10 Best DSLR Tripods in 2020

Tripods are slowly shaping the photography industry with a strong wave. And if you love nature and macro photography, a quality tripod is one of the accessories you can never miss. The device is designed with advanced features to help you perform professional photo-shoots. However, not every model will work with your camera and for your photography applications. And this is where most people run into troubles trying to figure out which brand well suits their needs. But after reading this review to the end, you will agree that choosing the best DSLR tripod for your camera is not that hard. Read on!

Best Pick

ZOMEI Travel Portable Aluminum Camera Tripod

ZOMEI Travel Portable Aluminum Camera Tripod is the best dslr tripod for your photography. The tripod has a center column with a hook for hanging additional luggage which prevents any unnecessary vibrations during long exposures. Its high-quality aluminum legs feature three flip-lock mechanisms which allow you to make adjustments for uneven surfaces and harsh outdoor environment. Its size is compact, which allows it for travel needs.

Budget Pick

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod is the best dslr tripod for the money. The tripod is an affordable, handy, lightweight, compact and efficient for your professional photo-shoots. It is compatible with video cameras, digital cameras, smartphones, GoPro devices, and scopes which give you great versatility. Its ability to hold up to 6.6lbs without wobbling makes it ideal for your photography.

Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best DSLR Tripod Review


1. ZOMEI Travel Portable Aluminum Camera Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • Extends up to 58” high
  • Weighs 2.5lbs
  • Withstands up to 11lbs
  • Folded length 19."

Zomei is a compact and lightweight tripod designed to make stunning photos seamlessly. The tripod boasts of its aluminum alloy legs which are easily adjusted to your preferred length, thanks to its three flip lock. Better still, the flip lock allows you to lock your legs even on uneven ground which making it the best DSLR tripod for poor terrains.

With this tripod, you can say goodbye to long photography exposures woes. The tripod has a center column with a hook which is designed to help you hang the rack weight lowering the center of gravity. This feature helps increase the stability and sturdiness of your tripod, minimizing any vibrations.

The pan head tilts effortlessly making it easy for you to tilt upwards or downwards. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around. One thing that makes this tripod stand out from the competition is its design and ability to self-adjust itself to suit different outdoor conditions. Overall, Zomei travel tripod is ideal for travelling and outdoor photography.

Pros

  • Stable
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Handy
  • Built to last
  • Comes with a carry case
  • Self-adjusting feature

Cons

  • Cannot be converted to a monopod
  • Tripod mount ring required for stability when using cameras with a telephoto zoom lens

2. AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • Weighs 3 lbs
  • Holds cameras up to 6.6 lbs
  • Tilts and swivels in landscape and portrait positions
  • Three-way head

If you are looking for the best DSLR tripod for the money, then look no further than this AmazonBasics tripod. The tripod is lightweight with adjustable legs and rubber feet. For optimal performance, this camera stand can hold up to 6.6lbs. At 3lbs, this tripod can extend from 25” to 60” allowing you to adjust your height to suit your preferences.

With the help of the two inbuilt bubble view levels and three-way head, you can swivel and tilt your camera to your preferred position. A quick-release mounting plate offers you quick transitions between shots. Its compatibility with digital cameras, still cameras, video cameras, GoPro devices, scopes and smartphone adapters gives you versatility like no other.

Set up is smooth, which makes it handy for first-time users. And with all these features, the tripod is affordable, giving you the freedom to enjoy quality outdoor photography.

Pros

  • Handy
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Compatible with different devices and cameras
  • Easy to set up
  • Comes with a zippered bag

Cons

  • A bit shaky when used with cameras with heavy-duty lenses

3. JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom Flexible Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • 360 panning for great versatility
  • Holds up to 6.6lbs
  • Made with durable TPE, ABS plastic and stainless steel materials
  • ¼” 20 tripod mount (standard)
  • Rubberized foot grips

This Joby GorillaPod SLR zoom tripod is designed with great features to make your photo and video shooting awesome. The stand touts of a hardy Japanese medical-grade ABS plastic, Germany TPE and stainless steel which makes it withstand tough outdoor use.

Its rubberized foot and easy to wrap legs hold your camera up to 6.6lbs, giving you the freedom to make great shots. The tripod stands strong without shaking for clear and crisp photos. The tripod has dozens of flexible joints which keep the legs secured even when on rocky or unfavorable grounds. Its size and ball head fit perfectly well in the backpack allowing you to move around with ease.

