Looking for the Best Camera Tripod? A bit of stability in life is always a good thing, especially when it comes to beating the photography shakes.
And while a growing number of cameras and lenses have built-in sensor-shift or optical stabilization, there’s no substitute for a sturdy tripod.
Not only is a tripod essential for shooting with slow shutter speeds and long exposures and for macro photography, but it also helps with composition.
Taking a little time to level the camera and to make precise positional adjustments can make a huge difference to the end result.
It’s true in anything from the landscape and architectural shooting to environmental portraits, still life images, and extreme close-ups.
Sturdiness is a must
Balance a beefy body and chunky lens on a flimsy tripod, and your photography simply won’t have a firm footing.
We’ve selected tripods that aim for rigid construction for this group test and have a maximum load rating sufficient for even the largest SLRs with a telephoto lens attached.
That said, nobody wants to lug around a massively heavy tripod when they’re out and about, so most tripods in the group weigh about 2kg and can safely support loads of at least 5kg.
Clever tricks often include multi-angle legs, which can typically lock at three alternative positions.
Increasing the angle of the legs from the center column adds stability in medium-level shooting when you’re not extending the legs very much, as well as enabling low-level shooting by reducing the overall height of the Tripod.
Most tripods enable you to invert the center column and shoot from between two legs for even lower-level shooting, using the camera upside down.
Some also feature a pivoting center column, which enables quicker rotation for inverted shooting, plus the ability to use the center column as a horizontal boom.
This is especially useful in macro shooting and when using ultra-wide or fisheye lenses, where it can cut the risk of tripod feet getting into the shot.
Whether you shoot in the cozy confines of a studio or atop mud-streaked mountains, a good tripod is necessary.
As HD video recording has become an integral feature in most digital SLRs, tripod manufacturers have responded with smoother panning heads to ensure you’ll be able to cleanly track your moving subject.
While carbon fiber has lost a bit of the wow factor (we get jaded quickly in this high-tech era), it’s still the material of choice for high-end stabilizers expected to carry the weight of telephoto lenses.
Here is a list of 16 Best Camera Tripods
Vista Explorer 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Tripod Bag
- 3 way pan head with bubble level
- Only 3 pounds
- Quick release leg locks
- Geared Center Post
- Bag included
The Explorer Tripod is perfect for digital, video, and still cameras up to 4 pounds.
Featuring quick-release leg locks and a 3-way pan head, this Tripod is a breeze to set up.
Utilizing a geared center post, this extends from 22″ to 60″, giving great range.
Extra leg support offers better stability. Tripod bag included.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag
- Lightweight tripod with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
- Compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, smartphone adapters (not included), and scopes.
- Recommended max load weight is 6.6 lbs (3kg) for optimal performance
- Weighs 3 lbs; Extends from 25 inches to 60 inches when center post is fully extended; Carrying case included
- Two built-in bubble view levels and 3-way head to allow for tilt and swivel motion; portrait or landscape options
This lightweight tripod is perfect for most cameras up to 6.6 pounds. Setup is quick and easy. The included bag makes storage and transports a snap.
Ravelli APLT2 50″ Light Weight Aluminum Tripod with Bag
- Height min./max. 16.5"/50"
- Pan and tilt motion, with built-in
- Landscape or portrait orientation
- Lever leg locks
- Carry bag included
The Ravelli APLT2 is a very light tripod, but it still extends to a height of 49 inches.
With a weight of just over 1 LB (1.15LBS), you will not be weighed down. This Tripod is constructed of aluminum legs and a hard plastic head.
It has the ability to change the orientation of the camera from portrait to landscape. The legs have rubber feet for stability on different surfaces.
The legs have three extendable segments for varying heights. This Tripod also has an extendable gearless center post for easy movement and adjustment.
More: The Best DSLR Cameras
Joby JM3-01WW GripTight GorillaPod Stand
- RELIABLE GRIP. The JOBY GripTight GorillaPod Stand has a secure hold for phones with or without a case, for crystal clear images. The rubber foot grips and wrappable legs ensure your phone can be mounted to any surfaces, without a slip of the grip.
- CAPTURE SUPERIOR PERSPECTIVES. Look at life from a different point of view with adjustable locking screw you can change the angle, as you easily maneuver your phone. The legs wrap securely around any surface as your phone stays securely in place, even on its side.
