Best Camera Tripods

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 12, 2018
Are you tired of getting smeared shots with your camera? Or maybe your hands are quickly getting tired from holding a heavy DSLR camera with a huge lens all the time. We have a solution for you right here. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Weight / Load
Height
Leg Sections
Center Column
Tripod Head
Material
Useful Features
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

Soft foam grips are made of a practical and wear-resistant material, so they provide a comfortable grip and transport of the tripod with minimal risk of it slipping out of your hands.

CONS

Accuracy of bubble level leaves much to be desired.

OUR VERDICT

This tripod from Vanguard with a functional ball head has received a lot of positive feedback from world-famous photographers, as it requires a minimum of time for unfolding and installation - you will not miss a single valuable frame. Additional reinforcement in the most susceptible areas ensures a long service life.

detailed parameters
Weight / Load

5.38 lbs / 15.4 lbs

Height

68.125"

Leg Sections

3 with flip locks

Center Column

1-section Hexagon-shaped central column with multi-angle joint and the counterweight hook (detachable)

Tripod Head

Ball Head

Material

Aluminium

Useful Features

The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System for easy repositioning of the central column, soft foam grips, rubber feet with retractable spikes, bubble level

Extras

3/8" thread adapter, carry bag, allen wrench

Warranty

10 years (extended)

PROS

The metal ball head here has an enlarged diameter of 1.1" and a smooth ride, making it possible to set the angle you need and fix the plate in a fixed position.

CONS

Does not fit well in shipping bag.

OUR VERDICT

This universal tripod boasts a large set of options for adjusting the length and tilt, so it will be equally good for landscape, portrait and macro photography. The maximum height of 66.53 inches makes it easy for people with high stature to use it.

detailed parameters
Weight / Load

4.36 lbs / 22.05 lbs

Height

66.53"

Leg Sections

4 with twist locks

Center Column

1 section Reversible central column with multi-angle joint and the counterweight hook (detachable)

Tripod Head

Ball Head

Material

Aluminium

Useful Features

Soft foam grips, bubble level, convertible to monopod

Extras

3/8" thread adapter, carry bag

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Self-adjusting feet automatically change the angle of inclination, based on the length of the legs and the place where the tripod will be placed - especially practical when setting it on uneven surfaces.

CONS

Counterweight hook is not designed for heavy loads.

OUR VERDICT

This model compares favorably with the rest of the amazingly low weight and compact dimensions when folded, therefore it is ideal for photographers who travel frequently. The maximum height here is 55.1 ", so the bracket will be convenient to use.

detailed parameters
Weight / Load

2.6 lbs / 11 lbs

Height

55.1"

Leg Sections

4 with flip locks

Center Column

1 section central column with the counterweight hook

Tripod Head

Pan-Tilt Head

Material

Aluminium

Useful Features

Self-adjusting feet, Quick-release plate, bubble level, soft foam grips

Extras

Carry bag

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The twist locks securely fix the sections during transportation. The 8-layer carbon coating is durable, reliable and weatherproof, making it suitable for any weather or terrain.

CONS
The spikes are a bit short to mount it on the ice.
OUR VERDICT
This lightweight carbon fiber Neewer tripod can become a great aid in taking stable shots in a lot of different situations. It's compatible with any standard camera and can support a DSLR camera with a huge and heavy telephoto lens.
detailed parameters
Weight / Load
3.4 lbs / 26.5 lbs
Height
66.1"
Leg Sections
4 with twist locks
Center Column
1-section reversible column with the counterweight hook
Tripod Head
Ball head
Material
Carbon fiber
Useful Features
Quick-release leg locks, Rubber feet with spikes, Convertible to monopod, Quick-release plate, 360° panning scale, Bubble level, Soft grips
Extras
Carrying bag, Allen wrench
Warranty
1 year
PROS

The center column can be easily retracted with the special lever. Its low price compares favorably with other models, making it a bargain shopper's dream come true.