Usually, this tripod is specially designed for mirror-less and SLR cameras.

Pros

  • Built to last
  • East to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Versatile
  • Stable
  • Flexible

Cons

  • Only compatible with mirror-less and SLR cameras

4. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminum Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • Folded height 28.5."
  • Maximum height of 69.9."
  • PH-32 three-way pan head
  • Rubber feet with quick flip leg locks
  • Weighs 5.7 pounds
  • Three-section aluminium legs (26mm)

Experience a new look of the world with this amazing tripod from Vanguard. For over 30 years, the company has given promising results to its consumers by producing quality products that surpass the market expectations, and this tripod is not an exception.

Unlike any other regular tripod, you can get out there this Vanguard Alta Pro series is one of its kind. It’s designed with premium quality magnesium die-cast canopy with shock-resistant ring for exceptional shooting without losing stability.

With this tripod, you get to enjoy great versatility and ability to shoot your photos and videos at different angles. Thanks to the center column which features a hexagonal shape for easy manoeuvrability from 00 to 1800. The tripod has an instant swivel stop n lock system which requires only one single movement to position your central column for increased stability.

The legs are easy to set up and have different settings (250, 500, and 800) and quick release buttons, making it straightforward for beginners. The PH-32 three-way pan head comes with a fast release plate QS-52 and three bubble levels for smooth operation with high precision tilt and pan functions.

At 5.7 pounds this tripod can extend up to 69.9” and can hold up to 11pounds which is excellent for the macro photo shoot. The tripod is available in Aluminium or carbon fiber which gives you the freedom to choose your preferred material.

Pros

  • Handy
  • Versatile
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Stable
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • A bit pricey

5. MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic Travel Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • 360-degree pan
  • Legs fold back 180 degrees
  • Available in 8 different colors
  • Holds up to 17.6lbs
  • Twist leg locking type
  • -450to +900 tilt range
  • Drag control feature
  • Weighs 3.6lbs

Nothing can ruin your photography like a low-quality tripod. But with this meFOTO travel tripod, you can experience your photo-shoot in a new dimension. The legs have five sections which together hold your camera steady enough to your preferred height. Even when on unfavorable conditions, the tripod legs allow for quick and fumble-free setup thanks to its anti-rotation and locking grip functions.

To prevent any unwanted head movements and uneven pans the tripod has an integral bubble level.  Its dual-action ball head features Arca Swiss design that is compatible with fast release plate. Its ability to transitions into a monopod allows you to fold it with ease saving you time. That not all; the tripod enables you to make 360 panning for great versatility and precise image alignment.

When photo shooting on irregular grounds, or cramped quarters, you can lock the tripod legs in two different angles for increased precision making it the best DSLR tripod for travel. Its dust and weather resistance properties give you the confidence to shoot your photos without impacting on the quality.

Overall, meFOTO travel tripod is designed for professional photographers who are looking forward to a premium photo shoot. The tripod works perfectly well with mirror less DSLR Nikon, Canon Fuji and Sony cameras. Better still, you can also choose your preferred color among the eight available choices.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Flexible
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Transitions easily from a tripod to monopod
  • Dust and weather resistant
  • Comes with a carrying case

Cons

  • meFOTO SideKick  iPhone Tripod mount not included

6. TYCKA Rangers 56” Compact Travel Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • Holds up to 26.5 lbs
  • Extends up to 56” high
  • 4 leg segments
  • 57” when transitioned to a monopod
  • Comes with two wrenches, multifunctional waist bag, ball head bag, and a carrying bag
  • Flip leg lock type
  • Weighs 2.89lbs
  • 360 degrees panning range
  • -450 to +900 tilt range

TYCKA Rangers is a compact tripod for travel and outdoor photo-shoot. Engineered with high precision this tripod will offer you quality results for all your shooting needs. Its lightweight design allows you to move around in places you wish to capture scenic moments. The tripod is made with a high-quality aluminum alloy which is not only lightweight but also strong enough to withstand harsh outdoor weather.

Better still; this tripod is one of the strongest you can get in the market now with a capability of holding up to 26.5lbs while maintaining stability. Its central pole can be easily transitioned for macro photography and low shooting angles.

