Photography Lighting is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

This post was most recently updated on November 7th, 2021

A perfectly still and stable camera is key to getting a professional shot.

Even those of us with the most stable hands can end up with out of focus shots when shooting handheld, which is why most photographers use a tripod wherever possible.

Problem is, there are way too many tripod options out there to choose from, and if you’re looking to buy your first one, you’re probably not too sure what to look for.

That’s what we’re here for.

This guide will bring to you the 24 best tripods so you can choose the perfect model for your needs.

Let’s dig in:

In This Article:

[/thrive_text_block]

Best Tripod: Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Alum 3 Section

The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Alum 3 Section is the best tripod for DSLR because of its ground-breaking build quality and its incredibly versatile center column mechanism, which allows you to adjust the tripod angle vertically as well as horizontally.

Both axes incorporate a property friction control which counterbalances the weight of the camera while you’re making adjustments. That means you can make fine adjustments while the locking knobs are open instead of having to constantly open and close them.

As you’d expect from Manfrotto, this tripod is built like a tank.

It has a massive 16lb load capacity, so it’s good to support pretty much any camera, is made from a super-strong aluminum frame, and it’s got a decent bit of weight behind it.

You’ll get two free quick release plate replacements with the DSLR tripod, and the top casting even has an Easy Link connector on it. This means you can attach accessories like a flash or reflector unit, which turns this baby from a sturdy tripod into a portable photo studio!

Key Features of the Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Alum 3 Section:

  • 3 section legs
  • Incredibly strong build quality – it’s a tank!
  • Flexible framing options with both vertical and horizontal adjustment
  • Bubble level at the top of the center column for precise shot framing

Best Budget Tripod (Under $200): Vortex Optics Pro GT

The Vortex Optics Pro GT is the best budget tripod for DSLR because it’s strong, portable, and allows you to adjust both the pan and tilt action with a single hand, using the 3-way pan head with just one, quick-release lever.

The tripod leg sections each have two flip levers, allowing the DSLR tripod to extend up to a maximum height of 67 inches, with a minimum height of under 24 inches.

The Vortex Optics Pro GT has a handy little hook at the bottom of the center column, which allows you to hang a weight and ensure extra balance and stability in windy conditions!

Key Features of the Vortex Optics Pro GT:

  • Includes one quick release plate
  • Folds down to less than 25 inches
  • Rubber feet provide a solid grounding

Best Affordable Tripod (Under $100): K&F Concept 62” DSLR

The K&F Concept 62” DSLR is the best affordable camera tripod because it’s as stable, versatile, and portable as much more expensive tripods with an incredible load capacity (22lbs), and a rugged leg section design.

So yes, this is a ridiculously stable DSLR tripod.

When we’re talking versatility, this tripod has it in spades.

At its shortest, is 22″ high, with a max height of 62″ bringing it more or less up to eye height.

But that’s not all.

The center column on the K&F Concept can be completely inverted, meaning you can essentially get the camera right down on the ground while still benefiting from the stability of a professional tripod.

This makes it epic for creative scenery shots and macro photography uses.

The ball head used on the K&F Concept 62” DSLR is a larger sphere, over an inch in diameter, which means once you lock an angle in, it’s set for good!

Key Features of the K&F Concept 62” DSLR:

  • 28mm ball head
  • 62″ maximum height
  • Center column can be inverted for a low angle shot

Best Cheap Tripod (Under $50): Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod

The Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod is the best cheap tripod for camera operators because it very quickly turns from a standard DSLR tripod into a handheld monopod. In three-legged mode it can support the load of almost any camera, despite weighing only 4lb.

Monopods offer greater portability as they are just one stick, and most (including this one), fold up inside themselves.

The Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod, when used as a monopod, can compress down to just 17 inches, offering a maximum height of 53 inches!

For additional stability, there is a multi-function hook on the bottom of the center column which allows you to hang a weight.

Oh, and the Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod head offers 3-way adjustability, allowing you to quickly frame your shot before tightening up the twist locks to maintain stability.

Key Features of the Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod

  • 360-degree panning
  • 3-way swivel tripod head
  • Max height 177cm as a tripod

Best Overhead Tripod: Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber 4 Section

The Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber 4 Section is the best overhead tripod because of its Q90 centre column which offers 90-degree flexibility and single-finger operation, it’s super strong build, and rotatable bubble levels.

