Taking handheld photos or videos is sometimes very exhausting. You have to keep your arms steady and if you don’t have a camera with great image stabilization, photos can turn blurry and useless. Having to hold your gigantic DSLR in your hands all the time isn’t a great option when you can buy a great tripod and give your arms some rest. Tripods are so popular nowadays that manufacturers produce tripods aimed at smartphones.
On top of that, professional or semi-professional photography won’t get far in the cruel world of photography without this piece of equipment. You’ll agree that choosing the right tripod for you is a mundane task. Having to search through the vast offerings of tripods with different specifications is time-consuming and will only leave you wandering around.
That’s why we created a special list consisting of the best tripods for your money and we even included some budget options if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.
Without further ado, here’s our list for best tripods for photography in 2020:
If you don’t have a bit more money to spend around, we don’t blame you. Instead, we decided to give you some options in the budget-oriented segment of the tripod market.
Here are some best budget tripods for photography in 2020:
Best Tripods for Photography in 2020
1. Benro GoPlus Travel FGP18A + B0
- Versatile 180 Degree center column allows you limitless camera positioning possibilities including vertical, horizontal and inverted positions
- Quick leg lock system improved stability with faster deployment and dust resistance
- Integrated Monopod let’s you detach a leg that becomes a monopod.
Benro GoPlus Travel FGP18A + B0 is one of the most versatile options on our list. Let’s begin by mentioning the material which is used here – carbon. However, the manufacturer lets us choose between aluminum and carbon fiber, with the carbon fiber version being much more expensive and of course, more durable. With its folded height of 46cm, it’s not very robust and it’s easy to carry around, especially if you travel a lot. An extended height of 165cm is decent, allowing you to swiftly control your camera. Since it’s very tall, you won’t have to lean too much, unless you’re over 200cm tall.
The maximum load of legs is 10kg, while the maximum load of a head is around 8kg. It has 4 leg sections and its weight is somewhere around 2kg, making it more on the lightweight side. Thankfully, it can be used as a monopod if you unscrew one of the legs. The feet of this tripod are supported with rubber spikes and pads that are interchangeable, so you don’t have to worry about stability at all.
2. Vanguard VEO 235AB
- Exclusive rapid column rotation for compact transportation and instant set-up and high loading performance (maximum load capacity 13.2 pounds)
- Includes a multi-action TBH-50 ball head with a large ergonomic main locking knob, bubble level and arca-swiss quick release plate
- 5 section 23mm aluminum alloy legs with 3 different leg angle options and feet that convert from rubber to spiked
Vanguard VEO 235AB, a tripod with the aluminum build, this tripod weighs around 1.5kg, making it compact and easy to carry around. Vanguard took the compactness to a whole new level by making its folded height 38cm and extended height 147cm. The maximum height is definitely far from impressive. If only we could have the same folded height and a bit higher extended height. Nonetheless, the tripod can carry a great load of 6kg for legs, and 9kg for the head.
The number of leg sections is 5 – a bit higher than the aforementioned tripod. Although it’s great for fine-tuning the height, we must mention again that the extended height could be bigger, especially because of the higher number of leg sections. For the feet, the tripod includes a retractable spike within the feet pads made of rubber. There’s also a ball head with a panning lock, as well as the well-known Arca Swiss quick release plate for easier setup.
If compactness is your thing, we can’t think of a better choice than this one. It has everything a tripod lover needs!
3. Gitzo Lightweight Traveler Series 0 Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Carbon exact Tubes; Reverse-Folding Legs
- Traveler G-Lock Leg Lock System
- Space-Saving Feet
Gitzo Series 0 Traveler tripod is a serious competitor for one of the best tripods of 2020. We have this carbon fiber eXact material which represents the pinnacle of the Gitzo engineering. It’s lightweight and durable, with a weight of 0.9 kg. It’s really compact and can be carried around like a Chihuahua puppy.
With its great engineering, the setup speed and overall stability are great, thanks to the ball head, which is a welcome addition. Is this tripod going to keep your camera more stable than any other? Trust me it will!
4. MeFOTO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod/Monopod Kit
- The Mefoto Globetrotter is a compact travel camera tripod that folds up inversely and turns into a monopod. When incorporated with the Mefoto Sidekick iPhone tripod mount (not included), The Globetrotter makes the perfect choice. Available in several colors.
- 360-Degree panning: accurate Panoramas can be easily orchestrated using the graduated panning scale for accurate image alignment. Two leg angle positions: for an extra measure of flexibility, tripod legs can be independently locked into place at two different angles to enable shooting in cramped quarters, on irregular surface areas, or at ground level.
