One staple for all photographers, amateur and professional alike, is the travel tripod. It’s always most convenient to set up for a shoot in the comfort of your own studio with your best equipment, but photography often calls its artists to other locations that require equipment created for travel. Every photographer wants the best bang for their buck when it comes to their equipment, and they need to know that, whatever their price range, their DSLR travel tripod will offer expert quality and features that are both practical and easy to use. Here are the five best travel tripods for DSLR cameras.
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The Absolute Best Travel Tripod for DSLR – Shark Slider S1 Special Bundle: Extra Auxiliary Weight, Carrying Case, Extension Rods and Extra Belt
The best travel tripod for DSLR cameras is on the pricier side, but comes fully equipped with an entire bundle that includes an extra auxiliary weight, carrying case, extension rods, and an extra belt. With a five-star rating on Amazon and incredible features to boot, the Shark Slider S1 is both the one of the most expensive and the absolute best travel tripod on the market. It’s equipped with carbon fiber extension rods and can accommodate vertical slide-downs with ease.
There isn’t a more comprehensive package on the market for photographers seeking the absolute best travel tripod. Here are just some of the things that Shark Slider S1 brings to the table: a counterweight fly wheel to create seamless motion and technique, can be used with mirrorless and full-frame cameras, smooth slides that don’t catch, a manufacturer with proven excellent customer service practices, and it’s heavy duty enough for any photographer’s setup.
Flaws But Not Deal Breakers
This tripod is sensitive during adjustments, and can be difficult to manage for an unexperienced photographer, but this offers the accuracy professionals rely on. The legs aren’t quite long enough for rough terrain, but for most outdoor situations it offers extremely versatile leg adjustments and alterations to size and length of all rods. Reviews indicate that these challenges don’t impact footage quality, and this is the best travel tripod for its ability to add to production value with versatile features.
The Second Best DSLR Travel Tripod
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The Zomei Z818 has astoundingly high ratings from previous customers, and has surpassed its competition in quality and ease of use. Its price point is more reasonable than most would expect, and reviews claim that this is the best DSLR travel tripod for the money. This tripod comes with a detachable monopod for ease of transition, which is imperative for photographing sessions that require movement and flexibility. The tripod is also equipped with a 360 degree ball head and a quick release plate. It comes with a carrying bag for Cannon, Nikon, and Sony cameras and accessories. It’s a great foundation for any new, serious photographer’s traveling studio.
This tripod is crafted of aluminum and magnesium alloy, giving it a sturdy appearance and application. It’s lightweight at a mere thirty-three pounds, and can fit in a carry-on suitcase for out-of-town trips requiring photographer’s equipment. The ball head and quick release plate allow for increased accuracy and versatility, and the multi-function convertible tripod-to-monopod comes together with all the other features to make for a minimal design that meets maximum potential.
Flaws But Not Deal Breakers
While there’s no handle for panning, the monopod is a great alternative for an experienced, accurate photographer. Grit and sand can clog the sliding joints, but some practical thinking and avoidance of laying it on the ground or sand will effectively prevent this problem. The ball joint can be difficult to operate without a steady hand, but this offers more flexibility for photographers that require extreme accuracy.
The Third Best Travel DSLR Tripod Nikon Digital & Film SLR System Case Gadget Bag + Deluxe Tripod for DSLR Cameras
A list of the best travel DSLR tripods wouldn’t be complete without a product by a renown camera brand: the Nikon Film SLR System set. This set is catered specifically to Nikon users, which allows for extreme compatibility and features designed with the photographer’s specific digital or film SLR camera. This travel tripod comes with a carrying bag with compartments specifically designed and sized for Nikon accessories and cameras.
This tripod comes designed for Nikon users and with Nikon users in mind. A photographer knows their camera like the back of their hand, and their camera’s needs are just as unique as the photographer themselves. Nikon knows what photographers need in accessories and doesn’t disappoint with a tripod that avoids camera shaking and aids photographic perfection with its sturdy base and light weight. Traveling is a breeze because the tripod is lightweight and the carrying bag is designed to hold all of Nikon’s most essential travel studio necessities with padded compartments and reinforced nylon construction.
Flaws But Not Deal Breakers
Some previous users have mentioned that the bag has a very tight fit, but many reviews find this helpful in keeping their accessories and cameras protected. The tight fit allows for a photographer’s most essential accessories while keeping the tightly placed in safely padded compartments. The lightweight feature of the tripod means that it can be delicate and may require extra care during transportation and adjustments, but when handled properly it is the perfect addition for a photographer’s traveling vault, especially because the carrying case keeps it securely stored.
