Tripods are one of those pieces of equipment that often get overlooked because they can be too heavy or too bulky and this can be especially true if you purchase the wrong type for you! Camera tripods are important for many reasons, mainly that they provide incredible stability while you're shooting, helping you create some of the best and clearest images.
When I started photography, I got a relatively decent camera and lenses, but I didn't want to purchase a tripod because I was convinced that my hands (or any nearby surface) would be stable enough. I was terribly wrong because my shots were blurry or not levelled properly. It just didn't have that professional quality that I was after. So I purchased a cheap and basic tripod Amazon Basics tripod, but needed to upgrade within a few months since it broke down relatively quickly, which was expected for a tripod that cost me 15$ USD,
Before we get to what features make or break a good camera tripod, here are my top 3 picks!
|Top 3 Best Camera Tripods|
Let's talk about the features of a good quality tripod! Keep this in mind as it will help you in your search for the best camera tripod that will meet your needs!
- Stability: A good camera tripod should support your camera without causing wobbly legs or being top-heavy. It also shouldn't fly away with your camera on it in windy conditions and this could be avoided by purchasing a tripod that supports your camera weight. But, this doesn't mean that you have to purchase a heavy-duty camera tripod because those are quite difficult to carry.
- Durability: A durable tripod shouldn't collapse with the legs extended nor should it wobble while your camera is mounted on the head. I find that aluminium tripods are built more durable than carbon-fibre tripod even though they are much more lightweight. This is a personal choice so I made sure to include options for individuals who prefer carbon-fibre over aluminium and vice versa.
- Height: It's important to choose a tripod that fits with your height, in other words, the maximum height should not be so uncomfortable and low for you that you need to bend down throughout your shoot. Check out our guide here to know what maximum height you would need for your tripod according your height. I also include some tips and tricks on how to minimize any pain in case you have a tripod that is too low for your you.
- Quick and easy setup: While you do want your tripod to have an easy and quick setup so you don't miss the shot, a tripod does make you think about composition by slowing you down (as opposed to taking a shot free-handed). Your tripod shouldn't be difficult to set up nor should it require more than a few seconds. This is where the leg types also becomes important since I find that flip-lock legs are much easier and faster to setup compared to ballheads.
If you want to learn more about tripods, what makes a good one and I recommend watching the video below. It goes in incredible depth on the important features, such as the heat type (panhead vs. ballhead), and leg types (flip-locks vs twist locks). I know the video is a little long at 20 mins, but the information is extremely valuable, substantial and you won't have to do any further research since the video covers pretty much everything you need to know!
10 Best Camera Tripods (Tested and Ranked)
Now that we've gone over the basic features of a camera tripod (and my top 3 recommendations), let's get into the top 10 best camera tripods. I'll mention the minimum and maximum height, weight, maximum payload capacity, leg and head type as well as my rating for each tripod. Pros and cons will also be considered, so you can have a full overview of the tripod if you're thinking of purchasing it!
Ballachy 56-Inch Tripod with Bag
- Minimum Height: 18.9 in/48 cm
- Maximum Height: 56 in/142 cm
- Weight: 1.9 lb/0.86 kg
- Maximum Payload: 7 lb/3.2 kg
- Leg Type: Flip-lock
- Head Type: Panhead
- Our Rating: 4.9/5
- The Ballachy Tripod offers incredible value and is built for durability.
The Ballachy 56-Inch Tripod with Bag is rated number 1 on this list because it's lightweight (but not flimsy in any way) and extremely compact. The tripod comes with a carrying bag and a dustproof bag so you can keep your gear protected while you're shooting on your adventure. The tripod weighs 1.9 lb/0.86 kg and holds a maximum weight capacity of 7 lb/3.2 kg, so it's definitely easy and manageable to carry! The panhead is easy and smooth to use, creating precise movements.
While it's marketed to use for cameras, it also includes a smartphone adapter so it can also be used with your phone! This makes this tripod a lot more attractive since it can be used with different equipments.