One of the tripod legs are removable and can be utilized as an alpenstock for walking or hiking. With its multifunctional bag, you can quickly hook your camera bag, back; on your belt for easy maneuverability which makes it the best DSLR tripod for hiking. Overall, this tripod is designed to help you hold heavy cameras while maintaining high precision photo shoot outdoors.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Handy
  • Versatile
  • Built to last
  • Detachable monopod
  • Macro view and low angle enabled
  • Stable

Cons

  • Has ball head system which is not great for Parallax

7. K&F Concept DSLR Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • 28mm ball head
  • Folded height 18.1."
  • Weighs 2.99lbs
  • Rotates 360 degrees
  • Dust and weather resistant bag

This amazing K&F Concept DSLR tripod is designed to enable you to meet different shooting environment and photographic needs. The tripod combines great features for stunning photos for every shot made. Its lightweight design allows you to move with ease making you almost forget you carrying something. Its flip leg lock is powerful and fast enough, allowing you to open and close with a single hand.

With a simple press, the spring self-locking knob quickly adjusts the angle of the three tripod tubes for increased precision. It's 28mm Ball Head keeps the cloud form stable, giving you a chance to do what you do best. The ball head revolves 360 degrees while enhancing your camera range during panoramic shooting. With a new style with non-oil damping design, this tripod moves smoothly with high precision allowing you to capture breathtaking moments.

Weighing only 2.99lbs, the tripod can be extended from 16.1” up to 62” allowing you to make professional shots when needed. Its compact size fits perfectly well in the carry bag. The carry bag is designed with quality materials to protect your tripod from moisture, dust, dirt, and any accidental knocks and bumps that may occur during transportation. This makes this tripod stand out from the competition, making it ideal for your outdoor use.

Pros

  • Handy
  • Compact
  • Flexible
  • High precision
  • Built to last
  • Stable
  • Powerful leg flip lock

Cons

  • Available in black color which is not everyone’s favorite
  • Tripod mount ring or telephoto lens bracket required when using telephoto zoom lens cameras

8. Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • 360-degree ball head
  • Designed with premium quality carbon fiber
  • Quick-release mounting plates
  • 4 leg segments
  • ¼” screw
  • Load capacity 33lbs
  • Maximum height 63."
  • Minimum height of 17.7."

This Neewer DSLR tripod features a high-quality carbon Fiber design for an exceptional outdoor photo-shoot. The 2 in 1 tripod is designed to allow you to transition it to a monopod effortlessly. The carbon fiber tubes are made of high-density material with eight different layered angles which have undergone through high-temperature curing, and extreme pressure strengthening for increased durability.

The legs feature four segments with an interlocking crutch type lock for preventing any unnecessary movement of your tripod. With the help of three leg angle adjustments, you can easily make shots depending on your preferred angle. Its mounting plate is designed to help you perform quick releases for fast transitions between shots.

The ball head swivels 360 degrees with a bubble level for a great panoramic view. Its strong design enables you to hold heavy cameras of up to 26.5lbs without shaking. The tripod comes in red and black colors which gives you the freedom to choose your preferred color. And what’s more, the tripod comes with a quality bag for DSLR camera and Video camcorder making transportation easy.

Pros

  • Effective
  • Easy to set up
  • Stable
  • Built to last
  • Versatile
  • Flexible
  • Portable

Cons

  • Tripod mount ring needed for a telephoto zoom lens

9. Manfrotto 055 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • Holds up to 19.8lbs
  • One-hand operation
  • 4 leg sections
  • 90 degrees column
  • 24.02’ closed length
  • Maximum height 66.93.'
  • Minimum height of 3.54.'

Manfrotto 055 DSLR tripod boasts of its excellent locking power which keeps your camera steady even when the conditions are unfavorable. Its easy link attachments gives you the freedom to transition your new 055 tripod, to a mobile photographic studio.

By simply attaching the reflector, LED light and any other accessories, you can quickly turn your tripod into a classic camera stand with great functionalities. Besides, the connector offers a favorable environment for your photo and video shoot.

One thing that makes this tripod stand out from the competition is its ability to allow you to change positions without calling for any disassembly. The QPL (quick power lock) levers feature a unique design which only calls for one-hand operation saving you the time and hassle of locking the legs in place.

Inside the tripod top casting is the horizontal column mechanism which makes it compact and can be extended when need be. The leg selector allows each leg to stand independently for easy angle set up and great flexibility. The upper disk has a rotating bubble level which stays flat on all planes making it the best Manfrotto tripod for dslr video.