- Recessed center-column hook: a spring loaded recessed hook, located in the bottom of the center-column, allows you to hang additional weight from the tripod's center of gravity for increased stability. Separate head and pan lock: individual head tension and lock knob as well as pan lock help make the right adjustment.
This travel tripod has an amazing carbon fiber built that packs a lot of sturdiness at a 1.7 kg weight. If you love compact tripods, then you should definitely skip this one. Its folded height is 41 cm and the extended height is 163cm. We think that this height is almost ideal for an average-height photographer.
We have 5 leg sections and you can also use it as a monopod. It has an impressive rigidity even at the highest levels of height, thanks to its center column. MeFoto tripod comes with a quality carry bag that looks amazing and you can it also comes in two colors black or titanium. Really an amazing tripod for anyone.
5. GEEKOTO 79 inches Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod
- 【Carbon Fiber】Tripod tube is made of high-density carbon fiber, great improvement on portability.
- 【79'' Carbon Tripod】From 19’’ to 79’’ Flexible Adjustment.4-section column legs with quick release flip-locks allows you to adjust the working height from 19’’ to 79’ in seconds.Winner in height!
- 【Monopod】This tripod can be quickly disassembled with the central axis screw and transform into a 81'' monopod, providing an alternative way of shooting with ease.
This tripod offers an amazing package that comes at a good price. You’ll get a true carbon fiber tripod that’s durable, sturdy, and screams quality. First of all, it’s important to mention its weight of just 1.5 kg, which is on the compact side of the spectrum. This means that carrying it around shouldn’t be a problem unless you have arms like spaghetti. Furthermore, its maximum load is 12 kg and it comes with a max height of 201 cm.
The carbon legs are really well done. This tripod is resistant to any kind of vibration or flexing, even when fully extended, it’s a nice tripod for taking blur-free photos.
6. Benro Travel Angel FTA28AB1
- Designed to offer compact and lightweight camera support. Weighing just 4.6 lbs. and able to hold up to 22 lbs., the FTA28AB1 can extend from a minimum height of 17.9" up to 62.8".
- The 4-section legs are held in place by twist locks and can be adjusted independently.
- Equipped with interchangeable screw-in rubber feet and stainless steel spiked feet for increased stability. In addition, a removable leg can be combined with the center column to create a full-size monopod.
Benro Travel Angel FTA28AB1 is an interesting product. It’s sort of a mixed bag when it comes to features. Its aluminum built is great, although I prefer carbon fiber. The aluminum also makes it a bit… well, let me correct myself – a LOT heavier, with its 2.42kg of weight. That’s a lot of weight considering you’re going to carry it around. As for the max load, some increases were made. We now have 10kg for legs and 14kg for the head, which is impressive. Something that’s not impressive is its maximum operating height of 161cm and its folded height of 45cm.
You could say that it’s sort of a standard but we had some cheaper tripods achieve the same thing. The engineering, however, is brilliant. We have aluminum leg sections flavored with magnesium castings. You can even detach one leg and use it as a monopod if you wish to do so. Thanks to the generosity of the manufacturer, we also have some accessories here – interchangeable rubber pads, metal pads, padded soft case, and short alternative center column.
The only downside here is the maximum height, made up with the useful accessories. Fair enough for me!
7. Manfrotto Befree
- Light and compact design. The special design of this tripod with head ensures your camera stays firmly locked in position.
- Supports up to 8.8lbs
- Designed to fit into carry-on luggage and backpacks
Manfrotto Befree is a cute little piece of a tripod. At this price, you would expect some cutbacks in build quality but none of that is here. We still have the aluminum built and surprisingly low weight of 1.5kg. A carbon fiber version would be even lighter but such thing doesn’t exist. With its low weight comes a major compromise and it’s the maximum load of 4kg for both head and legs. Even though the maximum height is 144cm, it’s still a surprise. With the folded height of 41cm, we can still say it’s a compact thing to carry around.
The setup of Manfrotto Befree is expectedly easy. It comes with a single adjustment knob with no panning lock or release whatsoever. The feet are also basic and don’t include retractable spikes. On top of that, there are only two angles for the legs, which is a huge step backward. We expected more since it has 4 leg sections. After all, this tripod is for those who enjoy the ease of use and don’t want anything professional.
However, with all these basic drawbacks, Manfrotto Befree got the last place on our list.