CONS
The pan-tilt head requires more actions to fix it at different angles compared to a ball head.
OUR VERDICT

This is truly the greatest tripod in its price segment. It's tall, durable and easy to use. A good choice for a small photo studio and amateur photographers, although quite suitable for professionals as well.

detailed parameters
Weight / Load
3 lbs / 6.6 lbs
Height
60"
Leg Sections
3 with flip locks
Center Column
1-section column with the counterweight hook
Tripod Head
Pan-tilt head
Material
Aluminum
Useful Features
Quick-release plate, 2 bubble levels, Leg spreader
Extras
Pan-Tilt head, Carrying bag
Warranty
30-day Amazon's return policy

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB

Sturdy and Convenient

Tripods all have similarities between them, but not all of them are made alike. The similarities tend to end with the fact that they have three legs and are made to provide a stable platform for cameras. Many tripods are made just for that simple fact, and tend to avoid adding anything extra that would make the experience of using it more convenient or pleasant. Of course, having extra features in a tripod is something that most photographers want, and something that they look for when they buy one.

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB Aluminium Tripod was certainly built with those extra features in mind. This stable and sturdy tripod is made of strong materials, featuring three section aluminum alloy legs that hold the tripod upright without losing its balance. The legs can be positioned at one of three different angles, providing the ability to shoot from low or high angle orientations. The ball head can rotate 360 degrees, giving the ability to quickly change the angle of the camera for a variety of different shots. The leg logs provide for quick flip capability, and contain rubber feet that keep the legs steady on virtually any kind of surface. There is even an anti-shock ring that keeps the tripod steady, preventing accidental bumps from ruining a shot.

Review of Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB Aluminium Tripod

Easy to Carry

The purpose of any tripod is to provide a stable mount for a camera, which this does quite well. However, there are a load of extras that help make this model a pure joy to use. The legs include a foam grip that makes this model easy to carry, giving you a firm grip on it without the worry of it slipping from your hands. The setup of the tripod is also quite easy, with the quick flip legs and the quick release plate with bubble levels, which lets you easily set up the tripod in a truly level fashion. The hexagon shaped central column gives the ability to move between 0 and 180 degrees, letting you orient the camera quite easily.

The tripod itself is quite stable, providing a load capacity of up to 15.4 pounds, which is more than enough for almost any kind of camera that you wish to mount on it. There is even a removable hook that lets you hang camera equipment from the tripod for easy accessibility. When not in use, the tripod can fold down into a form factor of only 28 inches, giving you a small mount that is easy to carry and store. There is even a carrying case included that easily holds the tripod, making it quite convenient to take with you almost anywhere you wish to go. For anyone looking for a solid, stable tripod that is a pleasure to use, there are few other models that can match this one.

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB Aluminium Tripod in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

K&F Concept TM2534T

Strong Stability

The most important function of a tripod is to be as stable as possible, giving photographers the ability to take stable shots without any worries of movement causing problems with the photograph. Precision photography is only possible with just a stable mount, so a tripod that is not very stable is not going to be of much use to a photographer. Regardless of whatever extra features a tripod has, its stability is always of the utmost importance.

The K&F Concept TM2534T DSLR Camera Tripod is a tripod designed specifically for providing the most stable platform possible. This portable tripod is made of the strongest materials, ensuring that it remains rugged and stable throughout whatever type of weather or terrain it is used in. Featuring a 25mm aluminum alloy tube, this tripod has a load capacity of up to 22.04 pounds, making it capable of holding just about any kind of camera equipment that you want. The legs of the tripod are sturdy and provide great balance, featuring four sections that can be adjustable for just about any height, up to 66.53 inches. The transverse center column moves from 0 to 180 degrees, and can be rotated horizontally in all directions, giving you a great platform for panoramic shots.