Weighing 5.51lbs this tripod can hold up to 19.84” cameras without wobbling. Overall, this tripod is designed to allow you to experience video and photo-shoot on another level.

Pros

  • Flexible
  • Stable
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Handy
  • Powerful and effective

Cons

  • Vibrates when the center column is raised too high

10. MeFOTO BackPacker Classic Travel Tripod  

Highlighted Features

  • Minimum height 16.5”
  • Maximum height 51.2”
  • 360 degree panning range
  • Weighs 2.6lbs
  • -450 to 900 tilt range

If you are looking for the best dslr tripod for backpacking, then this meFOTO travel tripod may be all that you need. The tripod is designed with high-quality aluminum material. By nature, Aluminum is lightweight, which makes it the go-to tripod for your outdoor photo-shoot.

Featuring 360 degrees panning this tripod allows you to perform high precision panoramas with accurate image alignment. For increased flexibility, the tripod legs can be locked at two different angles independently to enable you to make accurate shots in irregular surface or at ground level.

Located on the bottom side of the center column is a spring-loaded hook which allows you to hang more weight on the tripod’s COG for increased stability. The head and pan locks are positioned separately to allow you to make fine adjustments with ease, making setup a breeze.

A high precision coupled Q-series ball head with dual action for keeping your accurate shoots.  The bubble level enables you to make precision adjustments minimizing any chances of the head moving or uneven pans. The fact that you can invert and fold this tripod into 180 degrees makes it easy to move around everywhere. With its anti-rotation legs and rubberized locking grips, this tripod offers dust and weather resistance while allowing you to perform, quick and wobble-free setup.

The tripod also comes in eight different colors which allow you to pick your preferred color. Overall, meFoTO dslr tripod is designed to offer exceptional photo-shoot. The tripod is recommended for use along with different camera style including mirror less, point and shoot, and smartphones up to 8.8 lbs. A carrying case is included in the package for easy transport and storage.

Pros

  • Dust and weather resistant
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Comes with a bag
  • Available in 8 colors

Cons

  • Available only in black which may not be everyone’s favorite

Reasons why you need a tripod

When capturing close objects

Taking close up shots requires you to make fine adjustments and keep your camera steady. A tripod is designed to help you set up your settings and make close shots without touching your camera, minimizing any chances of unwanted movements of your device.

Flexibility

Tripods are designed to offer you great versatility. Aside from keeping your camera secured, you can also use other devices like camcorders, smartphones, and iPhones, among others.

Better still; it gives you the freedom to make high precision pans for a more professional video shooting.

To reduce unwanted blurs

When making sunset and night mode shots, the natural light is not enough to make professional shots. A tripod comes in handy during such situations allowing you to adjust the camera setting to suit the task at hand.

That’s not all; the tripod holds your camera in place when making low shutter speed preventing photo blurring.

For picture filming

When taking nature shots, a tripod will enable you to make high precision setups. For instance, when waiting for wildlife to make an appearance, you need to be fast to capture those great nature moments which do not last long.

When using a telephoto lens

By nature, telephoto lenses are heavy and hard to stabilize. This call for a quality tripod to keep your camera steady or else your long focal length will magnify any vibrations caused by your camera mirror wind or shutter.

For increased creativity

Tripods are designed to help you make angled adjustments turning your camera into a photography studio. With the help of smart features, you can make sharp photo and video shoots without impacting on the quality.

When sporting

Capturing action shots requires high precision panning allowing you to make incredible action shots. A tripod makes panning a breeze making your sporting photography a success.

Factors to consider when buying dslr tripod

Choosing the right tripod can be a bit challenging, especially when you are not well informed. Most people run into trouble trying to figure out the best brand to settle for. But after reading this guide, you will agree that choosing a quality tripod for your camera is not rocket science. And below is what you need to look for.

Versatility

Every tripod out there is designed to work with different devices which have certain specifications. However, while most brands are designed to hold various devices, not all of them will be compatible with your camera. To avoid any disappointments, always make sure you know what you can do with your tripod and whether it’s compatible with your camera.

