What is the best tripod? One of the essential tools of any serious photography or filmmaker’s toolkit is a reliable tripod, but which one is best? There are many different makes and models of camera tripods on the market and it can be confusing to know which is the best for your purposes and which is the best value. We’ll be including the prices as we go, so you will be able to determine which is the best camera tripod for your personal budget.

Good camera tripods

10. Oben AC-1351

Featurette on the Oben AC aluminum tripods

The Oben AC-1351 is a simple, easy-to-use tripod that is a great value for the money. It is one of the cheapest options on this list but it still offers a good amount of versatility. It comes standard with a BA-1113 ball head and a telescoping center column. The center column is also removable and capable of being inverted, further adding to its versatility.

The Oben isn’t the tallest, sturdiest, or most versatile option on the market but it does over a good number of options on the cheaper end of the spectrum, where many tripods in this price-range often restrict options or impose additional limitations. 

Best tripod for DSLR

Conclusion

The Oben is a good all-rounder tripod as long as your needs are not too demanding.

Price = $189

Best camera tripod

9. Manfrotto 290 Dual MK290DUA3-BH

Best professional tripod? A review of the 290 Dual MK290DUA3-BH

Manfrotto is one of the most trusted names in tripods and a name that you will see popping back up later on this list. The 290 Dual MK290DUA3-BH is their cheapest offering that still functions as a high-quality tripod. This particular model may be best for photographers but videographers should be able to get plenty of use out of it as well. If creative photography is your focus, this Manfrotto unit is one of the best and cheapest options.

This is a solid option for the cost. What it lacks in versatility, it makes up for in ease of use.

Best budget tripod

Conclusion

This Manfrotto tripod makes for a good ‘beginner tripod’. Or, If what you need out of a tripod falls on the simpler end of the spectrum, it’s a good choice for the money. 

Price = $199

Best video tripod

8. JOBY GorillaPod

Best budget tripod? GorillaPod comparisons

The rugged, flexible design of the GorillaPod is unique and allows for a high degree of versatility. It is also the cheapest tripod on this list by quite a large margin, so if your budget is tight, the GorillaPod may be the way to go. However, the GorillaPod will not get the job done in all circumstances, be sure to take the demands of your project into consideration before choosing the GorillaPod.

The GorillaPod is best suited to small-scale or low-stakes projects. This tripod will not cut it on the majority of professional film or photography projects.

This is a mini-tripod, meaning its uses are limited even though its configurations are not. The GorillaPod stands at just 9.4 inches tall and has a load capacity of 6.6 pounds. If the GorillaPod suits your individual needs, then it is a great value; otherwise, you'll be better off with another entry on this list. 

A GorillaPod is great for smaller cameras and simpler cameras like DSLRs. For an explanation of the differences between DSLR and other video cameras, take a look at our guide to different camera types

Good camera tripods

Conclusion

If you are looking for the best tripod for DSLR, the GorillaPod is a great choice.

Price = $47

What is the best tripod

7. Benro Rhino FRHN34CVX30

Benro camera tripod review

The Benro Rhino is considered a ‘travel tripod,’ which means it prioritizes portability and ease of use. Because of these priorities, certain concessions are made in other areas, and the overall build is slightly smaller. But the Benro Rhino is still quite large all things considered with a maximum height of 68.75 inches. It comes standard with a strong, fluid, VX30 ball head. The carbon-fiber design ensures that the unit remains tough and durable despite its travel-friendly weight.

Best photography tripod

Conclusion

If your photo and video works sends you traveling frequently, especially to remote and/or rural locations, then the Benro Rhino is a fantastic pick for your next tripod.

Price = $354

Finding the best tripod  •  FEISOL tripod review

This FEISOL tripod lands at the more expensive end of our list, and the head is sold separately, but the increased cost is reflected in the quality. FEISOL makes use of proprietary design elements that are unique to their brand such as specialized release tabs and ‘anti-leg-rotation technology.’

Although a ball head is not included in the base cost, it is possible to mount a camera directly onto the aluminum chassis plate. 

What is the best tripod

Conclusion

This is a rugged tripod that can support even the bulkiest of camera setups.