Review of K&F Concept TM2534T DSLR Camera Tripod

Flexibility in Use

The great stability of this tripod is important, as that is its main function, but that doesn't mean that it goes without any extra features. In fact, this tripod has plenty of them. One of these great features is an inverted installation that makes it perfect for extremely low angle shooting, giving you the ability to put the camera extremely close to the ground while maintaining its level and balance. There is also a spiral type locking knob that lets you adjust the angle and height easily, while also providing strong locking strength, without the worry of the lock loosening on its own.

Plenty of other features are included on this quite stable and easy to use tripod. There is a bubble level that works quite well in letting you set the tripod at a truly level angle, as well as ensuring that it has perfect balance. A dense sponge grip gives you a good, firm grip on the tripod while carrying, and prevents the possibility of it slipping from your hands while wet. There is even a stretchable hook that lets you hang a variety of different equipment from the tripod, letting you give it maximum balance while keeping extra equipment handy. These extra features combined with the tripod's strong stability make it one of the best camera tripods in its class.

K&F Concept TM2534T DSLR Camera Tripod in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ZOMEi Q111

Great Travel Mount

One of the most important aspects of a camera tripod for many photographers, outside of it being stable, is its portability. While many photographers love having a great tripod for a studio, a lot of photography actually occurs outside of one. In such cases, having a great stable tripod that is lightweight and highly portable is a must for many photographers, and anything less just won't do. This is especially important for photographers who specialize in capturing nature and landscapes, as outdoor photography rarely allows for extremely stable shooting by hand.

The ZOMEi Q111 Lightweight Tripod with Carry Case is a great tripod that is made with portability in mind. The light weight of this tripod makes it easy to carry, yet is still heavy enough to provide great balance on uneven terrain. The aluminum alloy legs are quite strong and are heavily resistant to damage or dents, and are also fully adjustable, letting you easily set different length to provide a truly level shot. The center column of the tripod is also adjustable, with the fully extended tripod providing a platform 55 inches in height. The strong stability of this model can also support up to 11 pounds in weight, giving you great support for your camera and attachments.

Review of ZOMEi Q111 Lightweight Tripod with Carry Case

Easily Affordable

The ultra portability of this tripod is reason enough for many to want this model, but there are plenty of other features that really make it stand out. The tripod includes a pan head that allows you to pan and tilt the camera while mounted, giving you great flexibility in the angle of the shot, as well as making it perfect for panoramas. Although the movement of the head does tend to be a bit resistant at first, it easily loosens up after use, letting you make smooth, effortless movements. The locking mechanism also ensures that your camera and equipment stay on tight, without any worries of it loosening and falling.

Another great feature is the hook attached to the center column, which can easily hold extra camera gear. This provides easy access to this gear when you need to change it out quickly, while also adding extra weight to the center, helping the tripod maintain perfect balance while equipment is changed from the mount. The tripod is also heavily resistant to vibrations and bumps, ensuring smooth, sharp photos even if the tripod is vibrated or bumped. However, one of the best features of this tripod is its very affordable price, giving even those on a budget the ability to buy the perfect ultra portable tripod.

ZOMEi Q111 Lightweight Tripod with Carry Case in the use

 

Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod Monopod

When the Lights are Low

As you might now, the tripods are indispensable tools for shooting at long exposures in dim lighting, especially with the telephoto lenses. For example, things like lightning storm, highlighted night city, beautiful starscapes or exploding fireworks are hard to capture right without a steady support for your camera. This Neewer carbon fiber tripod will universally help you in any of these situations. Even more, you can readily buy this model for a photo studio as well.

The tripod can be set at up to 66.1" length to take pictures at the eye-level or even higher position. You can switch the center column upside down to get the camera as low to the ground as possible - great for the macro photography. Each leg has 4 sections with 3 twist locks for height adjustment. The key material here is the lightweight carbon fiber that is strengthened by 8-layer laminating. Therefore, it can withstand staggering 26.5 lbs load! Additionally, this material is great at absorbing small vibrations, so feel free to use it with large lenses. When doing so, you might want to attach a counterweight to the special hook on the other side of the center pole in order to keep it steady.

