A tripod is one of the most important accessories in any camera bag. While as a photographer, you can get decent images on hand-held shooting mode, you need a stand for long exposures, time-lapses, and panoramas. Also, if you are a commercial photographer, you need a tripod for better image composition and in order to reduce the need for many assistants.
While there are tens of great tripods, not all will match your photography style. For example, if you are a travel photographer, only the light tripod will fit your camera carry. Therefore, knowing your needs is the golden tip when shopping for a tripod.
- How do I choose a tripod?
Answer: Unlike years ago, there are tens of tripod stands. However, not all are ideal for your photography needs. Therefore, when buying a tripod, you should consider weight, materials used, and, more importantly, the stand’s length. These three factors determine the kind of experience you will have as a photographer when creating images.
- Is a tripod really necessary?
Answer: Yes, it would be best if you had a tripod. While there is a general misconception that only landscape photographers need them, all photographers require stands. Commercial photographers need a tripod to make better composites and compose better images. Also, it is one of the best ways to minimize the number of assistants in a set.
- Do all tripods fit all cameras?
Answer: Since there are many camera brands that there were ten years ago, tripod manufacturers make universal units to work with any camera. This trend makes it easier for photographers who might switch from one camera brand to another after some time.
Our Top Picks
Endurax 66″ Video Camera Tripod for Canon Nikon
Endurax 66″ Video Camera Tripod measures 18″ collapsed and full extended stands up to 66″,is convenient for photographers to use with 5 sections leg and flip-lock knob, you can easily to extent it to the height you wan and record scenery. Besides, Made from thick aluminum tube and the design of non-slip rubber for every feet make the tripod lighter and more stable, you can carry this tripod to anywhere and take epic photos.
Benro Mach3 3 Series Aluminum Tripod
- It is sturdy
- Can support up to 14kgs weight
- Has three locking leg angles
- Made of carbon fiber and aluminum
The Benro Mach3 3 is sturdy and one of the best-built tripods. The carbon fiber and aluminum materials make it strong and light. Therefore, you can use this stand both for outdoor assignments and studio projects. Also, the locking leg angles make this stand better at handling excessive weight and better shooting angles. The tripod is also easy to carry around, especially when shooting outdoor. The Benro Mach3 3 stand can fold up to 40 cm, making it easy to pack or store after use.
Vanguard ALTA PRO 2+
- Made from carbon fiber
- Easier to set-up and fold
- Can handle up to 10 kg camera accessories
- It has four leg angles
The Vanguard ALTA PRO 2+ is a tripod for professionals that want a light and sturdy stand. Unlike most stands, it is 100% carbon fiber, and it can therefore support heavy cameras. Apart from the camera, the stand allows you to attach other accessories while shooting. The stand is easy to use. Also, when shooting, the stand allows you to adjust the shooting angle in four different ways. Therefore, as a photographer, you have more options to compose your shots.
- The main material is aluminum
- Can support up to 12kg camera gear
- Leg inversion is 41 cm
- It has two locking angles
Are you looking for a strong and reasonably tall stand? If yes, the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter is a perfect buy for you. Also, the two locking angles give you a chance to be innovative with photo composition. The aluminum stand is ideal for a professional photographer with heavy gear but still wants a stand they can take anywhere on assignments. After you have done shooting, you can fold the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter stand in a 41cm package. While this is not the shortest leg inversion, the stand is extremely light.
Peak Design Travel Tripod
- It is portable
- Carbon and aluminum are the main materials
- Can hold up to 9 kg weight
- Leg inversion is 39 cm
Peak Design Travel Tripod is a premium stand with bleeding-edge specs. For example, the stand legs have spikes that give it extra support, especially when shooting in sloppy places. Also, carbon and aluminum materials make the tripod durable and portable. The tripod is one of the best stands to buy if you are a travel photographer. It is light, and the leg inversion is short. Therefore, you can put it in any travel bag with zero compromises.
- Can support a maximum weight of 1kg
- It has flexible legs
- Can grip any surface
The Joby GorillaPod is a perfect second tripod, thanks to its flexibility and “where you can place” it while shooting. Since the stand cannot hold heavy cameras, it is perfect for lighter cameras and GoPro if you have one on the set. Another reason why you should invest in a Joby GorillaPod is its legs’ flexibility. You can get innovative shots. If you are shooting videos, the Joby stand gives your footage the needed ‘wow’ factor. Also, the ability to fold the tripod and put it in any bag makes the Joby GorillaPod the most innovative piece on this list.
Manfrotto Befree is a perfect tripod for both commercial and travel photographers. Since it is light, it is easy to carry around, regardless of what you are shooting. Apart from the light design, the Manfrotto Befree tripod is easier to fold, making it easier to pack. In addition to its usability, the Manfrotto Befree can hold any camera weight, even the heavy professional cameras. The aluminum body support weight of up to 4Kgs. However, if you are uncertain about the camera weight, weigh your camera body (together with the lens) before using this tripod.
Every photographer deserves a good tripod. While most photographers associate tripods with excessive weight on their camera bag, there are light and durable stands. As a content creator, owning any of the above tripods is an investment in your camera gear and, more importantly, a gateway to better photography. You can even make a family outing our of photography, take a look at our best cameras for kids roundup article as well, and grab a camera for your little one to make photography a a family activity.