suitable for shooters who look for portable options. On the other hand, this best professional video tripod can hold up to 1100 pounds. This pretty impressive payload could handle even my heaviest gear without any issue! The adjustable height allows you to experiment with and choose the shooting angle.
Price: about $655
Weight: 10.14 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 36.2 x 7.4 x 6.3 in
Sachtler 1002 Ace M is often called the best tripod for filming thanks to its technical characteristics. This is a full system for the video professionals, who have DSLR cameras or camcorders that are a bit smaller. It’s possible to use it for all kinds of shooting like wedding, documentary, indie film, etc. I could lower the tripod all the way to the ground level and still get quality, sharp photos, thanks to the spreader.
Price: about $145
Weight: 10.8 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 26 x 7 x 7 in
The great advantage of this best budget tripod is its sturdiness. The legs are really strong and weigh a lot, thus providing a stable shooting base. While carrying it can become a chore, it’s well worth it. I used this model even in windy weather and had no issues at all. So, if you’re a fan of outdoor shooting and prefer extreme conditions, give this tripod a try. The quality bag comes in the kit.
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As a professional videographer, let me assure you that no video shooting or filmmaking is possible without a quality support stand. That is why making the right choice in favor of a model that will fit your needs is crucial. Manufacturers supply an incredibly wide range of tripods that differ in quality, performance, and price.
How are we supposed not to get lost in such a variety and choose the best tripod for DSLR video? Well, there are some must-have features for a video tripod to be on the lookout for.
1. Make sure the head is right
Some video tripods come with a pan/tilt head. As a rule, one or two extending arms brackets are used to control the head. Thanks to them, you can easily move the camera both vertically (titling) and horizontally (panning). However, you should keep in mind that in order to get a professional-looking, smooth video and avoid the irritating “home movie” effect, the camera should be moved evenly, slowly enough, and smoothly in any direction. If you want to get this natural-looking fluid motion, you should use a fluid head. There are two main options available on the market: a real fluid head or a head that provides this effect for your best video tripod.
2. A spirit level
Make sure that the tripod has a built-in spirit level that can easily be seen even with a camera attached. This device will ensure that your photos are leveled correctly and won’t need straightening in photo post-production.
3. Payload capacity
When you are looking for the best tripod for video shooting, you should pay attention to some of the technical characteristics of the legs, such as durability and possible payload. The payload they can handle is critically important. Since video gear is quite heavy (and expensive), you need to be sure it won’t just fall down and smash. It is better to choose a tripod that can hold more than your regular camera. Over time, your gear may get heavier, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble and money, as you won’t have to change your tripod to accommodate its weight. The max height of the legs at the yoke also plays a very important role.
4. The right height
Manufacturers usually indicate the maximum height for tripods with the central post fully extended. However, you will not use this post configuration very often. The right height will be different for every person and depends on your height. Use the “eye-level principle” to figure it out. Your camera should be at your eye level when you’re standing straight up, with center post slightly extended or lowered completely.
5. Choose the appropriate feet: rubber retractable or spiked
For better grip on a slippery surface, the legs of the best tripod for filming have soft rubber feet. You can also screw or pull them back to get metal spikes. These spikes will help you get the necessary stability while shooting on wet grass or mud. Remember that cheap tripod feet will fail to provide sturdiness and can damage the surface you are shooting on.
Spreaders are designed as a special bracket connecting the legs of the tripod. It helps to minimize the flex when the weight is changed. They also let you cope with positioning. Floor spreaders are usually used in location reportage or studio shooting. They are stuck to the tripod legs at the surface level. If you are engaged in outdoor shooting, then you need mid-level spreaders. Special design prevents bending if you shoot on an uneven surface. Moreover, such constructions make the best professional video tripod more stable in extreme conditions. If you are not satisfied with the balance, you can hang extra weight on the spreaders.
7. Extended platforms
To achieve an optimal balance, the tripods have extended platforms where all the necessary video rigs are placed. As a result, your camera moves more smoothly.
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.