Tripod height

Every tripod will have minimum and maximum height. Though they can be extended, your tripod height should not strain your back. Before pulling your card, you need to first calculate the height of your tripod legs along with the head to determine the best height that suits you. After you get the right tripod height, measure your height and choose an adjustable tripod that is higher than your height. This will allow you to customize the tripod by lowering it to suit your height.

Material

Dslr tripods come in different materials with each offering varied benefits. Besides, the quality of your tripod material also determines its durability. Getting to know what makes each material unique will allow you to choose your tripod material with ease.

And here are the most popular materials

Aluminum

Aluminum by nature is lightweight as compared to other metals like steel. This makes it great for making quality tripods. Besides being lightweight, aluminum tripods are stable and affordable.

But as time goes by, more and lighter materials are shaping the photography industry.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber is another quality material which is taking the photography industry with a strong wave. This is because Carbon Fiber is lightweight and durable. Compared to Aluminum, Carbon Fiber is 30 times lighter.

Besides, Carbon Fiber is heat and weather resistant which offers you an exceptional photo and video shoot. However, you will be required to spend more bucks on Carbon Fiber tripods, but this shouldn't be a deal-breaker as their quality and durability are unmatched to none.

Basalt

Basalt tripods are an alternative for Carbon Fiber tripods due to their affordability. The inner core of Basalt tripods is designed with glass fiber with Basalt layers on the outside. The material is stable and rigid, which makes it an excellent pick for your photography shoot.

Tripod head type

A tripod head holds devices in a specified orientation until a change is needed depending on the task at hand. When using a photography camera and the task at hand calls for slow shutter speeds, the tripod head helps reduce vibrations and enable you to perform long exposures or recompose for another shot.

When shooting video, the tripod head allows you to make high precision pan and tilt your camera with ease while offering great control. In some cases, a tripod head can be attached to a simple plate with a base mount when the task at hand does not call for a full tripod height. Better still; the head can also be used with a monopod to offer great versatility.

Tripods are of different types with varied control mechanisms. And as much as your tripod head helps you secure your dslr camera in place and allow you to change positions, each type differs from each other in one way or another.

But one thing you need to know is that some tripods like the modular type do not come with the head, so you will be required to invest in one.

To help you make the right choices, below are tripod head types available in the market.

Ballheads

Ball heads feature a simple mechanism as compared to other tripod head types. Normally, the ball head relies on the head and a socket joint for orientation controls. The ballhead is housed in a socket which can be fastened to keep the ball in place.

Some of the ballheads offer simple and tension control, while premium models come with more controls. In most cases, the regular types will only allow you to tighten the ball to hold your device in place.

But for the high-end head types, you get to enjoy independent pan controls which allow you to rotate the entire joint mechanism horizontally 360 degrees while keeping the ball joint orientation at the same time.

Other ball head types have a drag control feature which allows you to adjust a secondary tension level on the ball in regards to the current load to keep the device in place even when the tension control is not engaged.

Pan heads

Also known as pan and tilt head, allows your camera to make independent rotations in 2 or 3 perpendicular axes which are not intersected. Compared to the ball head, pan heads are more complex and are great for Panoramas.

However, one drawback which comes along with this head type is that the axes rotations do not go through the pupil lens entrance, thus bringing issues with Parallax.

Panoramic heads

Panoramic heads allow you to capture several images which can be bound together to make a panoramic image. Unlike pan heads which do not rotate on the pupil entrance lens, panoramic head resolves this drawback by allowing you make frequent rotation on the nodal point.

The panoramic head can be further categorized into a single row and multi-row heads. Single panoramic heads require the lens to be horizontally positioned, and the head rotates in a vertical axis.

Multi-row head, on the other hand, rotates on two axes.

Gimbal heads

Normally gimbal heads are specially designed to be used along with the heavy-duty telephoto lens. They are designed to keep the camera in place while keeping the weight balanced with the help of tension controls, making it easy to move around with your hefty camera.

Gimbal heads are great for tracking fast-moving subjects like in sporting and wildlife while helping you set up your heavy and prolonged cameras with ease. However, while gimbal heads allow you to make both vertical and horizontal axis, they do not offer accurate angular movements.

Fluid heads

Fluid heads are used for the video and film industry. What makes this heads ideal for motion picture industry is their ability to offer extremely smooth free movement even when used along with hefty professional video cameras. The fluid helps reduce the friction of the head moving part as well as helping you operate the camera smoothly without vibrating when making precise pan and tilt adjustments through dampening.