The Fourth Best DSLR Camera Travel Tripod
The MeFOTO aluminum DSLR camera travel tripod offers more than meets the eye. Its foldable design allows for easy travel while its detachable monopod offers a convertible experience. It comes in many colors to accommodate an array of style preferences and tastes, and it’s equipped to shoot 360 degree panoramas and difficult terrain with its five adjustable legs, offering support and functionality necessary for any serious photographer. The ball joint combines well with the quick release plate to allow for any manner of use for top quality photos.
The users of this tripod rave about its versatility and accessibility. Since it only weighs 3.3 pounds, and compacts to a mere 15.4 inches, it’s perfect to store in tight-fitting places and can travel to any destination the photography leads. It’s made with quality in mind which befits even the most challenging photographing situations. The MeFOTO travel tripod is made of aluminum and can convert into a monopod without the use of any tools or heavy lifting. It’s reliable and offers excellent usage and variety when it’s most needed.
Flaws But Not Deal Breakers
This travel tripod can be adjusted and fine tuned for the perfect camera position, but this takes practice as the knobs can be difficult to adjust at first. Some users have found that it’s a bit light when used in heavy winds, but other users find this quality to be what makes it perfect as a “travel” tripod. While there are screws on the legs for adjustments and many find this to be inconvenient, it allows for more precise adjustments than a lock-in-place type leg adjustment system. There are no limitations for a screw adjustment which allows for limitless possibilities when considering circumstances with rough terrain.
The Best Cheap DSLR Travel Tripod
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If you’re looking for an affordable option for a mini DSLR travel tripod, consider the AmazonBasics travel tripod. Its minimal design allows it to fold up into tiny spaces, and it comes with a carrier to boot. It has an adjustable ball head, a sleek, professional design, and it comes loaded with user-friendly features. It’s adjustable to fifty inches, allowing a huge range of motion and photography options, and can capture award winning shots seamlessly.
With too many benefits to this affordable option to count, it’s hard to narrow down the good things. Users have commented about its ability to support heavy cameras, about how they don’t understand how such a good tripod can be so cheap, and it’s even replaced some photographers’ main tripods in spite of its affordability. The latches on the legs work nicely to deploy the tripod quickly and seamlessly, and it’s the best possible travel tripod for anyone needing a spare or beginner’s tripod. There isn’t a better bang for the buck.
Flaws But Not Deal Breakers
You truly do get what you pay for, so no, this is not a top-of-the-line tripod. It will not support a heavy camera with heavy attached accessories, and the swivel and turn of the ball joint can be a bit difficult to maneuver, but, considering these are the only major complaints, you would expect to pay much more than lowest price point for this tripod. It’s reliable, and it’s made with users and quality in mind.
A tripod is a necessity, and all the mentioned tripods are excellent selections for any photographer. However, which travel tripod you choose will depend on your specific needs and the features that each one offers. Here are some of the features of tripods and how you can make purchase decisions based on what features any given tripod offers.
The weight of a tripod is important to its use. When shooting in under extreme weather conditions, a heavy duty, and heavy-weight, tripod is necessary. However, when traveling cross-country or by airplane, it’s important to consider a tripod that weighs much less. It may not withstand windy conditions, but it carrying less weight is invaluable during travel.
Some tripods allow for each leg to be adjusted differently, which is important on rough terrain and hills. If you plan to shoot in your own studio or on other level ground, this isn’t an important consideration and other features will become more important to you, but if you shoot outside and on uneven ground, you will find that it’s imperative to find a tripod that allows for multiple adjustments to each leg to achieve maximum quality photos with a stable tripod.
If you’re a serious photographer and are ready to invest in many quality accessories, a bundle is something you should consider. Finding the right bundle that offers the most necessary accessories that are all compatible and work well together is essential to a project that benefits from the use of many tools, which will eventually come along for any serious photographer. Even if your studio is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, your travel vault should include travel-friendly necessities so that you’re never unprepared.
Every photographer will need a tripod eventually, especially a travel tripod. They’re versatile, and can usually serve many functions until you’re ready to invest in high-quality equipment for your studio, and can be used anywhere. They come with a variety of features to fit your specific needs, and choosing the best travel tripod for your photography and your DSLR camera will benefit your entire creative process.