More and more, cameras tripod become part of the everyday background. You can hardly step a foot outside your house without catching the sight of someone carelessly balancing a camera tripod over his shoulder. As photography goes, tripod are a very helpful aid in taking amazing pictures; pictures which are going to make your friends …
More and more, cameras tripod become part of the everyday background.
You can hardly step a foot outside your house without catching the sight of someone carelessly balancing a camera tripod over his shoulder.
As photography goes, tripod are a very helpful aid in taking amazing pictures; pictures which are going to make your friends all pretty jealous of your latest trip.
But, to choose the right tripod for your camera is slightly more complicated than anticipated as there are many models on the market nowadays; so, follow our buying guide to find your perfect tripod!
Buying a tripod depends on two main things: which type of camera you own (compact, interchangeable lenses, DLS-R…) and your budget.
Obviously, you won’t plan the same budget when buying a tripod for a high-end camera than for a compact, first-price camera.
Tripod shouldn’t be considered as an afterthought buy and buying one should be carefully considered: quality of the tripod will make a difference on whether the picture is blurred or not.
Tripods are great to add depth and sharpness to your pictures and they also are great to help balance the weight of a big camera when shooting.
Usually, a tripod is constituted of three parts: legs, head and the centre column; those three parts all play an essential role in the balance of the tripod when used.
Once you know the budget you are ready to allocate to the purchase of a tripod and correctly identified your camera type, you still have a few more factors to take into account: the weight, the height and the legs.
The height is an important factor because it determines how tall the tripod will stand when all the legs are extended to their maximum.
So, when choosing a tripod, make sure the tripod matches your height, to prevent you having to bend down every time you adjust the settings on the camera (your back will thank you!).
Second, you should look at the weight: when we talk about weight, it is about how much weight a tripod can support and the weight of the tripod itself.
If you don’t ascertain properly the weight ratio, the result is likely to be a part breaking in your tripod, rendering it useless – or worst, collapsing whilst you’re using it, breaking tripod and camera in the process.
In order to avoid that kind of accident, make sure you choose a tripod that can support at least 1.5 times more than the total weight of your camera and your heaviest lens.
Now that you have determined the weight your tripod can support, you also have to figure out the weight of the tripod itself: too heavy and it will stay at home, unused.
The lightest tripods are made of carbon-fiber material, but they also are the most expensive; most commonly used is aluminium, next best to carbon-fiber: the best way to test the weight is to hold them in the shops and try different models to see how you feel carrying it.
Finally, the legs of the tripod are quite important, even though all tripods are built with three legs.
What you have to seek when buying a tripod is the thickness and strength of the legs: too thin and they will easily wobble, producing blurry pictures.
Telescopic legs are a normal feature on tripods: they can extend in either three or four section, making for a quick locking and unlocking.
It is best to point out that the four sections legs are collapsible to a smaller size which makes it easier to pack in a bag and carry when travelling.
Now that you have learned the main points to look for in a tripod, here is a sample of the best tripods you should buy!
Gitzo is one of the best tripod’s manufacturer actually on the market, usually bought by professionals and not for ones on a budget.
The “Ser.1 6X Traveller 4S G-Lock” or the “GT 1542T” tripod is one of the best on the market for travellers (it has been constructed with hikers and travellers in mind): carbon-built, light, stable and durable, it has everything a photographer could wish for.
Priced around £750, it is an investment worth the price!
For those of you on a tight budget and who don’t yet have a lot of photography equipment, but only a compact camera, Gorillapod has thought about you and produced the “Joby Gorillapod Original Tripod”.
Strange-looking, to say the least, but very flexible, this tripod can grip any available surface (trees, rocks…) and even stand on its own legs to let you take pictures in almost any environment.
It comes in four sizes (to support compact cameras up to heavy DSL-R) and the smaller sizes cost only £20 and can carry a weight to 325g.
Manfrotto is on a par with Gitzo for the best tripod’s manufacturer: the model called “MT055XPRO3 Tripod” is the new take on their latest range with improvements made on the leg locking system.
Priced at £179, it is a good tool for the persons who start taking their photography seriously.
Finally, last but not least, the Benro Versatile Transformer BRA2970F, deserved a place in this article because of its ratio quality build/price.
The centre column provides a good pivoting system, with a full 180° rotation and a multi-angle system resting on the three legs; as for its rigidity, it will impress even the ones that are used to good tripods.
Priced at £100, this tripod has a lot to offer!