Best buy camera tripod
Top 10 popular tripods recommended in 2022
Both amateur and professional photographers need to overcome a variety of shooting situations, such as occasions that require a long exposure and are always worried that the shooting results will be affected by shaking hands or other factors. At this time, a tripod is an indispensable tool. It is just that there are many types of products on the market. In addition to materials such as sturdy and durable aluminium alloy or lightweight carbon fibre, there are also detailed specifications such as size, structure, and height that need to be considered. It is often difficult for new or unfamiliar users to choose.
In this Best buy camera tripod article we will suggest some tips for choosing a tripod, including the occasions where various specifications are suitable, as well as various functions that make shooting more convenient, and select 10 products to recommend to everyone; many of them are the main types of mobile phone selfies. From Marsace, peak design, BENRO and other brands of models. I hope everyone finds these tips useful to find an ideal style that meets your needs and enjoy the fun of shooting!
Tips for buying a tripod
When purchasing a tripod, you need to consider common shooting themes and occasions and choose the appropriate style according to the type of camera. Next, we will explain the specification items. Please choose the products that suit you best according to these characteristics.
Choose the size that fits your camera
Tripods are available in small, medium and large sizes. Generally speaking, small tripods are suitable for setting up micro-single-eye or small digital cameras. Medium-sized tripods can be used for monocular cameras with wide-angle lenses or portrait lenses. For telephoto lenses, due to their heavy weight, whether they are used with a camera or directly mounted on a tripod for balance, it is recommended to use a large tripod for more stability.
As for users who mainly use portable video recording equipment such as smartphones or action cameras, there are also many mini tripods with various functions on the market recently. To avoid problems such as instability and tipping in use, be sure to confirm the type of photographic equipment you use before purchasing a tripod.
Choose a product with twice the weight of the equipment
Since the combination of some cameras and lenses is as high as 2 to 3kg, special attention should be paid to the load-bearing problem when selecting a tripod. Usually, the specification sheet will indicate the equipment that can withstand up to several kilograms. It is recommended to use twice the weight of the equipment on hand as the standard when purchasing. If you need to buy heavier lenses or other accessories in the future, make sure they can withstand it. In addition, if you plan to buy a gimbal and a tripod separately, it should be noted that the load-bearing capacity of the gimbal is usually smaller than that of the tripod. The smaller value should prevail when shooting, so as not to cause unexpected situations due to unsupported equipment.
Choose the gimbal type according to the common shooting scene
The function of the gimbal is to carry the camera, and its internal structure will affect the stability when moving and adjusting the composition angle. Next, we will explain the suitable type of gimbal based on various shooting scenarios. Please be sure to choose the corresponding style according to your situation.
“Three-way head” suitable for landscape photography
The principle of the three-way gimbal is to control the left and right, up and down and tilt angles through different grips. Since each grip can be operated independently, it is very stable and not easy to shake when adjusting the camera, and can achieve extremely precise corrections when composing pictures. It is quite suitable for shooting landscapes, still lifes or distant subjects. It is a universal, very high-performance gimbal type.
However, because this type of gimbal cannot move up, down, left and right at the same time, it is difficult to capture the subject when shooting high-speed moving objects, so it is not easy to be used in sports events or animal photography and other occasions that require rapid angle change. The relationship between the handle is not only heavier, but also inconvenient when stored, and the mobility is slightly insufficient.
Easy to operate, do not miss any key screen “ball head”
The spherical head uses spherical joints as the main structure, which is very convenient no matter which direction and angle it is moved to and can be quickly adjusted to the ideal composition picture. The handle and other structures are omitted, and the volume is smaller than other types of heads. Small, easy to carry out to shoot a variety of subjects. However, some skills are required when fine-tuning the composition, and after unlocking the camera, you need to hold the camera with your hand to maintain the angle. If the composition is accidentally shifted, it may be more challenging for less experienced users.
“Gear head” that can accurately determine the composition of the picture
In addition to being able to adjust the horizontal and vertical angles separately like the three-way gimbal, this type has an additional gear structure, so it is more stable and convenient to fine-tune the composition direction, and it is very suitable for products that have a great influence on the shooting angle. However, because of the complex structure, the volume is larger and the price is higher. So if there is no special purpose, it is recommended to carefully evaluate whether to purchase this type of product.
“Hydraulic Gimbal” – suitable for shooting dynamic videos
The appearance of the hydraulic gimbal looks very similar to the three-way gimbal, but the interior uses hydraulic pressure to replace the pure mechanical structure such as clamps. So it is very smooth when adjusting the horizontal or vertical angle, and it is not easy to appear too large. This is a gimbal designed for dynamic photography, suitable for shooting videos that require smooth motion. However, after unlocking, the camera you will feel resistance when adjusting the angle, there is no way to quickly move to the desired position, it takes some time to get used to, before getting started.
Confirm the way to fix the camera according to your habits
Whether the camera can be stably fixed on the gimbal is also a very important part. Once you get started, you can quickly disassemble and install the camera. In this part, you can choose the appropriate type according to your habits and usage.
Stable and inexpensive “direct mount type”
If you often use a large telescopic lens, you may want to look at the direct-mount type head. Since the camera can be directly fixed on the gimbal, there is no other structural interference, and the support area is also slightly wider, which is relatively stable. Although it is a bit time-consuming and laborious to disassemble and assemble, the price is also relatively cheap and easy to use.
“Quick release plate” for quick and time-saving disassembly and assembly
Some gimbals will have an extra part commonly known as a “quick release plate”. After removing it, just lock it on the camera or lens, and it can be directly combined with the gimbal when needed, effectively reducing the time for disassembling and assembling the camera. Users who have a momentary screen can respond quickly to reduce the preparation procedures. However, if you use heavy photography equipment for a long time, the place where the quick release plate is in contact with the gimbal easily loosens. It is recommended to confirm the load-bearing capacity of the gimbal in detail before purchasing.
