Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a photo-worthy moment, only to realize after that your images were shaky, or you couldn’t just quite get the angle you were aiming for?
Yeah, we’ve been there.
Luckily, tripods are the God-send that (more often than not) saves the day. If you’re like us, you’ll benefit from this list we created of the best DSLR tripods of 2017, based on first-hand, personal experience with each of these devices.
Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head – Best DSLR Video Tripod
- Exclusive rapid column rotation for compact transportation and instant set-up
- High loading performance (maximum load capacity 13.2 pounds)
- Includes a multi-action TBH-50 ball head with a large ergonomic main locking knob, bubble level and arca-swiss quick release plate
- 5 section 23mm aluminum alloy legs with 3 different leg angle options and feet that convert from rubber to spiked
- Extra low angle photography option (low angle adaptor included)
The Vanguard Tripod came up as number one, and I think you’ll agree with us. While we found this was the best Tripod for Video, it also doubles as a travel tripod – in its compact form, it is as small as 14.8 inches. It embodies classiness with its aluminum finish, while maintaining a lightweight and versatile attitude. The rubber handles make it a cinch to use even in the worst of weather. (Take that, blizzard!) Arguably, the best feature the 235AB offers is the exclusive rapid column rotation for instant setup and transportation, because we know how quickly photo opportunities can pass. If you’re looking for a tripod that can handle it all, the Vanguard VEO 235AB is for you.
One thing we noticed about the 235AB is its flexibility. You can get those legs almost horizontal to get as low to the ground as you need, or as high as almost six feet. If the sturdiness and size of the 235AB doesn’t deter you, this tripod would make an excellent addition to your collection.
So, what’s the final verdict?
TheVanguard VEO 235AB is the top pick due to its high-quality build and sturdy design. You can shoot in all weather conditions without worry of damage. We didn’t mind that it took us a few extra minutes to correctly fold up the tripod – practice makes perfect. Overall, we would say this is the top pick for photographers of any kind for under $150.
Ravelli APLT4 61″ Lightweight Aluminum Tripod – Best Tripod Stand for DSLR Camera
- 61.5" height but it collapses to 24"
- Lightweight and compact design
- Pan and tilt motion with the option of shooting landscape or portrait
- Center pole is extendable
- Cary Bag included
Coming in second on our Top Five list is the Ravelli APLT4. Not only does this come with its own carrying case, it only weighs 2.1 lbs.! That makes this easy to carry around without weighing you down. The compact design allows your creativity to come to light with little effort. The center pole of the APLT4 is extendable – giving you full range from portrait to landscape photos by an extra eleven inches. What we like most about the APLT4 is the affordability. Coming in at just under $30, you get a lot of flexibility for a great price.
We like the fact that theRavelli collapses to just 24″ from its 61″ height. When searching for a tripod, you definitely want to look for one that gives you a variety of angles and height. The Ravelli is a great recommendation if you are looking for a quality tripod to use for still shots and panorama.
So, what’s the final verdict?
With the Ravelli, you will indeed have a reliable tripod on your team. It is durable and lightweight, making it a great addition. However, if you are used to using a ball head, or if you are looking for a more fluid head altogether, this may not be the right fit. If you’re okay with the Ravelli coming with plastic parts, (though they are sturdy) we would recommend you give it a try.
Amazon Basics 60″ Lightweight Tripod with Carry Case – Good Tripod for DSLR Cameras
- Lightweight tripod with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
- Compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, smartphone adapters (not included), and scopes.
- Recommended max load weight is 6.6 lbs (3kg) for optimal performance
- Weighs 3 lbs; Extends from 25 inches to 60 inches when center post is fully extended; Carrying case included
- Two built-in bubble view levels and 3-way head to allow for tilt and swivel motion; portrait or landscape options
Our next tripod is the Amazon Basics 60-inch tripod. If you’re just starting out, or you’re looking for a tripod between affordable and functional, this is for you. It is compatible with most DSLR cameras, point and shoot digital cameras, , scopes, and smartphone adapters (that are not included), making it quite adaptable to your photography needs. This tripod also holds a quick release mounting plate which makes transitioning between shots a breeze. The Amazon basics feature two built-in bubble view levels as well as a three-way head to allow swivel and tilt motion. Think about all the nice angles you can get!
Personally, I like the Amazon Basics for its diverse functionality. Since we all have different cameras and different ways we like to shoot, I felt like this was a great starter tripod to get you more experienced with tripod shooting.
So, what’s the final verdict?
TheAmazon Basics 60-inch is a cheaper alternative if you’re looking to start out or keep a spare in your car in case of a “this is the perfect moment” shot. You will get what you pay for, but expect that the functionality is still up to par with some of our higher priced picks. It is easy to set up and use which makes it a quick and notable choice on the go.
