Need Steady Shot? These Are The Best Tripods For Photography

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As usual, we open this article with a disclaimer: we are talking specifically here about tripods for cameras with their central design purpose being taking pictures, which is to say “not for video cameras.” The line between what exactly a video camera isand is not is something of a blur these days, with many DSLRs, now the industry standard for professional videography, but that is not what we’re talking about. Not today. No, today is about the best tripods for cameras that are taking still pictures.
OK, now that we got that out of the way —We have selected five tripods that are all readily available to the public and all fill slightly different needs you may have, ranging from the decidedly simple units perfect for casual photographers to a few more intricate (and pricey) models that would serve any professional just fine. You could find finer tripods out there, sure. You could spend tens of thousands of dollars in a truck mounted Stedicam rig, absolutely! But for most folks, you’ll find what you’re looking for right here.

5 Ravelli APGL4

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We end with a middle priced, capable but not amazing, all around decent entry: the Ravelli APGL4 " Tripod. It can be yours new for about a hundred bucks, whereas when it first hit the market is would have cost you some three times that much. It will reach 70” of operational height and easily holds over 15 pounds. It also weighs about 8 pounds, so that’s not great, but the smooth motion of the head and its ease of use just about compensate.

4 Vista Table Top Pro

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Taking pictures in a very small room? Or hiking for miles and miles and every pound counts? In either situation, perhaps you should consider the Vista Table Top Pro Tripod!It’s quite small —less than a foot when fully effect. And it can only support between two and three pounds securely. But, it will also cost you less than twenty bucks and it weighs about a pound. Ultimately, a tripod is about getting a steady shot, meaning getting the camera out of your hands and with enough points of contact to where you can adjust the tripod to take a level picture and, well, this guy does that for you. So just maybe he’s good enough.

3 Dolica Proline

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The DolicaProline Tripod can be yours for under $70 and it will raise your camera all the way up to 68 inches. At 5 lbs. this tripod is a bit heavier than the contenders up above, but at less than half the price and still of very good quality, if you need to trim your budget somewhere, this is a good spot to go for a cheaper option and still get a perfectly decent tripod for most all your needs.

2 Benro FlexPod C297EX

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Normally we like to be a bit more dynamic than this, but our #2 slot is going to the BenroFlexPod C297EX, which is exactly like the A297EX except that it weighs less, can support more weight, and costs about $500. Which is a lot to spend on a tripod. But, it only weighs about three pounds and can readily support 30 pounds. If you are a serious amateur photographer, especially if your search for great shots takes you great distances on foot, then this may be worth the extra scratch for the lighter weight and added performance. Or you could go another way with things, like #3.

1 Benro FlexPod A297EX

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We’ll start with a great tripod at a good price: Benro'sFlexPod A297EX. It is aluminum and therefore a good mix of lightweight yet sturdy. In fact, this tripod weighs in at a bit more than some of the others we’ll discuss, at 4.5 pound, but it can readily support up to 25 pounds. That is a solid weight to support ratio, and you will feel more than comfortable sticking even the bulkiest SLR cameras with huge telephoto lenses on top of it. It is also as smooth as butter in the pivot, great for multiple exposures of landscapes, good for tracking motion, and great for video capture. And at about $150, you can afford to buy it and trust you’re spending wisely.

Always remember that the best gear for you might not be the best gear in someone else’s mind, so test out a few tripods yourself before you commit to one, but if all the ones you tested were ones you read about on this list, well, that’d be pretty sharp of you. And the images you’ll be able to get when using one of these fine tripods? They’ll be sharper, too.


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