With the addition of a spirit level, the composition is no longer skewed
When shooting landscapes, buildings and other subjects, when the angle and level are not adjusted properly, the picture will feel uncoordinated. Even the recently launched digital cameras are equipped with electronic levels, but they will occupy the display screen to some extent. At this time, if there are horizontal bubbles on the tripod, it is very convenient to fine-tune the horizontal and vertical angles of the screen. If you often shoot images with flat lines, or when there is a horizon such as a sunrise or a sunset by the sea, it will be relatively easier.
Confirm tripod material, height, and other additional features
For different purposes, the material, height and locking method of the legs of the tripod will also affect the photographer’s composition and shooting efficiency. Next, we will explain a few key points to pay attention to. Be sure to confirm these specifications when choosing.
Choose the tripod material according to your budget and usage
At present, tripods are mainly divided into two materials: “aluminium alloy” and “carbon fibre”. Aluminium alloy tripods are relatively cheap and suitable for all kinds of activities. They are very easy for beginners or amateur users to get started, but because they are heavier than carbon fibre, they are not suitable for occasions such as mountaineering that need to reduce the weight of equipment as much as possible.
Carbon fibre tripods are lightweight and durable, coupled with good heat resistance. They can be used for a long time after you buy one, so they are favoured by many amateurs and professional photographers. It is just that at the same level, the price of carbon fibre products is higher, and you must first assess whether your budget fits before purchasing.
Determine the tripod height according to the shooting theme
The specification sheet of most tripods will indicate the “maximum height” after unfolding and the “folded length” as a reference for storage. If you often need to shoot events that require you a long time to stand, such as landscapes or weddings, it is recommended to choose a height that is roughly at the eye level, which will be easier to use. For close-ups of flowers, insects, etc. from a side angle, sometimes you may only have a space of ten centimetres above the ground that can be used. At this time, a tripod with a suitable height can also be selected according to the shooting subject.
It is more convenient if the angle of the legs can be adjusted at will
Some tripods have functions of adjusting the deployment angle in multiple stages. Although the stability is slightly worse than that of fixed-angle products. It is easy to make noise due to friction between the structures, it can easily respond to various themes and occasions. Depending on the brand and model, there may be 2 or 3 deployment angles, and there are even styles that can spread the legs flat to facilitate shooting at lower heights. It is recommended to confirm these specifications in detail.
In addition, if each leg tube can control the deployment angle separately, even if you are in relatively rough terrain, you can still shoot in a horizontal state. Even though it might be more expensive, be sure to consider these features if you have such a need and you are on a budget.
Choose a fixing method according to portability and operability
There are two ways to lock the length of the legs of the tripod, one of which is a “screw-type tripod” that can be loosened or fixed by rotating the screw. Easy, as long as you screw it on and it is pretty solid.
The other is a “plate buckle type tripod” fixed by clips. The mechanism for fixing the length of the legs will protrude slightly. If you want to adjust the height temporarily, just loosen the plate buckle and stretch or shorten it to an appropriate position. However, due to the complex structure, it may be loosened if it is frequently pulled. It is recommended to use a hexagonal wrench to lock the joints on the plate buckle before use and check whether the tripod can be fixed to avoid the situation of soft feet.
Tube diameter depends on camera and lens weight
The diameter of the leg tube is related to the stability of the tripod. The thicker it is, the more stable it is, but the weight will increase relatively. Therefore, it is recommended to choose according to the weight and budget of the photographic equipment. For digital cameras or micro-single-lens cameras, the tube diameter is about 20-25mm. If an APS-C frame SLR camera is equipped with a telephoto lens, you can choose a tube diameter of 25-30mm. For full-frame SLR cameras, when using a telescopic head, it is recommended that the diameter of the tube should be more than 30mm so that it is not easy to shake when erected.
Choose “4-stage legs” for easy portability, and choose “3-stage legs” for stability
The so-called “3-segment feet” and “4-segment feet” represent how many segments the tripod legs can stretch. The smaller the number of segments, the larger the volume of the tripod when it is stored, but relatively speaking, the average tube diameter is thicker, which is suitable for users who pursue more stable shooting. It is a better choice for users who travel abroad, need to control the volume of luggage, or require to carry be more convenient.
Frequently Asked Questions about Buying a Tripod
After understanding how to buy a tripod and what products are on the market, do you have any other doubts? The following lists a few questions that users may have.
What should I pay attention to when setting up a tripod?
Whether the camera can bear the weight of the camera stably and safely is the key point when setting up, especially since the place where the tripod is sometimes not flat, so it is necessary to evaluate whether the product can meet its own needs, and then also consider the height and the type of gimbal is appropriate.
How to lower the height when erected?
Generally speaking, for tripods of medium-sized and above, the centre column will reserve a small space for extension. At this time, it is very suitable for adjustment when the erection has been completed, but the height is still a little short. If there is no room for height adjustment on the tripod, you can use items such as magazines and books at hand to increase the height.
The average lifespan of a tripod?
In our personal experience, if a medium-sized and medium-priced tripod is used as the benchmark, with good use and maintenance, the lifespan is at least ten years or more.
After reading the above article we hope you know more about the characteristics of tripods. According to different materials and designs, not only the price of tripods varies greatly, but also the types and functions to choose from are also very diverse. Therefore, before purchasing, be sure to carefully think about your shooting preferences and uses, and choose with these tips in mind. We believe that you will find a suitable tripod and use it to shoot more beautiful works!