The 4 Best Tripods for DSLR Cameras in 2023

You might only need one tripod, ever. So get the right one for you

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If you’re shooting in low light or capturing long exposures, a tripod is essential for keeping your camera stable and preventing blur.

When shopping for a tripod, you want to consider its weight, especially for travel photography, but also look for one that’s durable, well-built, easy to assemble and disassemble, and has some flexibility, letting you position it to get the perfect shot.

in this article

Best Overall

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100
Courtesy of
What We Like
  • Great value for money

  • Impressive build quality

  • Versatility to adjust the tripod just as you want it

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky design makes it hard to carry

  • Carrying case could use some design improvements

If you're constantly struggling to capture the perfect shot, the flexibility of the Vanguard's Alta Pro 263AB 100 might change how you shoot. Its 26-millimeter three-section aluminum alloy legs adjust to 25, 50, and 80-degree angles, and the central column can adjust from 0 to 180 degrees, which is helpful for macro photography and wide-angle shots.

It's also packed with other valuable features, including a quick-flip leg lock, an instant swivel stop-and-lock (ISSL) system allowing quick repositioning of the central column, and a removable hook for hanging camera accessories.

It extends to a maximum height of 69.12 inches or a folded height of 28.12 inches. Weight is no issue, as this stable, durable tripod can support up to 15.4 pounds. It's not overly heavy, at 5.38 pounds, but its bulk means you may not want to carry it around all day when shooting on location. A carrying case is also included.

Best Lightweight

Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripod

Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripod


What We Like
  • Super lightweight aluminum design

  • Easy set up is great for travel

  • Stable and durable

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Not all users like the twist lock design

Manfrotto is one of the best-known brands in the photography accessory space, and the Befree Advanced Travel Tripod lives up to the brand's reputation. This light, durable tripod weighs under 5 pounds but can support a weight of up to 17 pounds, stabilizing even your heaviest camera gear. The Befree Advanced Travel, as its name states, is an easy travel companion thanks to its weight and compact size when folded. It locks securely, allowing you to capture precise shots without worrying about blur.   

The aluminum design folds into its compact carrying case, making it easier to carry as you travel. When setting up your shot, use the twist locks to quickly adjust and secure the height and angles of the carbon fiber legs. The sturdy ball head is quick to operate, so a photographer can quickly align the camera for a shot. The included plate is compatible with Manfrotto and Arca-Swiss, the most common standard head attachments. Yes, it's on the more expensive end of the scale, but many photographers are happy to pay for the quality and reliability of Manfrotto products.

Best Design

Patekfly Flexible Tripod

Patekfly Flexible Tripod


What We Like
  • Flexible legs can be bent or wrapped to give you the perfect shot

  • Soft, durable silicone legs are built to last

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • At 12 inches, it won't replace your traditional tripod

  • Won't support very heavy cameras

This small tabletop tripod has three flexible silicone legs that can bend, flex, or wrap around just about any surface to get your camera to the perfect angle. Attach the tripod to anything from a fence, tree branch, or chair; you'll still get a stable and secure shot. You can also adjust the 360-degree ball head to position your camera perfectly. 

You can use the Patekfly with your mirrorless camera, GoPro, DSLR, or smartphone, but don't go overboard on the weight—it's not designed to hold over 28 ounces. It's only 12 inches in height, meaning it can't do everything a traditional tripod can, but it can easily fit in your backpack.

Best for Portability

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod


What We Like
  • At only 3 pounds, it couldn't be much lighter

  • Fantastic price

  • Adjustable legs make it easy to vary your height

What We Don't Like
  • Build design isn't as sturdy as other tripods

  • The plate that holds the camera is plastic

The AmazonBasics 60-Inch tripod has legs that are easy to adjust and extends from 25 inches up to 60 inches, giving you plenty of versatility, with rubber feet to grip uneven surfaces. It also offers two different bubble levels, giving you a straight shot in landscape and portrait orientation. It's a solid tripod that puts function over form.

At only 3 pounds, it's easy to carry around all day. A carrying case is included, and the tripod can support up to 6.6 pounds. That should cover most DLSRs and mirrorless cameras, but heavy telephoto lenses might be too much for the tripod's capabilities.

AmazonBasics Tripod

Lifewire / Jason Schneider

What to Look for in a Tripod

Portability - DSLR cameras are already a bit bulky compared to their point-and-shoot brethren, so if you're a photographer constantly on the go, you'll want a tripod whose legs collapse as compactly as possible. Also, look for a tripod that isn't too heavy; you should be able to find a quality one under 5 pounds.

Budget - Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, you shouldn't need to spend a lot on a tripod. Plenty of choices are available that you can buy for around $150 and retain some fancy features. If you want to splurge, you can spend up to $1,000, which gets you extremely light but high-quality legs that fold down to about a quarter of their length.

Durability - A tripod's long, telescoping legs can break if you're not careful, so you'll likely need something very durable if you're out shooting in the wilderness. Tripods come in various materials, but carbon fiber or aluminum are the most reliable.

  • Will any tripod work with my camera?

    Because most camera mounts are standardized, almost any camera will work with any tripod. Virtually all tripods sold today have a 1/4-inch threaded mount, which pairs with a 1/4-inch port on the vast majority of cameras, allowing you to easily attach and detach your DSLR.

  • When do I need a tripod?

    Tripods are great for stabilizing a shot in a number of circumstances, and a lot more convenient than some DIY solutions. Anytime your hands are a little unsteady and a faster shutter speed isn't enough to accommodate for it, or if you want a big depth of field but a lower ISO (and thus need a long shutter speed), a tripod is a necessity. They're also a prerequisite for any long exposure shots you're taking, and very handy for posed shots where you need to frequently move been the camera and the subject.

  • What size/height should my tripod be?

    A good rule of thumb is to buy a tripod that can be elevated to your eye level, eliminating the need for you to bend down to peer through your viewfinder. This not only saves your back, but it gives you a clearer look at your subject and a better idea of what the final photo will look like. This is especially important any time you expect to be waiting/looking frequently through the viewfinder, like if you're waiting for a subject to appear or anticipating some specific action.

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