Due to their quality and ability to hold heavy cameras without wobbling, fluid heads are go-to tripod heads for the TV production environment.

Leg lock type

Tripods have leg locking mechanism which helps keep them in place without pulling back allowing you to make your setups and perform your shots seamlessly. The market offers two common leg lock type, which includes the flip and twist locks.

Flip locks

The flip locks have a lever which fastens the tripod legs small section. As the name suggests, the flip lock requires you to flip it when the legs retract to your desired length to keep them secured on that position.

One thing that makes flip locks great is that they are easy to set up and flip. However, everything that is good comes with some flaws, and so are flip locks. One of the drawbacks associated with flip locks is that they may get jammed by debris.

Another challenge is that they are not weather-sealed and can become loose with time and will call for tightening, especially after long hours use.

Twist locks

Twist locks are not far from the flip locks in that they only require you to twist in quarter-turn for your lock to loosen or keep your tripod legs in place after retraction or extension. What sets twist locks apart from flip locks is that they have fewer parts and have better sealing.

However, Just like flip locks, twist locks also have some drawbacks. One of the most common disadvantages of twist locks is that some are hard to use.

The choice of your tripod leg lock type will depend on your personal preferences and the benefits each offer.

Tripod feet

Tripod feet can be either rubberized or have a retractable spike beneath a rubberized pad. Some tripod models have interchangeable feet which allow you to change your legs swiftly to suit the terrain. So if you are planning to make your photography shooting in poor ground, it is a great idea to confirm if your tripod legs are designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments.

Load capacity

Your tripod load capacity is an essential factor you should never put a blind eye on. Most manufacturers indicate the load capacity each tripod should hold. But one thing that most people do not understand is that the maximum load capacity cannot break your tripod.

For instance, if your tripod load capacity is 30 lbs, it implies that, at this weight, your camera stability is at its maximum. Loading your tripod with a 32lb camera does not mean that it won’t work. What will happen is that you will experience vibrations which will, in turn, impact your photo or video quality.

However, it is highly recommended to keep within the recommended capacity for quality shoots.

Camera mount style

Mounting systems help keep your device in place. Most systems feature quick-release mechanisms with two pieces. One of the pieces is a quick release plate which is mounted under the device while the other piece is fixed on the tripods head designed to keep the plate in place.

One of the most camera mount styles is the Arca swiss design. One great advantage of the Arca Swiss system is that they prevent any accidental plate rotation. The plate is often secured with screws when installing on a lens with a foot preventing unplanned rotations of the camera which may get the device detached.

The Arca Swiss systems are designed to accommodate plate which is 38mm wide with a 45-degree dovetail. Most Manufacturers design Arca Swiss systems which are similar, but these brand variations bring along incompatibilities. However, as time goes by, the Arca Swiss systems are slowly being replaced with Aluminum machined plates which are attached to the device with ¼”- 20” hex screws.

Some models have their specific plates which are specially designed to accommodate their devices such as point and shoots. The market also offers universal mounting plates which are compatible with almost every model out there. But one drawback with the universal mounting plates is that they do not provide little or no anti-rotation prevention.

Stability

Tripod stability is very crucial and should not be overlooked. Most people think that the ability of a tripod to hold heavy cameras translates to stability. But this is not the case. One of the most challenges professional photographers and filmmakers encounter is harsh weather conditions.

These changes may adversely affect the quality of your shoots if your tripod isn’t up to the task.

The stability of your tripod is determined by how strong your tripod remains in regards to withstanding strong winds, bumps and accidental knocks. If the tripod is affected, definitely you will experience vibration and wobbling which will affect the quality of your shoots.

Tripod weight

While most tripods are lightweight, they vary in regards to their weight. This is brought about by the fact that different materials are used to design them. However, while there is no recommended tripod weight, it is always great to choose a model that allows you to move around with ease while keeping your dslr camera in place.

Intended use

People buy tripods to use them in different applications. Before spending on any tripod model, you need to analyze your needs and know why you need one. Compare how the tripod is designed, its features, and how it will help you achieve the intended use.

Ease of set up

The time you will spend to set up your tripod is determined by several factors among them the complexity of the design, number of accessories and legs. Most tripods feature 3, 4 or 5 leg sections.

The more the number of legs, the higher the tripod portability. This implies that the tripod will be shorter when folded. However, more leg sections mean a long setup time.

