Finding the best video tripod for your needs may seem like an easy task, but there are many, MANY options on the market that might be a little overwhelming. On top of that, there are several features that you will want to take a look at when buying a tripod for your video camera. Let's take a look at what features you will want to be on the look for to find the best video tripod.
The Best Video Tripod Breakdown
We rated the following tripods based on the features and customer reviews for each tripod against the price that they are listed for. We list out each tripod's height limit, weight, weight limit, and folded height to help get the best video tripod for your needs. (The following products contain affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, we get paid if you click through and make a purchase)
The Velbon Videomate 638 is made of aluminum. It can extend up to 5.61 feet, and folded is 26.38 inches. The tripod weighs 4.37 lbs and had a weight capacity of 8.82 lbs. The Videomate 638 is a very affordable tripod and is lightweight. However, the downfall is that it cannot hold a lot of weight. Keep that in mind if you decide on this tripod.
The Manfrotto 504HD, 546BK is constructed with aluminum, and it can extend to 59 inches. The weight of this tripod is 13.6 lbs and has a weight capacity of 16.3 lbs. It is a durable tripod and stable too, but it does come with a pretty price tag. If this fits into your budget, you will not be disappointed.
If you like the previous Manfrotto tripod, but need the price to come down just a bit, the MVK502AM-1 is a great choice. Made with aluminum, the tripod extends to 61.42 inches and folded is 19.52 inches. It weighs 8.38 lbs and can hold up to 15.43 lbs. Expect to pay a little less, but still a very durable and stable tripod. On the upside, it also weighs a little less than the previously mentioned Manfrotto.
The Magnus VT-4000 extends to 59 inches and folded is 30.3 inches. This one weighs 7.9 lbs and has a weight limit of 8.8 lbs. The VT-4000 is a very affordable tripod that is really impressive for this price range. We suggest this tripod for the tight budget buyer.
The Davis & Sandord Provista 7518 with FM18 is constructed from aluminum and extends to 64 inches. The tripod weighs 10 lbs, but can hold up to 18 lbs. This is a lot of weight capacity for this price range. We highly suggest this tripod for the producer on a tight budget, but needs a higher weight capacity.
What To Know When Getting The Best Video Tripod For You
As you are exploring through the different video tripods, you will see a wide range of prices and features. It helps to know the different parts of a tripod and what they do so we can help find the best for you.
This is the center of what makes your tripod do its job. You want to have lot's of control while understanding how to work it. Resistance or drag is referred to the customizable amount of muscle you need to use to pan or tilt the camera. The head will either be flat or a half ball. Generally speaking, the bigger it is, the more stability the tripod will have.
Counterbalance is an important feature you will want the tripod to have as it helps keep the camera from continuing to tilt once you have set the angle. For example, when using tilt, the camera would naturally want to continue tilting and loosing your angle.
You will hear the term fluid or fluid head used in reference to the tripod. This means how you are able to have subtle stops. In other words, you will want to have a fluid head on the tripod you purchase.
The tripod legs will have height and weight capacity mentioned. Consider both of these are you are looking for the best video tripod for your needs. How heavy is your camera plus any accessories? Also, you may upgrade your camera and other parts at some point too. A good rule of thumb is to always try your best to predict what obstacles you may have down the road. As for height, for the most part a higher maximum height is always going to be desired as long as it is stable.
Most commonly, tripods are made of aluminum. However, sometimes you will see them constructed using carbon fiber. Aluminum is going to be a little bit heavier which has both positive and negative aspects to it. Heavier to carry around with you, but you don't have to worry about it blowing away. Carbon fiber is better for more extreme weather situations as it takes longer to heat and cool.
Many tripods have what is called a spreader (an extra brace) on the tripod legs. This assists the user in keeping your position and increase stability of the tripod. Consider these as a nice option to have.