A push of a button releases the lock on the Q90 centre column, allowing you to rotate the angle of the camera up to 90-degrees without having to unlock any of the other parts of the tripod.

The tripod head has two bubble levels which can be rotated, allowing you to level the camera on any plane and make sure your framing is perfect.

The tripod is made from a strong material (carbon fibre), which is not only robust, but super light. This means the Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber 4 Section weighs just 4.6lb, making it a super portable option for overhead video shoots.

Key Features of the Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber 4 Section:

  • Unique Q90n centre column
  • Quick Power Lock leg sections
  • Built from a strong and light material (carbon fiber)

Best Tripod For Heavy Lenses: KingJoy Professional Heavy Duty

The KingJoy Professional Heavy Duty is the best tripod for heavy lenses because it has a max load capacity of 66lbs!

That’s three times the max load that most tripods can hold, despite the fact that it just 6lbs itself.

That’s all thanks to a stainless steel and carbon fiber construction.

Best Lightweight Tripod For Camera: MeFoto GlobeTrotter Classic

The MeFoto GlobeTrotter Classic is the best lightweight tripod for camera operators because despite weighing just 4.6lbs, it can hold a load of up to 26.4lbs.

It offers great flexibility with a heavy duty ball head and has five leg sections.

That allows the MeFoto GlobeTrotter Classic to fold down into a super compact package for when you’re on the go, but still extend up to 64 inches tall when it comes time for shooting.

Best Tripod For Wildlife Photography: Peak Design Travel Tripod

The Peak Design Travel Tripod is the best tripod for wildlife photography because it sets up super quickly and can get super close to the ground.

It has non-slip, rubber feet on each of the tripod legs (great for mounting outside), and can even be inverted allowing you to position the camera right down on the ground, making it the perfect companion for wildlife shots.

Best Tripod For Macro Photography: Benro SystemGo Plus

The Benro SystemGo Plus is the best tripod for macro photography because it has an 180-degree rotating center column, allowing you to invert the tripod and get your camera right down in front of what you’re shooting.

What’s even more cool is that you can detach one of the tripod legs, and you’ve got yourself an easy to use monopod right then and there.

Best Astrophotography Tripod: SLIK PRO 634CF-SVH

The SLIK PRO 634CF-SVH is the best astrophotography tripod because it’s lightweight (thanks to carbon fiber tripod legs), stable, and accurate as hell.

Those are three features which typically don’t come in the same package, but they’re all incredibly important to astrophotography, as you’ll probably be wandering off into the bush somewhere with it, and so it needs to be light enough to carry.

Best Tripod For Real Estate Photography: Manfrotto 290 Xtra w/ 3- way head

The Manfrotto 290 Xtra w/ 3- way head is the best tripod for real estate photography because it has a super smooth pan function allowing for epic 360-degree property photos.

It’s made from aluminum, so it’s light, and it even comes with a carrying bag.

Best Tripod For Food Photography: Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AP

The Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AP is the best tripod for food photography because it has strong, weighty aluminum legs and a multi-angle center column with markings for the degree of tilt and pan, allowing you to nail the perfect position.

It’s a bit of a beast at 2.5kg in weight, so you know it’s going to be sturdy as hell!

Best Tripod For Landscape Photography: FLM Cp30-S4 II

The FLM Cp30-S4 II is the best tripod for landscape photography because despite being super lightweight (it’s a carbon fiber tripod), it’s ridiculously stable.

That’s in part because it comes with spiked feet so you can really nail it in position.

What’s more, the leg locks are simple, easy to use flip locks, meaning you can set it up in just a couple of minutes.

Best Tripod For Mirrorless Cameras: Gitzo Lightweight Traveler Series 1

One of the biggest reasons photographers choose mirrorless cameras is because they are lightweight and super portable.

It makes sense then that you want to choose from one of the wide range of travel tripods if you’re shooting mirrorless.

The Gitzo Lightweight Traveler Series 1 is the best tripod for mirrorless cameras because being a carbon fiber tripod, it weighs very little, and has a minimal folded height which makes it perfect for photographers on the go.