- UNIVERSAL SMARTPHONE COMPATIBILITY. Take your mobile photography and videography to the next level with the GripTight GorillaPod Stand. This flexible tripod fits smaller phones, with or with a case, including iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8
- DURABLE DESIGN. With thoughtful engineering, the GripTight GorillaPod Stand is lightweight, but extremely strong. Made of sturdy ABS plastic, TPE, and stainless steel, it is made for the wear and tear of everyday life, or the rigor of every adventure.
- GRIP, FLIP, & FIRE AWAY. Capture crisper photos, smoother videos, and optimal media consumption on your smartphone when using the GripTight GorillaPod Stand. With a ¼”-20 thread standard tripod mount, you can easily use it with other JOBY products.
Take your iPhone photography up a notch with the GripTight GorillaPod Stand from JOBY, the adaptable, all-terrain Tripod that supports any iPhone, with or without a protective case.
Designed with flexible, wrappable joints and grippy rubber feet, this stand allows you to secure your iPhone to objects, stabilize your camera on uneven surfaces and position the screen for the best perspective.
So get a grip and shoot time-lapse photos on your iPhone or comfortably watch a video—it’s possible to take your artistry anywhere with the help of your adaptable GripTight GorillaPod Stand!
More: The Best SD Memory Cards
Ravelli APLT4 61-inch Light Weight Aluminum Tripod With Bag
The Ravelli APLT4 Lightweight tripod is great for photographers that are looking for a lightweight and versatile 61″ Tripod.
This Tripod is very inexpensive but full of features. With the ability to position your camera from a normal landscape orientation to portrait orientation, you are sure to be able to capture the photo you want.
This Tripod also comes with a handle, carrying bag, two bubble levels, one in the leg and one on the camera plate. This also has a quick release plate for your camera for easy setup and takedown.
The Center is gear driven to extend up an extra 11″. This Tripod is made from aluminum and dense plastic.
The legs and center channel are made from aluminum, and the head and section intersect are plastic.
Joby GP1-A1EN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod
- Flexible tripod designed for digital cameras weighing up to 11.5 ounces (325 grams)
- Fits into your purse, backpack, or jacket pocket
- Innovative segmented leg design to ensure secure mounting
- Standard universal 1/4-20 screw for attaching your camera to the tripod mount
- Lets everyone get into self-timer shots
The Joby Gorillapod makes taking digital photos more fun than ever.
Designed with self-timer photography in mind, the Gorillapod lets you mount your camera just about anywhere you want so that you can include everyone in your automatic shots.
All you need to do is use the universal 1/4-20 screw to attach your camera to the standard tripod mount, then wrap the three flexible segmented legs securely to a nearby tree branch, fence, park bench, or anything else that’s convenient.
Professional 72-inch TRIPOD FOR All Canon Sony, Nikon, Samsung, Panasonic, Olympus, Kodak, Fuji, Cameras And Camcorders + BP MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth
- Lightweight and compact design
- 72” max height | 26” min height
- 2 section aluminum alloy legs
- Two bubble level indicators
- Easy crank handle for adjustable center pole
ButterflyPhoto has Offered Top quality products for all digital cameras for over 15 years.
Every product is guaranteed to work 100% perfectly and is 100% Brand New in its original Package.
Each item includes a Full Worldwide warranty and is 100% sanctioned for safe use.
ButterflyPhoto is a Leader In the Consumer Electronics Business; Our ratings throughout the internet are second to None.
This 72-Inch Photo and Video tripod feature a special carrying handle as well as a professional foam grip.
It has self-leveling rubber leg tips as well as built-in bubble levels. It has a 3-way pan head and 3 section legs. It includes a deluxe carrying case and has a 3-year limited warranty.
Lightweight, versatile, and affordable, the 72″ Tripod is a great tripod for photographers of all levels of experience.
Polaroid 8″ Heavy Duty Mini Tripod With Pan Head With Tilt For Digital Cameras & Camcorders
- Provides Support And Stability For Cameras, Webcams, Imaging Devices, etc
- Mini Ball Head for 360 Degrees And 90 Degree Tilt
- Extends From 5" TO 8"
- 3 Section, Rubber Tipped Legs
Regardless if you’re a casual photographer/videographer or a serious “prosumer,” there’s a Polaroid tripod designed with your needs in mind.
That’s because we design our tripods with intelligent in-demand features like fluid pan-head, braced center columns, all-terrain leg tips, dual levels, compact-footprints, ergonomically designed carry handles, and foam grips-and everything else you’d expect from a tripod line inspired by over half a century of imaging innovation.
