If you are a professional photographer or videographer, then the quality equipment is key. Additional accessories also help further enhance your work with more convenience. Lenses and filters are some of these as are tripods. In fact, tripods are extremely useful if you tend to have unsteady hands or if you have to shoot for long hours, for example, a time-lapse. There are many different types of tripods though and knowing what works for you is something entirely subjective. If you are a seasoned professional in this regard then it might not be that difficult; if however, you are a rookie, you can get easily confused. Seeing as how you would need to invest a bit in it, you need to ensure you make the right decision. Comparing a few up against each other like we have done here is a good place to start.
1. Bonfoto Aluminum Alloy Camera Travel Tripod
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This camera tripod by Bonfoto is a bronze and gray combination giving it a sleek appearance. It is also a little on the expensive side so if you are on a budget you might want to keep looking. Built out of aluminum alloy, it is lightweight weighing in at just 3.5 pounds. If you travel a lot, this is the perfect buddy for you. Despite its light structure, it can hold up to 26.5lbs of weight. It also comes with a ball head which you can mount your DSLR on; the ball head is very delicate though so be careful with it. It has 360° horizontal rotation capabilities allowing you to experiment with a range of angles. These include panoramic, close-up and vertical shooting. For your convenience and increased portability, the tripod legs are foldable back to 180° which is a space saving mechanism. What is more, this also doubles-up as a monopod; one of the legs consists of a sponge grip as well as stainless steel spikes. It comes with a carry bag and one year warranty.
2. Manfrotto Compact Advanced Tripod
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This one will set you back a fair amount, so it is an investment in its own right. If you are a beginner though you should opt for something less expensive since it might more features than you will need. It features a foldable 3-way pan and tilts head as well which also have ergonomic levers. One has been placed to assist with leveling whilst the other adjusts the movement between pan and tilt. If you do not need to use the head at any point, all you need to do is fold the levers down. The sturdy construction ensures optimal stability and peace of mind to focus on the actual shooting. It can support weights of up to 6.6.lbs so be careful to not exceed it. It offers superior accuracy which is important where this field is concerned. It extends to a full height of 65” which is more than sufficient.
3. AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod
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This tripod from AmazonBasics is 60 inches and lightweight which means that it is easily transportable. It also comes with a bag for you to take it around in. If the 60 inch is too big for you, there is the 50 inch on offer. Complete with rubber feet, it also features legs that are adjustable to the height you need. It is compatible with a range of cameras, video cameras, GoPro items and more. You can load up to 3kg of weight without a problem, but take care to not load any more than that. It includes a 3-way head which is excellent for tilt and swivels motions if you need them. Both portrait and landscape are possible with this tripod. Additionally, it facilitates the fast transition between shots thanks to the quick-releasing mounting plate. So if you are working on a project with limited time, you would do well with this. It is also quite cheap actually, so would be perfect for beginners to experiment with.
4. Ravelli Light Weight Aluminum Tripod
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Though the name shares a close resemblance to the pasta, this is yet another fantastic option when shopping for a tripod. Constructed from aluminum and lightweight, it stands at a 61.5” when fully extended however has been designed to collapse down to 24” when you need. This compact feature means that you can easily carry it around wherever you go so if you travel a lot, this is ideal. It offers both pan and tilt motions allowing you to take stunning portrait and landscape shots. Furthermore, the center pole can also be lengthened enhancing both convenience and flexibility. Use the carry bag included for easy transportation; since the tripod includes a handle, it should be easier than other options. The quick release plate allows you to set up and removes your camera as you please. Plus, it also extends a further 11” thanks to the center gear which has been engineered just for this purpose.
5. Albott Digital SLR Camera Aluminum Travel Tripod
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This tripod by Albott stands tall at 70” when fully extended and weighs 3.63lbs. You can load up to 8.8lbs so there is quite a wide berth there as opposed to other tripods in the market. It also comes with a center pole that is adjustable which conveniently morphs into a 5-section monopod. So you can use this as both a tripod and monopod when you need to. They also provide a convenient carry bag for you to lug it about when on the move. The 3-way flexible head that offers both pan and swivel motions allows for 360° panoramic captures. There is a quick release plate as well which allows you to switch between devices quickly. If you are shooting wildlife, for example, you will find this to be quite useful. A hook has also been thoughtfully included with the center pole so you can safely hang all your accessories. Alternately, you can also use it to add more weight if you require additional stability for your tripod.
6. ZOMEI Compact Light Weight Travel Portable Aluminum Camera Tripod
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This camera tripod lies in the middle budget tier so if you are looking for something a little more advanced than a beginner level tripod, this should be alright. Since it is built out of high-density aluminum, it is both long-lasting and extremely stable. In fact, this is recommended for professional work so if you are breaking into the field, do consider it. It comes with fully adjustable options allowing you to capture more precise and detailed footage. This ultra-compact tripod is lightweight and extremely portable. It weighs just 2.5 lbs so it is perfect for taking with you on the go.
The center column on this tripod also features a hook where you can hang weight on to lower the center of gravity and make it more sturdy and less prone to vibrations. This is perfect for situations where you are doing long-exposure photography.
7. Zomei Flexible Camera Tripod
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Choose from three different color options, black, blue and red. It ranks somewhere in the middle are far as budget is concerned since it is not all that expensive yet not all that cheap either. Its construction features a combination of both ABS plastic and aluminum alloy. Do not let its looks deceive you; it is actually far more lightweight than it looks. Its 3-way head allows for many different shooting options offering you a great deal of flexibility. It is also quite a steady and stable tripod so you can comfortably let your camera sit on it and do the work. The leg comes in 4 sections complete with release locks which give you better options where height is concerned. The chances of you securing a stance you are comfortable with is higher with this tripod. Definitely an option worth looking into especially if you are looking to transition between beginner and intermediate levels.
8. eCost Elite Series Professional, Full Size Camera Tripod
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These guys offer a 72” tripod which is quite a height compared to some other options out there. You can also choose between the 50” or 75” depending on your needs. It features aluminum alloy legs and thereby a stable construction for superior functionality. Use the crank handle integrated to adjust the center pole how you need. Plus, it includes a microfiber cloth you can use to keep your tripod and camera in spotless condition. The carry handle should make it easy for you to take it around when you travel. Foam padded legs offer ample cushioning reducing impact and shock. Since the feet are non-slip and can swivel, you have greater flexibility. Furthermore, it comes with a waterproof carrying case which you can use to store your tripod in. Its design is lightweight and compact which are two big advantages as well. The lowest it collapses to is 26”. It is also quite affordable for a camera tripod with so many traits and is quite worth the buy.