Guide to the Best Video Tripod

Editor’s Choice

Video Tripod

  • 4 Fluid Drag System
  • Fast Lever Lock Technology
  • 2-in-1 Telescopic Spreader

Best Overall

Video Tripod

  • Supports cameras with up to 37 lb (17kg)
  • Includes a Touch&Go Plate mechanism
  • It has a wide payload range

Budget-Friendly

  • Slim profile shoulder
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Anodized aluminum quick locks

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best video tripod, then I’d recommend the Sachtler Video 15 FT MS System with Flowtech 100 Tripod as the best one.

It is easy to say that tripods are essential tools for producing quality video footage, but we all know that not all tripods are created equal. Tripods are insusceptible to obsolescence, and buying one is a game of intelligent investments. With the rising trend in vlogging, live streaming, and virtual content making, finding the best video tripod for your purpose can be problematic. There is no need to fret because we reviewed many products to make the best choice.

Here are the Best Video Tripods we will be reviewing:

What Makes the Best Video Tripod?

What is a video tripod?

Just as the name suggests, a video tripod is a portable tool with a three-legged stand and a mounted head used for quality video coverage. Video tripods may seem like an easy concept, but consider pertinent variations when purchasing one.

Main parts of a video tripod

Let’s look at the integral parts such as the legs, the head, and other essential additional features and evaluate some considerations.

Video tripod head

Videos are a dynamic means of storytelling through seamless moving shots and perfectly-stitched horizons. Choosing the video tripod head is essential when selecting the best video tripod to use. There are two significant categories of video tripod heads (1) pan/tilt head and (2) fluid head. A pan/tilt video tripod head allows you to pan smoothly while recording, and a fluid head offers smoother and steadier movement. Both types have advantages and disadvantages, and choosing between the two will solely depend on the functionality of your needs.

Video tripod legs

Capturing video footage requires movement. When hunting for legs for the best video tripod, balance and stabilized support should be of high consideration. Video tripod legs are made of aluminum or carbon fiber which differs in strength, durability, lightness, and adjustability.

Additional features

Features that you might find interest in considering are locking systems and leg removability. The locking system allows you to use your tripod at different heights and is designed to hold the legs more steadily. Leg removability lets you convert your tripod into monopods or stow them away more conveniently and compactly. Exploring the variations of tripod features makes all the difference in your filming experience and expands your creative and technical possibilities.

Benefits of Using the Best Video Tripod

No two people have the exact needs when using a video tripod, but one thing is for sure, the best video tripod will help you stabilize your footage and record the perfect shot. Using a tripod also lets you slow down. This may seem like a negative notion, but setting up your tripod is time-consuming and needs precision, allowing you to take things slowly, resulting in a more well-thought-out composition of yourself and your surroundings.  

When to Use a Video Tripod?

Travel

Traveling to places is one of life’s most significant rewards. While it is fun going on trips with friends or touring alone, it is best to bring a video tripod with you for an aesthetic and convenient way of capturing the finest moments to vlog and share on social media. A tripod can be a travel tripod if you are prepared to travel with it, but there are travel-friendly video tripods if you prefer the more compact kind.

Hobbyist

Videography is fulfilling and frustrating, especially when you don’t have the right equipment. Taking time-lapse videos and panning movements can be tricky if you only operate using your hands. Using the best video tripod to capture extraordinary sceneries and scenarios with ease makes the experience exhilarating and inspiring. I make videos as a hobby, and when I didn’t have the best video tripod yet, I often found myself frustrated when reviewing shots I took because they were shaky and unbalanced.

Enthusiasts and Professionals

Recording live events and video production are things that a professional videographer does. Small productions including documentaries, weddings, and training videos are all outputs that require long hours of preparation and shooting. Reasonably, you cannot hold your camera steady for too long, so investing in the best video tripod will be the choice to make when traversing your passion in videography to a career.