Center column

Center column is an important feature to look at but not all tripods which have this feature. One of the primary functions of the center column is to allow you to extend the height of your tripod higher. But the move may render your camera unstable.

Investing on a tripod with or without this feature will depend on your preferences.

Tips for tripod stability

Tripod instability can adversely affect the quality of your photos and videos. In some cases, the instability is caused by avoidable mistakes. So if you are looking for clear and accurate shoots, put these tips into practice.

Keep your center column low

While the center column allows you to raise your camera higher, raising it too high will make your tripod to vibrate. To minimize any chances of vibrations, make sure it's not raised too high. This will be achieved by calculating your camera height so that you lower any chances of extending the center column.

Hang your bag and accessories on the center pole

Most tripods are lightweight, which means that they can be affected by strong winds. One hack for keeping your tripod steady is by hanging the accessories bags on the center pole to minimize vibration levels.

Avoid touching your camera

Do not be overconfident simply because your camera is secured in place as touching it can tamper with the settings. To keep your camera steady without affecting the adjustments, always make sure you use a timer, remote shutter trigger or attach a shutter cord.

Spread the thicker legs first

If you have a four or five tripod leg sections, make sure you take advantage of the upper thicker legs and keep the thinner ones retracted. Another great way to maintain your tripod stability is to keep the legs overlapped in equal lengths.

Spread your tripod legs far enough

Spreading your tripod legs is one of the great ways of lowering your tripod's center of gravity. However, this tip does not work if your tripod has leg braces that are connected to the center pole.

Make use of your tripod spring load

Another great way of increasing your tripod stability is by investing in a tripod that has a center column with a spring load hook to add more weight. This will keep the tripod steady even when you experience harsh weather conditions like strong winds.

When making a video shoot with a pan head or fluid head, it is also advocated to take advantage of the hook. This enables you to make smoother transitions which are bump-free.

Keep you payload in check

Every tripod has a maximum load capacity it can hold with its head and legs. Exceeding the recommended payload can put your tripod in excess pressure making your camera unstable.

Care and maintenance of tripods

As much as investing in a quality tripod will turn your camera into a photography studio, you need to keep it in good physical shape. A poorly maintained tripod will deteriorate with time, rendering it useless which may lead to costly repairs.

Clean your tripod

If you are using your tripod on harsh weather conditions where it’s windy, muddy or rainy, your tripod will get dirty. Thorough cleaning is needed to get rid of any debris and dirt that may have got trapped on the joints. Before folding your tripod, make sure it’s dry to avoid any rusting.  

To avoid any tedious maintenance it is highly advocated to invest in weather and dust resistant tripod.

Lubricating your tripod

Tripods have moving joints which may cause friction when handling. This may result in squeaky sounds and later cause wear and tear on these joints. Greasing these parts will help you fold and move the joints with ease.

Keeping the payload in check

Loading your tripod with heavy cameras than the recommended weight will always put your tripod to into excess pressure. This can affect your camera stability and may break your tripod legs leading to unplanned costs.

FAQ

What is the best DSLR tripod?

Every tripod out there is designed with unique features to help you accomplish your photo and video shoot. Since everyone has their personal preferences in regards to what makes the best dslr tripod, the model you settle for will depend on what you are looking for.

Are all tripods the same for all cameras?

Just like cameras that differ from each other, so are tripods. Every model in the market is designed to accommodate specified camera models. For your camera to work along with your tripod, it should meet all the specified requirement by the tripod manufacturer.

So before you choose your preferred tripod, make sure your camera is compatible; otherwise, you will be disappointed.

Are tripods allowed in planes?

Most travel photographers have been puzzled whether to bring their tripods along or rent one. But you do not need to leave your tripod behind as they are allowed on planes.

What makes the best DSLR tripod?

  • Ability to help you accomplish the intended purpose
  • Stable enough to hold the recommended weight without wobbling
  • Allow you carry your photography with ease
  • Offers you versatility

Wrapping up

It is beyond any reasonable doubt that a quality tripod can transform your photography by allowing you to make a sharp and high precision shot. They come with unique features to help you capture stunning shots and nature moments effortlessly. However, not very tripod model out there is ideal for your camera. So before choosing the best dslr tripod for your preferred model, make sure it meets your needs. All the above featured models are a great pick for your picture and video filming projects.

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