And to ensure they’re part of your “accessory arsenal” for the long term, we’ve crafted them from industrial grade, lightweight aluminum to ensure they always keep your valuable equipment on solid ground.
No matter if you choose our ultra-compact desktop models, our unique monopod, or our ruggedized all-terrain models, you’ll immediately understand why Polaroid tripods are considered the ultimate in “classic image stabilization” Leg Diameter: 20mm
Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head
- 62" Aluminum Proline Tripod
- Support up to 13.2 lbs
- Ballhead, quick release plate and bubble level
- Quick release leg locks and non-slip rubber feet
Dolica’s 62″ Aluminum Proline Tripod is ideal for both indoor and outdoor photography. It is perfect for events, sports activity, capturing that one amazing shot.
Designed for use with Point-N-Shoot cameras and/or Digital SLR cameras Tripod Features: Professional Aluminum alloy construction and able to support up to 13.2 lbs. Base thread: 3/8″.
Includes ball head, quick release plate, and bubble level. 90-degree vertical platform. Standard-wide angle, semi-wide angle, full-wide angle. Quick-release leg locks and non-slip rubber feet.
Ravelli AVT Professional 55-inch Video Camera Tripod with Fluid Drag Head
- Professional 3-Segment Interlocking Crutch Type Legs
- Supports Video Cameras/SLRs up to 27LBS
- Dual Handled Head with Continuous Drag Fluid Movement for both Pan and Tilt Axis
- Universal 65mm Mounting Bowl
- Maximum Operating Height: 54.5"
The Ravelli AVT is constructed of pressure-treated aluminum and is unrivaled instability.
This Tripod incorporates a unique center brace strut system, reliable quick-action leg locks, non-rollback center column, and rubberized feet with retractable metal spikes.
The Ravelli AVT is a high-performance fluid drag video head that provides continuous drag control and operates on both pan and tilt axis with independent pan and tilt locks.
The Ravelli AVT tripod head features finely machined parts for greater positioning with smooth, definite action.
An easy to use fluid head comprised of titanium-line components for up to medium format and utilizes full two-way action allowing you to isolate the plane of motion and make precise adjustments to your compositions.
Dolica GX600B200 Proline GX Series 60-Inch Aluminum Tripod and Ball Head Combo for DSLR
- Rapid stability center column
- Reversible locking center column
- Durable flip leg locks
- Integrated tripod bubble level
- 3-Position leg angle adjustment locks (for macro lens)
The Dolica GX600B200 is ideal for indoor and outdoor photography.
Thanks to the modest 3.5lbs, you can take it anywhere, making it perfect for all events, such as sports activities, camping, family gatherings, and much more.
It can hold up to 15lbs giving you the flexibility for all types of cameras and camcorders.
The legs are 4-sided round tubes with extra firm legs snap locks that give it extra weight capacity.
The Ball Head has numeric degree markings suitable for horizontal panoramic shots. Includes a carrying bag and a tool kit!
Ravelli AVTH Professional Tripod Dolly for Camera Photo Video
- Standard 1/4" Camera Mounting Screw
- Head Made of Dense Polyurethane
- Tilt/Pan Handle / Bubble Level
- Gear Elevated Center Column
- Lever Leg Lock Height Adjustments
The Ravelli ATD Tripod Dolly is an excellent dolly for use with your professional camera and video tripods, light stands, and background stands.
The most important feature of a good dolly is good wheels. After all, the point of a dolly is to be able to smoothly move your tripod from one place to another.
Unlike less expensive models with smaller plastic wheels, our dolly uses large 3″ diameter wheels with all-metal ball bearings and a rubber outer surface for an ultra-smooth roll.
The ATD also features one-step easy locking wheels. Once you get the dolly where you want it, all you have to do is “step” on the locks for one or more of the wheels.
Some competing models, including the best names such as Bogen, Manfrotto, Quickset, and Linhof, require that you get down on your knees to “screw” a separate rubber stopper down to the floor to hold the dolly in position.
The universal leg locks used will fit nearly any Tripod. Many of the tripod dollies offered by the competition, including the best names such as Bogen, Manfrotto, Quickset, and Linhof, have a fixed attachment point at the end of the dolly legs.
This one has a leg grip that slides along the dolly leg, going either closer to the center or out to the end. This allows you to adjust the desired level of “spread” for the tripod you are using.