Church Live Streaming

Due to the pandemic wreaking havoc on our lives and adapting to the new normal, many establishments were closed and numerous services were limited. We had to find innovative ways to adjust to the changes around us. Thus the birth of live streaming masses. This medium has long been existing but only during this time has it been used to everybody’s advantage. Church services usually take at least 45 minutes, so it is crucial to produce quality streaming to maintain its grandeur when covering such solemnity.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Video Tripod

Stability and strength

When choosing the best video tripod, stability should be your top priority. Check which tripod suits your camera’s weight. A certain threshold is that a video tripod loses its stability because your camera weight has exceeded the tripod’s capacity. The tripod’s leg strength should not be overlooked as well. This ensures that the tool you invested in will not snap or bend during sudden angular movements.

Locking orientation

Tripod legs have leg locking mechanisms that offer portability. There are two types of leg lock (1) flip-lock and (2) twist lock. The flip-lock makes deploying your tripod legs fast and flip-up to unlock; flip down to lock, quick and easy. On the other hand, the twist-lock simply needs to be twisted in one direction to secure and twist the other way to unlock. Locking systems in video tripods guarantee unparalleled grip and support, especially when shooting on uneven terrains.

Alignment accuracy

Cameras have built-in grid line features, but we still capture sideways and unbalanced footage despite this feature. Instead of packing up a shoot, I had to do over an entire shoot because of not minding this vital factor. Tripods contribute considerably to ensuring that the shot you are taking will align with the horizon. A leveler can significantly decrease your setup time on uneven surfaces and challenging terrains.

Size

As a rule of thumb, never purchase anything you are not comfortable carrying around. There is a vast choice of video tripods to find one that fits you like a glove. The wisest size choice should depend on your purpose for use. For instance, if you intend to use it for quick getaways, then pick a compact one. If you want to use it for studio shoots, then opt for a video tripod that’s big to avoid staff stumbling on them while walking around the studio. 

Weight

Always check the video tripod’s payload weight. When deciding to buy one, consider first the weight of your camera. There is no use in buying supporting equipment when it cannot perform its function. Carbon fiber models are more lightweight compared to aluminum-made models.

Plates

A plate sits on your tripod where your camera is mounted on. A fixed plate attaches to the bottom of your camera like a screw. A quick-release plate is attached to your camera and is convenient for rapid alternating tripods.

Budget

Tripods are essential to video gear, whether it’s for your travels, documentaries, or career. There are cheap options, but the quality is sacrificed. Several budget-friendly video tripods are out on the market; you just have to choose which one fits your wallet without compromising its caliber and function.

Sachtler Video 15 FT MS System with Flowtech 100 Tripod

Video Tripod

This video tripod has it all. The Sachtler Video 15 FT MS System with Flowtech 100 Tripod has a fluid head that stabilizes footage capturing and eases the video panning experience. It is carbon fiber lightweight which makes it easier to carry, payload support of more than 37 pounds or 16 kilograms, and a carrying handle and padded bag round out this kit.

The SB in Sachtler stands for Speed Balance, allowing reduced setup time because of its 12 counterbalance presets. Its versatile leg hinges adjust freely and can be locked at different angles. Its flatter leg design makes it easier to carry on your shoulder. When you are ready to move on to your following location, its magnetic leg lock feature only requires a snap to make it compact for travel.

Pros:

  • Supports cameras with up to 37 lb (17kg)
  • Includes a Touch&Go Plate mechanism
  • It has a wide payload range
  • Comes with a carry handle padded bag
  • 12 Step Counterbalance
  • Magnetic Leg Lock Mechanism

Cons:

  • Large and bulky
  • Expensive

Manfrotto 526 Video Head Carbon 645 Fast Twin Video Tripod

Video Tripod

The Manfrotto 526 Professional Kit Video Tripod joins our list of best-recommended video tripods. It combines the 526 fluid head with carbon 645 carbon fiber tripod system that features double tubing and fast lever lock technology for the most sturdy support ever. The 2-in-1 middle and ground telescopic spreader spotlight a three-angle selection mechanism for easy setup.