The 360° ball head boasts the quality that is far above the average. We have noticed, that it moves wonderfully smooth when shooting a video. The head has a graded scale and a built-in spirit level. So, when you use it to get a panoramic photo, the result is nothing short of a miracle, as the picture turns out perfectly leveled along the whole length.

Review of Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod Monopod with Ball Head, Quick Shoe Plate, Bag

Transform and Rock Out

Another great feature is that you can unscrew one of the legs, then attach it to the center column instead of a hook to get yourself a monopod. Although most of the photographers would rather use a tripod, it can provide a valuable support for shooting quickly moving objects like racing cars or a flock of birds. By screwing the rubber feet further up the leg, it will expose a small metal spike that can provide additional stability in the grass or soil.

As for the transportation, the tripod is only 18" long in folded position. The included carrying bag can be hung on the column hook to get it out of the way. By filling it with something heavy, you can get yourself a counterweight for your camera. We also got a soft pouch for the head that wasn't mentioned in the product description - a pleasant bonus nonetheless.

Concluding, this lightweight camera tripod by Neewer is a considerable choice if you are looking for a universal model to use anywhere under any conditions.

Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod Monopod with Ball Head, Quick Shoe Plate, Bag in the use

More Products to Consider

The tripods are used for not only when you need to get a static picture, but also for stabilizing the camera with the long zoom. Therefore, if you are interested in birdwatching or wildlife portraiture, you can take a look at our picks from the best ultrazoom cameras as well.

Detailed review of Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod Monopod with Ball Head, Quick Shoe Plate, Bag

VIDEO
Neewer 66 inch portable carbon fiber tripod review for DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras
 

AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Tripod with Bag

Balanced Decision

The AmazonBasics is a terrific inexpensive model made of the pretty high-quality materials. By looking at its selling rates and positive reviews on Amazon, we've set to check out what makes it so special. The key materials here are the sturdy, lightweight aluminum and a common durable plastic. The maximum height is 60", which is considered to be sufficient for a standard photography. Each 3-section leg has with 2 flip locks that help quickly change its length. We liked the fact, that you can quickly extend the center column up with a special lever. That way, the unfolding and adjusting it take less than a minute. As you already know, the large counterweight hook on the bottom is also designed for storing the included tripod bag to keep it away from your feet. The pan-tilt head allows a lot of freedom to adjust the angle, turn the camera around or just fix in a needed position. But there's a little catch to it.

Review of AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Tripod with Bag

In Favor of Pan-Tilt Head

One of the most popular questions people ask when they are choosing a tripod is about the head type to use with it. Although a lot of votes go to the ball type, the pan-tilt head still has its own advantages. One of them is that you can perfectly move it up-down or turn it around for a panoramic photo perfectly aligned with the horizon. You can often find pan-tilt heads used in the TV studios too as they allow to safely fix the camera in a steady position and let go of it with no fear that it would tilt to the side. The downside is that it has a lot of levers, required to be turned to simply readjust it. However, this is still an greate choice if you are looking for a device to get a stable, crisp photo.

As a result, this is an excellent small camera tripod that you can buy for a very low price and use it at home studio or for photo sessions in the park or nearest forest.

AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Tripod with Bag in the use

More Products to Consider

This and other tripods in our review are compatible with any camera that has a 1/4" screw hole. But if you want to take a stable shot with your smartphone, you can find special tripod mounts for smartphones.

Detailed review of AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Tripod with Bag

VIDEO
Amazon Basics 60" Tripod First Test & Review
 

What Is a Camera Tripod?

Any photo enthusiast knows that frustrating feeling when a handheld photo just doesn't come out right because of the slightest vibration that smears the picture and totally ruins the effort. Therefore, photographers often use a special pole with 3 adjustable legs, called tripod, to put their camera in a stable position and get a perfectly sharp shot, unaffected by the trembling hands and other vibrations. Any high-quality architecture masterpiece, nature, macro, and panoramic photographs are done with a tripod support.

