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Best Overall: Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod at Amazon
"This tripod will likely last you a lifetime and can operate as well as more expensive models at a fraction of the price."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Albott 64-Inch Travel Tripod at Amazon
"Ideal for traveling and aimed at both casual and expert photographers."
Best Budget: AmazonBasics 50-inch Tripod at Amazon
"Three-section lever-lock legs that can easily be adjusted from 16.5 inches up to 50 inches."
Best Value: Kamisafe Kingjoy VT-1500 at Amazon
"Amateurs and professionals will both appreciate the features on this 65” tripod from Kamisafe."
Best for Portability: RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod at Amazon
"It’ll fit basically any camera or camcorder that fits a standard ¼ mount, so it’s as pro as you can get in that regard."
Most Versatile: Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH at Amazon
"Alta Pro tripods are constructed to maximize stability and flexibility, adjusting to accommodate any angle for your recording."
Best Design: Fotopro Mini Tripod at Amazon
"This Fotopro mini ‘pod is one of the coolest flexible concept tripods we we have found."
Best Professional: ZOMEI 72-Inch Professional Tripod at Amazon
"The leg extensions employ twist-to-tighten mechanisms and the whole unit is built of aluminum alloy, so it won’t weigh down your camera bag."
This tripod will likely last you a lifetime and can operate as well as more expensive models at a fraction of the price. Whereas most tripods are a mixture of aluminum alloy and plastic hinges, this tripod is constructed with high quality carbon fiber. All the surrounding knobs and ball-joints are also made with metal, and an eye-catching red and black design makes this tripod stand out.
Another innovative feature that sets this tripod apart is a removable leg that can be converted into a walking stick, which is helpful for anyone trying to capture footage in nature. All four sections of carbon fiber tubing can be adjusted to up to 67” tall, and the design supports even the heaviest cameras. While this tripod supports up to 33-pound camera or camcorder, it weighs less than five pounds and comes with a nylon carrying bag.
The Albott 64-Inch Travel Tripod is versatile, ideal for traveling and aimed at both casual and expert photographers. At just 2.64 pounds, the lightweight plastic and aluminum frame can hold up to 8.8 pounds, and a center column hook allows users to hang accessories or additional weights to provide more stabilization. Not that stabilization should be an issue, thanks to its “sure-grip” rubber feet that are designed to provide traction no matter the locale. The flip-locks let you adjust the telescoping legs to achieve heights between 22 and 64 inches, with a center brace to add steadiness.
Camera positioning is smooth and alignment is precise due to the three-way pan-and-tilt head, allowing for 360-degree rotation to meet a variety of photographic needs. The quick-release plate will accommodate a large number of devices including digital cameras, lenses, camcorders, GoPro devices, binoculars, and telescopes. The 3.46-pound tripod also comes with a drawstring carrying bag for easy transport
AmazonBasics is Amazon’s generic line of everyday products offered at a budget price. These items are usually well made and the savings come from Amazon’s advanced distribution network, not from skimping on the quality. This camcorder tripod is no exception. At under $20, it is lightweight and stable. It is constructed with aluminum and weighs just one pound. It has three-section lever-lock legs that can easily be adjusted from 16.5 inches up to 50 inches, and a quick-release plate helps you glide through quick transitions between shots. Further adjustments come from a three-way head that allows you to tilt and swivel between portrait and landscape options, allowing versatility during filming or shooting.
Amateurs and professionals will both appreciate the features on this 65” tripod from Kamisafe. The VT-1500 is designed with video shooting in mind, and the ⅜” standard mounting screw is compatible with all kinds of camcorders. It holds the camera in place with an automatic double security lock, which prevents a tragic accident from knocking your camcorder off.
The design also sports a geared center column that makes adjusting the camera a breeze. You can adjust the camera from 26” to 65”, depending on your needs. The three legs are constructed from aluminum alloy, while the head can be panned and tilted 360 degrees for full capture.