The carbon fiber legs are durable, and it enables you to lock them using only one locking lever found on top of each leg. The 2-in-1 spreader keeps the tripod leg from expanding further apart, providing you with a more stable platform. 

Pros:

  • 4 Fluid Drag System
  • Fast Lever Lock Technology
  • 2-in-1 Telescopic Spreader
  • Very versatile
  • Fast and easy to set up

Cons:

  • Weighs 7.2 kilograms
  • Head for wider compatibility sold separately

BENRO Aluminum Carbon Fiber Slim Travel Kit Tripod

The perfect travel video tripod belongs to BENRO Slim Travel Kit Tripod. True to its name, this video tripod is best for travelers because of its five folding designs. The reverse folding design allows it to be compacted as small as 12.9 inches or 33 centimeters! However, don’t let its minuscule fool you of its capabilities because it can expand up to 57.1 inches or 145 centimeters when opened.

This travel tripod offers either aluminum or carbon fiber construction. Aluminum gives strength, while carbon fiber provides lightness. A grooved center column prevents twisting and may be used for ground shots. A weight hook is located underneath the center column to address windy conditions when shooting. On the quick release clamp is the bubble level, which aids in keeping shots level. It also has anodized aluminum short locks that only require a quick half turn to lock and unlock.

Pros:

  • Slim profile shoulder
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Anodized aluminum quick locks
  • Aluminum and carbon fiber construction
  • Five folding design

Cons:

  • Limited payload weight (4 kilograms)
  • Conditional stability

Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video System

Video Tripod

An affordable yet remarkably fully featured tripod qualifies Manfrotto MVH502A Professional Fluid Video Tripod on our list. Stability and strength aren’t compromised despite their affordability, and the variable fluid drag system supports both pan and tilt movements. The 502A is designed for cinematic moves and has a balance plate range of 3.27 inches to support uneven payloads.

The aluminum twin leg tripod has a 75-millimeter bowl for effortless mounting and shooting freedom. Setting your tripod leg angles with great precision is also possible with its telescopic ground-level spreader.

Pros:

  • It has a variable fluid drag system
  • Easy video head link connectors
  • Budget-friendly
  • Telescopic ground spreader
  • Made of durable aluminum tripod with fluid video head

Cons:

  • Requires iOS (9.0 or higher) or Android (5.0 or higher) smartphone
  • Bulky and heavy

Vanguard Alta Pro 264TBH Aluminum Tripod Kit

Video Tripod

The Vanguard Alta Pro 264TBH Video Tripod has unmatched stability and flexibility. One ingenious feature allows you to move the central column up to 180 degrees horizontally and vertically. Its aluminum alloy legs reduce camera vibration and shock control, making it ideal for different terrains.

The instant secure repositions of the central column in one simple movement is possible through the swivel lock and stop. Its smooth fluid-like ball head rotates 360 degrees and makes it possible to shoot swift panning movements without hassle.

Pros:

  • Includes an Arca type quick release plate
  • Adjustable aluminum legs
  • Offers an instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) system
  • Premium magnesium die-cast top spider with anti-shock ring
  • Quick flip leg locks and retractable rubber spiked feet
  • Features a lightweight, durable magnesium construction with a safety locking system

Cons:

  • Limited head compatibility
  • Poor quality

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, traversing into the realm of videography, whether for travel, as a hobby, or for a career, requires you to splash out on essential video gear such as a video tripod. The best video tripod provides stability, secure leg strength, portability, and longevity. Unlike cameras, video tripods are invulnerable to disuse, and choosing the best video tripod now with features compatible with your requisite will save you years of repeated purchase.

The best video tripod I put in a good word for is the Sachtler Video 15 FT MS System with Flowtech 100 Tripod. It is lightweight, has a 12-step counterbalance system that allows quick setup time, a magnetic leg lock that supports rapid location changes, and perpetuity, given its construction and versatile usability. Plus, it has a carrying handle and padded bag included in the kit making it more convenient and compact.

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.