AmazonBasics 70-inch Adjustable Pistol Grip Head Tripod
- Pistol grip tripod with adjustable-height aluminum legs and rubber feet with retractable metal spikes for outdoor use
- Recommended max load weight is 11 lbs (5kg) for optimal performance
- Extends from 32 inches to 70 inches; Carrying case included
- Pistol grip design allows for camera placement in virtually any position including 90-degree angles
- Built-in level, leg locks, and quick release mounting plate to ensure fast transitions between shots
The AmazonBasics 70-Inch Pistol Grip Head Tripod provides independent tilt axis control and full 360-degree panning.
Ravelli Professional 65″ Ball Head Camera Video Photo Tripod with Quick Release Plate and Carry Bag
- Monopod Option: All 3 legs are removable and each can be used as a monopod. Simply unscrew any one of the legs and the ball head from the tripod, then screw the ball head directly onto the top of the leg. The standard 3/8" adapter at the top of the legs allow other standard 3/8" tripod heads to fit as well.
- Center Column Height Reduction: The bottom part of the center column is removable. The center column is still reversible to achieve low angle shots, but is not necessary.
- Panning Handle for Video: The handle allows for smooth panning for video. The handle replaces the photo panning lock knob for smoother panning.
- Reversible Legs: Allows the tripod to fold to a mere 18.5" without the head and 21" with the head, making it easy to carry and store when not in use.
- Single Twist Leg Locks: Twist leg locks only require a single-handed 270° twist to open and a single-handed 270° twist to close. With one hand and a quick turn of the wrist, the tripod is ready.
The Ravelli APGL5 is a Professional Quality Tripod that provides a solid base for high-end photographic equipment.
This model is made from Aluminum to create a light weight and sturdy Tripod. The ball head provides smooth adjustments to any angle.
The center column is gearless, and the legs can be inverted for low angle shots.
Dual foam grips, quick release leg locks, 2 Quick Release Camera Plates, and rubber feet complete a very nice lightweight tripod.
Manfrotto BeFree Compact Lightweight Tripod for Travel Photography
- Light and compact design. The special design of this tripod with head ensures your camera stays firmly locked in position.
- Supports up to 8.8lbs
- Designed to fit into carry-on luggage and backpacks
The Quick Release Adapter design enables the legs to fold tightly together, making it even more compact.
BeFree is always comfortable and easy to carry around with its padded carrying bag.
The extra padding makes it easy to pack in your luggage while protecting it from any accidental damage.
Keep your camera steadily locked in the desired position with the integrated aluminum ball head. It is strong, fast, and simple to operate.
The angle selectors allow you to quickly select between 2 different angles for maximum versatility in getting the shot you want.
Manfrotto 190XPROB 3-Section Aluminum Pro Tripod
- 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
Designed for professional photographers, this is an extremely versatile tripod, ideal for small format cameras.
The 190XPROB makes the famous Manfrotto-patented Q90 center column even easier to use.
By extending the column to its highest vertical position, the Q90 center column allows the change from a vertical to a horizontal position without removing the head or disassembling the column itself.
Making setups between framing and positioning more convenient than ever.
The ergonomics of the leg angle release mechanism and the quick action leg locks add to this professional tripod’s key features.
Also features two legs equipped with permanent leg warmers.
Key Considerations when buying a tripod
Size & weight
The first thing you’ll need to consider is how much you’re willing to carry. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger and heavier the tripod is, the sturdier it will be. But there’s no point in having a tripod that weighs over 5kg (11lbs) if you’re only shooting with something like a mirrorless camera or even an entry-level DSLR. If possible, try before you buy. A lightweight tripod might suit your needs fine. In contrast, one that feels tippy will be more frustrating than helpful – especially when working in windy conditions or on uneven ground.
Material & build quality
Next up are materials and build quality, which is where things start to get serious for people who demand the best. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and if you’re paying more for a tripod, certain features will be non-negotiable. Carbon fiber models tend to weigh less than their aluminum counterparts, but they’ll set you back even more money.
Even with the best tripod, some degree of movement will come from natural vibrations that occur due to wind or your own footsteps. To combat this, look for models that offer precise positional adjustments – instead of just three angles like most – and remember: the higher you go, the sturdier they’ll feel (and vice versa). The last thing you want is your camera moving around when you tighten things down on the uneven ground, so finding the best tripod for uneven ground will be important.
Portability and storage
Finally, always carry your tripod with you. It might not seem like much, but a little bit of effort in this department can pay off tremendously when it comes to actually use it. The same goes for how easy each model is to set up and put away, which should go without saying – especially because playing between movement and stability separates pro photographers from amateurs. Seriously: don’t underestimate the value of a good tripod.