Amazon Basics 50″ Lightweight Tripod – Best Cheap Tripod for DSLR
- Adjustable-height tripod made of lightweight aluminum; weighs just over a pound
- 3-way head allows for tilt and swivel motion; portrait or landscape options
- Quick-release plate helps ensure fast transitions between shots
- 3-section, lever-lock legs for easy height adjustments; zippered storage bag included
- Measures 16.5 inches (collapsed); extends up to 50 inches
If the other models are a bit out of your price range, or you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in a pricier option just yet, the Amazon Basics 50 is calling your name. At $16.99, you can’t beat the price. Better yet, it even comes with a zipper storage case. You get the same functionality as the 60″ model we mentioned before, but at a fraction of the cost. We recommend this tripod for those with tighter budgets, but still would like a quality tripod. The Amazon Basics 50″ is very lightweight – weighing in at just 1.2 lbs.
I like the fact that you can buy a tripod for under $20 that has all of the basics that you’d be looking for to start out. I would probably buy this as a spare tripod if I was ever in a pinch.
So, what’s the final verdict?
TheAmazon Basics 50 would be an even greater starter tripod than the 60″ version that we reviewed. We wouldn’t recommend this to seasoned photographers, or those with heavy lenses for your DSLR camera. If you have a point and shoot digital camera or a smartphone, this would be ideal for you.
Zomei 55″ Lightweight Aluminum Tripod – Best Travel Tripod for DSLR Camera
- MAIN FEATURE：Fully extended the tripod itself stands approximately 55 inch high; Measures 20 inches. Supports up to 11 lbs; Weighs just 2.6 lbs. The feet of the legs are self-adjusting, so you get a very steady platform.
- EASILY ADJUSTABLE: Aluminum alloy legs which include three flip locks for adjusting the size of each leg, which works great outdoor on uneven surfaces.
- LIGHTWEIGHT PORTABLE: Ultra Compact tripod made of lightweight material, lightweight and portable multi-functional, multi-directional tripod; Weighs just 2.6 lbs, perfect for packing around.
- STABILITY: The center column also has a hook to hang weight on to lower the center of gravity on this tripod to make it more sturdy and less prone to vibrations which is awesome for photography where you take long exposures.
- PAN HEAD: The lever used to pan and tilt the head. Pan head is mobile and can be adjusted and screwed with the fixing screws and water balance. Pans left and right and tilts up and down fairly smoothly.f high quality aluminum. The max diameter is about 25mm very steady.
The final tripod to make our Top Five list comes the Zomei 55. This one has to be my one of my favorites, and for good reason. Weighing in at just over three lbs., this little guy packs quite a punch for your travel needs. The Zomei features a dual spirit level design that houses three adjustment knobs which can help bedew the panhand effect. It also allows for detailed and productive shots at any angle (for those of us who just have to get that shot). We also really love the fact that it has a four section column leg with a quick release lock which means anyone can shoot from their desired height with ease. The Zomei can work with most types of cameras as well, so you can switch up your gear for each shoot without bringing everything you own. We also find that the fluid head swivels three ways and you can attach an Arca-swiss compatible clamp that easily comes on and off.
If you’re into travel photography, we would recommend looking into the Zomei for the fact that it can collapse from almost five feet to nineteen inches – it makes traveling between locations a breeze. The rubber feet will also keep your setup in place so you won’t have the slightest breeze knock it over.
So, what’s the final verdict?
The Zomei would not be for you if you are looking for more options. While this is a great tripod for travel due to flexibility and versatility, having to screw and unscrew the legs to manipulate the unit may result in losing parts. If you’re traveling, they may be a tad hard to find. We would recommend this to those who have been traveling with their camera bag for a while.
Let’s wrap it up – Here’s our buyer’s guide.
What exactly is the function of a tripod and why do photographers use them? Well, we’re glad you asked. A tripod is a setup that raises your camera and acts as a stabilizer so you can obtain a perfect shot. If you were to hold your camera, sometimes the photo can end up blurry.
Things to Check For
Aluminum, which is largely used by consumers’ still or video shots. Most come pre-equipped with rubber feet and an attached head to make for easier grip and function. You’ll notice, our top five mainly rests in this group due to versatility and user-friendly functions.
The mid-to-high range tripods are sturdy, and come with add-on equipment. They’re separate so that you may combine different pieces to achieve a certain shot. The photo and video quality will be higher than those of beginner or basic tripods.
A lot of the expensive models include extra features, such as reversible posts, double extending legs, and more. These tripods have all of the bells and whistles included so you don’t have to purchase them separately, but be warned – these are on the pricey list.
With all of the tripods on the market catching our eye, it was hard to narrow the list down to just five. There were many models that offered reliability and flexibility while maintaining an affordable price. With that being said, these five tripod models have passed the tried and true and stood out from the rest. Whether you have never touched a camera before or you’re a seasoned photographer, we did the work for you on finding the best tripod for what you need.
We certainly hope that we took the guesswork out of picking the best tripod to fit your style. Bear in mind, we tailored this list with the customer in mind factoring in price, function and more. If you think we should’ve added a different model to this list, please feel free to let us know. We’d love to hear what you think!
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Last update on 2017-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API