Best Tripod For Product Photography: Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Alum 3 Section

The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Alum 3 Section is the best tripod for photography because the tripod’s flip locks (three on each leg) are some of the strongest on the market, ensuring that once you’ve set your frame, it’s set for good.

The material (aluminum) that the tripod is made from is incredibly strong, and a little bit on the heavy side. That’s great for product photography though, as you’ll probably be working in a studio and won’t need to run from shoot to shoot!

Best Camera Tripod For Hiking: MeFoto Backpacker S

It’s actually crazy how little this travel tripod weighs: just 2.5 pounds!

That’s what makes the MeFoto Backpacker S the best camera tripod for hiking, its portability, and the fact that it can hold up to 13lbs (a full DSLR and telephoto lens).

Plus, it’s compatible with MeFoto’s SideKick iPhone tripod mount, making it the perfect tripod for smartphone content creators out hiking.

Best Portable Tripod For DSLR: Peak Design Travel Tripod

The Peak Design Travel Tripod is the best portable tripod for DSLR because when it’s packed down, it’s no bigger than a water bottle in diameter and it can get super low to the ground, so it’s ideal for low-angle macro shoots.

It’s no mini tripod though, this guy can extend up to 1.5m high, so you can shoot from eye-level as well.

Best Tripod For Portrait Photography: Manfrotto 475B Geared Tripod

Portrait photography requires maximum stability, and the Manfrotto 475B Geared Tripod offers that in spades.

The Manfrotto 475B Geared Tripod is the best tripod for portrait photography because it’s one of the most stable tripods on the market, with a center brace strut system, a stabilizer in the center, and leg locks that will not move once locked.

Best Tripod For Outdoor Photography: Manfrotto Befree GT Travel

The Manfrotto Befree GT Travel is the best tripod for outdoor photography because it’s super strong, and it’s the perfect weight: light enough to carry outside but heavy enough to remain stable in windy conditions.

The leg lock function on each of the legs are quick and easy twist locks, and being an aluminum tripod (including the ball head), the build quality is second to none.

You’re also able to set each of the three leg angles individually, so you can set the Manfrotto Befree GT Travel up in weird spots outdoors.

Best Tripod For Long Exposure: Vortex Optics GT

The Vortex Optics GT is the best tripod for long exposure shoots because both the pan and tilt heads move super smoothly.

You can even adjust the head with just one hand, so it’s super easy to do in dark conditions.

Plus, it has a great center column with a hook at the bottom to add extra weight (great for stability).

Best Tripod For Canon: Benro Rhino Carbon Fibre 3

The Benro Rhino Carbon Fibre 3 is the best tripod for Canon because it’s strong, heavy (read: stable), and has a huge maximum load: 20kg!

It’s great for outdoor shoot with the ability to adjust each of the legs independently, and it’s a high quality studio tripod with a dual panning action ball head.

Ball heads like this allow you to unlock just one part of the tripod, and adjust the pan/tilt in one go, making them super simple to use.

Best Tripod For Nikon Cameras: Vanguard VEO 2 carbon fiber w/ VEO head

The Vanguard VEO 2 carbon fiber w/ VEO head is the best tripod for Nikon cameras because it sets up very quickly, it has an incredible multi-action ball head, and a bubble level for getting the perfect camera angle.

The four section legs use twist locks for maximum stability, and can be set up in less than 15 seconds. With a folded height of less than 17 inches, its a super portable option for indoor and outdoor shoots alike.

Best Tripod For Canon 5D Mark iii: Benro SLIM Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

The Benro SLIM Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is the best tripod for Canon 5D because it’s lightweight, strong, and affordable.

It offers three leg positions, a slim profile when folded down, and is 57 inches when fully extended, ideal for eye-level camera angles.

Best Tripod For Beginner: Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod

The Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod is the best tripod for beginner photographers because it’s crazy affordable, and one of the legs pulls out to give you a portable monopod! It’s hard to beat for just over $40, especially when you see it goes from 21-70 inches!

This makes it one of the most versatile tripods on the market.

It’s certainly one of the cheapest!

Conclusion

Shopping for tripods has never been easier with this list, there’s definitely one in here for you.

Whether you’re in need of one of the most affordable tripods on the market, one of the most robust tripods with three-way heads, or a tall tripod with legs that extend to give you an incredible height, you’ll find it right here.

So, don’t wait. Pick your weapon and get shooting!