Understanding the limits of your tripod
Before you even think about the weight of your camera, it’s important to consider where you’ll be using it most. For example, while some tripods can hold up to 3kg (6.7lbs) or more, there are limits to what they can handle – especially if you want them to last.
The size and weight of the head are also important too. If it doesn’t tighten down securely enough on top of the tripod, then it won’t matter how sturdy your legs are; movement will result when pressure is applied. The same goes for its materials and build quality, which should hopefully be evident simply by holding each model in-store.
If you’re using a tripod for both landscape and portrait photography, then the best model of camera tripod for uneven ground will be of more importance, too. And while some tripods come with an attachment allowing them to be used with both types, it can often require significant readjusting in order to change from one format to the other.
Hanging weights from your tripod might be a bad idea (it certainly doesn’t look like fun), but practicing good habits when carrying it is always a good idea: that includes avoiding wedging it under your arm or letting it bang into things when you walk around. If you’re guilty of any of these, then consider looking at heavy-duty tripods instead since they tend to offer greater support and protection.
Remember: dropping a tripod while you’re out and about isn’t the end of the world, but no one wants to take that trip back home. And while some companies offer warranty policies for their products, it’s best to avoid taking risks where possible. Not only can such an accident render your tripod unusable (and therefore useless), it could cost you more than you bargained for later on – especially if it results in damage or injury not covered by insurance.
Taking care of your tripod
Taking good care of your tripod is important if you want it to last, so always unpack and assemble it in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Try not to coordinate its height with other equipment such as rocks or dirt, especially if you’re shooting on the uneven ground since the resulting vibrations could result in a camera shake.
If you know that there are going to be drastic changes to the weather, then bring along an extended warranty policy at the very least, just to be safe. That said, unless you have one already, don’t bother investing in bags for tripods – particularly those made specifically for them because they’ll probably cost more than what they’re. Just pick up some cheap ones whenever you go shopping for one since it’ll only be used once or twice.
If its material is good enough, then your tripod should never break down no matter how often it gets bumped into things by accident (it really shouldn’t). If it’s the latter case where the dampening system isn’t up to scratch, then keep in mind that there are ways of dealing with this problem, too. For example, filling the head with foam can help reduce any vibrations created when you make adjustments to camera settings. At worst, your tripod might lose some height or require repairs, but it’s important not to let that ruin otherwise good pictures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can tripods be used with binoculars or telescopes?
Tripods are commonly used for supporting heavy-duty items like large telescopes. Still, it’s important to find one that will offer the right kind of stability given the weight. There are also accessories specifically designed for this purpose, including metal hooks and straps, depending on what you need to do.
Is it necessary to use a tripod in low-light conditions?
It can certainly help you take better photos if you don’t have an image stabilizer built into your camera. The best product for night photography is often referred to as a “digiscoping tripod kit” since they generally include adapters required for fitting cell phones and compact cameras onto standard tripods.
What are the benefits of camera tripods?
Aside from taking better photos, these products can also be used in many different ways besides for taking pictures since they offer support to heavy-duty equipment like telescopes and binoculars. They’re also known to increase the lifespan of your camera, so it’s worth looking into if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses down the road.
How is a camera tripod attached to my DSLR camera?
Most tripods will connect to your camera using one of three connection points – either by screwing it directly into your camera’s mount, fitting it onto the base itself, or clipping on through the hot-shoe interface. It all depends on what type of you use, whether this is done by screws, bayonets, or clamps.
What kind of tripod works best for DSLR cameras?
Typically, the larger the DSLR camera body is, the heavier your tripod will need to be to maintain proper balance. The simplest way of ensuring you’re buying the right one is by checking with your camera’s manual if it specifies minimum requirements for tripod stability.
Is there a difference between carrying tripods on backpacks or shoulder bags?
You can certainly carry them around with both. Still, not everyone wants to go through the hassle of taking things out every time they need to take a picture, so it’s best to put all your equipment away in something more secure instead.
How are the legs on a camera tripod made? What materials are they made from?
They can either be made from plastic, aluminum alloy, or carbon fiber, depending on how heavy-duty you want them to be.
Most major camera manufacturers recommend using tripods to improve image quality. As such, you should always look for one that is sturdy enough to support the weight of your digital camera. If a tripod isn’t up to the job, then it shouldn’t cost too much to have it fixed or replaced, so don’t let this put you off buying a good one just because it seems expensive.
Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API