Price = $634.99

Head price = $145.95 

The Three Legged Thing review  •  Good camera tripods

This option sets itself apart from the others with a unique design and color scheme. Its eye-catching look is truly besides the point since, as filmmakers and photographers, we’re prioritizing functionality above all else.

The leg and neck locks are slick and some of the best in the game, always secure yet easy to adjust.

The 3 Legged Thing also features monopod functionality. One of the legs detaches while retaining the AirHed 360 camera mount, effectively turning that single leg into a high-quality monopod; bonus points for versatility. This model is comparatively cheap, so it’s a great value all things considered.

Best professional tripod

Conclusion

The bizarre name and look is no mark on the functionality of this excellent tripod

Price = $349.99

Best budget tripod

4. Manfrotto 190XPro4

The best photography tripod? Manfrotto 190xPro4 review

The 190XPro 4 is the best Manfrotto offering to make our list. The variety of angles it is possible to achieve with this unit is near-unparalleled. This unit allows you to get creative and play around with flexibility options not offered by many other models. The design remains sturdy no matter what configuration it's in.

The 190XPro4 works best with the XPro ball head, but it can be swapped out for a 3-way head design if you have a preference. The XPro ball head is incredibly smooth for the price.

Best video tripod

Conclusion

The Manfrotto brand is reliable and known for setting their bar high. The 190XPro4 is their best offering-by-value to date.

Price = $279.88

The best tripod? Examining the RSS tripod line

This tripod from the Really Right Stuff brand has a sleek design and excellent functionality. The TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Mk2 Carbon Fiber tripod is extremely durable; possibly the toughest tripod on the entire list. This thing can take a beating. If you do a lot of shooting out in precarious locations or plan on putting your tripod into dangerous situations, then this tripod might be your best bet.

The major downside to this tripod is that you will need to purchase a head for the tripod separately, but that holds true for many higher-end tripods. It pairs well with the BH-55 or the BH-40 tripod heads.

Best photography tripod

Conclusion

It’s definitely not the best budget tripod, but the quality is set extremely high.  If you can afford, the results speak for themselves.

Tripod price = $1,025

BH-40 price = $380

BH-55 price = $445

Best camera tripod

2. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP

Best tripod for DSLR  •  Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP review

This is the best tripod for DSLR shooters. If you are not a DSLR shooter, then your best bet is to go with one of the other entries on this list, otherwise, it doesn’t get any better than the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP. It is sturdy, reliable, versatile, and, best of all, cheap. It makes use of a smooth pan head and is the best tripod for DSLR shooting in most instances.

The best tripod for DSLR

Conclusion

If you are a DSLR shooter on a budget, then you can’t do better than this cheap, reliable tripod.

Price = $176.58

The Best Tripod  •  Gitzo review

Gitzo are known for their sleek designs and remarkably sturdy builds. If you partake in a lot of outdoor shooting, this Gitzo model features specialized weatherproofing to protect its mechanisms from the elements.

If you do plan to shoot in inclement weather, be sure to check out our tips for shooting in the rain first. The ball head is sold separately, but both pieces still come in cheaper than the RSS tripod on its own.

The GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head is incredibly smooth and will deliver on exactly what you want out of a ball head. Plus, the ball head is just as sturdy and sleek as the tripod itself.

Best camera tripod

Conclusion

It’s a bit pricey but this Gitzo tripod delivers on reliability and functionality to the fullest. If you’re an outdoor shooter, the Gitzo is a valuable tool to have in your arsenal.

Tripod price = $712.94

Ball head price = $351.09

UP NEXT

Digital camera buying guide

A good tripod is nothing without a good camera. Pair your new tripod with one of the best digital cameras on the market. Read through our digital camera buying guide to help yourself make an informed decision before purchasing your next camera, up next.

Up Next: Camera guide →
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  • Sam Kench is an internationally-awarded screenwriter, independent filmmaker, and film critic. Lover of foreign films; hater of American remakes.

1 comment

  1. After reading this post I just realized how amazing is Gitzo tripods are, they really deliver high-quality results even though they are a bit pricy but I guess they are worth buying.

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