Furthermore, tripods are often used in photo studios for getting clear, crisp portraits of a sitter. However, you can also see them used for shooting news reports, documentaries, concerts, and movies. Usually, a tripod comes with a special camera head that mounts on top of the center column. It provides better control of the camera movement flow and can be fixed in certain positions. But more of that below.

So, if you are gearing up your photo studio or getting ready for a long journey with a scenic route, you might also be interested in our review of the best camera backpacks with a strap for a tripod fixing to store and carry your camera kit around. But that's not all. You might also want to check out our pick of the best portrait lenses as well. And for those, who want to know the latest tendencies in the photo industry, we may recommend our fresh selection of the best mirrorless cameras.

What Features to Compare

Compatibility

A few words about compatibility. Most of the tripods come with a column that has a 3/8" screw for mounting the head. The head has, in turn, a standard 1/4" screw that matches the threaded hole in the bottom of the most cameras. Therefore, you can readily use your DSLR, GoPro or TV camera with any tripod from this review.

Maximum load

So, the first parameter to check out is the maximum load a tripod can support. If you don't know the weight of your camera with a lens, just google them separately and sum their weight. If you are worrying that a huge telephoto lens might disrupt the balance, look for a tripod with the counterweight hook at the bottom of the center column. Also, some models come with a leg spreader that has bracket arms for some additional stability.

Weight and material

The most common materials are carbon fiber and aluminum. The first one is lighter and somewhat better at vibration dampening, though they cost more than the metal ones. A bit heavier aluminum model can be helpful for shooting outdoors where lighter models can be simply kicked over by the wind gust. But carrying a heavy model for several hours can be tiresome.

Sections

As a rule, tripod legs have from 2 up to 5 telescopic sections. The bigger their number is, the more compact it will be when folded. Still, a large number of parts may affect the overall stability of the stand. The center column may also have 1 or 2 sections. There are lots of models with telescopic legs and adjustable center column.

Head types

Note, there are several head types that define the camera position. The ball head can be rotated all around and has a very smooth running, yet be careful not to bump it accidentally. The 3-way pan-tilt heads are usually cheaper and allow a more precise adjusting. The downside is that they have large handles that always get in the way and also many levers that you have to tighten up or loosen almost every time to move and fix it in a certain position. The gimbal heads are very specific and designed for holding large and heavy cameras.

Features

There are several features that can improve the usage of a tripod. For example, if the legs have pointy spikes on their ends, they will stand more securely on the soft ground. For shooting in a photo studio, you might need a taller tripod to take photos at the eye-level. The quick-release mount plate comes handy when you want to quickly change the cameras or when you need to take several handheld shots. By the way, some tripods can be transformed into a monopod that can provide some support for taking stable shots where you just can't unfold a tripod. Additionally, the package may also include some extra items like a pouch for the head or a carrying bag for the tripod itself.

Sources:

1. Simon Ringsmuth Tips for Choosing a Tripod Head, Digital Photography School.

2. Harry Guinness Everything You Need to Know About Choosing the Perfect Tripod, MakeUseOf. July 7, 2016.

3. Camera Tripods, Cambridge in Colour.

4. How to Choose a Tripod, MediaCollege.com.

5. Nigel Atherton Choosing a Tripod, What Digital Camera. June 19, 2016.

6. How to Attach a Camera to a Tripod, wikiHow. August 2016.

7. Nasim Mansurov How to Use a Tripod, Photography Life. January 10, 2015.

8. Jason Row When and How to Use a Monopod Instead of a Tripod, Light Stalking Photography. July 17, 2013.

9. Long Exposure Photography Tips, ExposureGuide.com.

10. Mark Myerson How to Photograph the Starry Night Sky: 7 Expert Tips, Shutterstock . July 9, 2015.

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