The RetiCAM tabletop model fits the bill for portability for obvious reasons: it’s a tabletop tripod so it’s going to be significantly smaller than the floor-set tripods. But the RetiCAM here offers a surprising set of capabilities in such a small package. For starters, it’ll fit basically any camera or camcorder that fits a standard ¼ mount, so it’s as pro as you can get in that regard. The head is a three-way tilt pan mount, so you’ll be able to get basically any standard shot you’re looking for.
There’s a quick release plate and even quick-snaps on the leg tighteners, so you won’t have to fiddle with locking clasps or screws. The center column is extendable for extra height and there’s even a bubble level embedded right in it. The legs are 20mm and it’s built out of aluminum, so it’s lightweight and sturdy. How lightweight? It’s only one and a half pounds in your bag, so you can toss it in your camera satchel for any shoot. This pack even includes a handy carrying bag for extra portability and protection.
Alta Pro tripods are constructed to maximize stability and flexibility, adjusting to accommodate any angle for your recording. The premium flexibility comes from a multi-angle central column that can be moved from zero to 180 degrees in vertical and horizontal positions and is held in place by an Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock System that securely repositions the central column in just a few seconds.
In addition, the carbon fiber legs can be adjusted to three different angles. Whereas most tripods have a set leg angle, the Vanguard can be adjusted to 25-, 50- and 80-degree settings. Other premium features include a magnesium die-cast canopy, spiked rubber feet, an anti-shock ring and an included carrying case. While amateurs might not justify the extra money for the increased flexibility, pros will appreciate the added versatility of this tripod.
This Fotopro mini ‘pod is one of the coolest flexible concept tripods we we have found. By this point, you’ve probably seen those flexible, ballspring tripods that can be used to stand up as a tripod or to wrap around and affix to something. But, the braided, rubber legs on this one give it even more flexibility than the ball-based ones because you can have more precision in bend angles. Plus, those ball tripods look kind of clunky -- this one is both sleek and eye-catching, so it checks off that “design” box.
There’s a top-mounted, rotating ball that gives you 360-degree motion for your DSLR and it supports up to 800g, which is operable for most of the low-end pro cams. This particular unit also comes with a foam clamp attachment to affix your iPhone or mobile device to the tripod, so you can take steady pics even if you don’t have your main camera. The package even comes with a Bluetooth-connected shutter button that lets you take pictures from afar without the need for those awkward timer countdowns. Finally, the materials are waterproof and rugged so the tripod will work in almost any setting, indoor or out.
The ZOMEI pro tripod isn’t actually a tripod but instead has four legs. What’s cool about that fourth leg is that you can use it as a right angle extension to the top mount (for great sideways angle shots or more accurate side angles). But, you can also extend that leg further through the middle straight down to the ground for additional stability. You can even extend it past the three main legs to great an ultra-tall monopod.
Let’s talk about the leg functionality now: there’s an angle lock switch on each leg to make sure that the legs don’t slide or slowly notch out of place as you use it. That’s a clutch feature for a pro photographer because it will ensure that your camera stays in place through the full shoot. You can also invert the legs on the tripod to create an even more compact tripod for tighter situations. The mounting ball is a super-smooth, fluid-movement mechanism and there’s a bubble level built in for extra leveling. The leg extensions employ twist-to-tighten mechanisms and the whole unit is built of aluminum alloy, so it won’t weigh down your camera bag.
Durability - Most tripods are made of a mix of aluminum alloy and plastic, which should be sturdy enough to get the job done. However, if you’re willing to splurge for something more durable, look for a tripod built from high-quality carbon fiber, and you’ll never need to replace it.
Height - The height you need out of your tripod will be dictated by what types of shots you’re shooting. The taller it gets, the more versatility you’ll have. Most span a 24- to 64-inch range, but tabletop tripods have legs that only extend a few inches.
Portability - The portability of a tripod is judged not just by how small it collapses, but also by how lightweight it is. The travel-friendly options will weigh under 5 pounds and fold up to fit in a backpack. Some tripods even come with a protective nylon bag for transport.