Best Budget Tripods for Photography in 2020
1. Joby GorillaPod 325
- Evolved: New stainless steel reinforced ball head with 90° tilt is perfect for shooting in portrait or landscape mode for FaceTime, livestreaming and selfies
- Flexible: Wrappable legs wrap around objects for unlimited angles and precise composition control
- Versatile: Mount point-and-shoot cameras, lighting, microphone, Pico projector, speaker, any device weighing up to 325 grams with a ¼"-20 tripod mount or smartphone using JOBY GripTight mount
Joby GorillaPod 325 comes with some decent features, we get a perfect tripod for a lot less money. It comes with 3 tiny legs that are completely bendable, meaning that you can attach it everywhere you want. You can twist the legs to grab onto bar, tree, or anything that’s thin enough. The rubber pads at the bottom ensure that the tripod is stable and since it’s only 52g heavy, you won’t even notice that you have it!
The supported weight of 325g isn’t anything impressive. However, it’s great for tight spaces, as well as compact camera systems.
2. Manfrotto Mini Pixi
- Mini tripod for Compact System Cameras
- Comfortable handgrip to capture great videos
- Push button locking mechanism for easy setup
Manfrotto has its roots even in the budget segment. Just a minute ago, we reviewed an amazing Manfrotto tripod and believe me – you’re in for a treat with this one! A small and lightweight tripod such as this one is great for compact cameras and even small DSLRs. Despite its lack of size, the stability is great although we don’t have quality rubber paddings at the bottom. The weight of 230g is still on the lighter side of the spectrum and it even supports 650g of weight.
3. Regetek Travel Camera Tripod
- Regetek Professional Camera Tripod RG233: Adjustable Center Column Converts to 3-Section 22"-64" Tripod. 2.75 lbs Net weight; 8.8 lbs Load Capacity. Foldable Feature for Travel.
- 3-Way Flexible Pan and Tilt Head: Provide 360° Rotation Panoramas; Built-in Bubble View Levels.
- Quick-Release Plate with Standard 1/4”-20 Screw Mount Compatible for all DSLRs, Digital Cameras, Mirrorless Camera, Lenses, most Camcorders, GoPro devices, Binocular, Telescopes.
This tripod aims to give you an experience of your life, all while not depleting your wallet. We still have a great aluminum construction and the build quality is exceptional. Of course, for the price. Since it’s made of metal, it weighs around 1200 g. Luckily, if you buy this tripod, you get a basic bag for carrying it around.
Regetek is definitely a manufacturer with a bright future. You get everything you need and the tripod even supports heavy DSLRs. Isn’t that wonderful?
4. Slik Sprint Pro II GM
- Aluminum-Alloy Legs, Flip Locks, Rubber Feet
- 3-Position Leg Angle Locks
- Reversible, Multi-Section Rapid Column
This tripod is a lot cheaper than some high-end tripods out there, earning the spot on this list with no hassle. The highlight of this tripod is its extended height of 161.5cm, being able to go head-to-head with the more expensive counterparts. The supported weight of 2kg is still a tiny letdown and is a bit odd, as tripod weighs around 940g. If you want a tripod that feels professional and costs much less, here’s what you should buy.
Oh, a thin bag is also included.
How to Buy the Right Tripod?
Buying a tripod is harder than buying bread in the supermarket. Before rushing out and ordering a new tripod, here’s what you should think about:
Build quality is of the utmost importance, at least for me. While aluminum weighs more and aluminum tripods are cheaper, carbon-fiber tripods are lightweight and more expensive. Sure, carbon-fiber tripods are a better option if you care about mitigating vibration. Aluminum tripods are better when it comes to stability.
The solution is simple. Want a lightweight tripod and don’t care about the price? Go for the carbon fiber. Care about the price? Go for the aluminum one.
Folded and Extended Length
A tripod’s folded and extended length can be either its best or worst feature. For those who like compact tripods, having a tripod with the short folded length is something that’s mandatory. However, if you want a tall tripod and don’t care about compactness, you should look for the maximum extended height. Either way, manufacturers rarely balance these two, so you’ll have to compromise according to your needs.
The most common number of leg sections is 4. However, we have tripods with 3 or 5 leg sections. A tripod with the larger number of sections will be shorter and it’s easier to fold it. In short, a larger number of sections imply that a tripod can be more portable. The downside is that the setup might last a little longer and the stability is compromised.
Having a choice of several different angles for each leg is very useful and comes in handy when working in tight areas. There are many tripods out there that don’t support the angular change for every leg, meaning that the flexibility is reduced. If you manage to find a tripod that can change angles for all legs, it will allow you to shoot from lower angles.
Feet padding is very important. It can either be rubber padding which works well with the surface you don’t want to damage. There are also metal spikes and their goal is to provide stability on the soft ground. The best case scenario is when a tripod has both rubber feet and metal paddings.
Two main types are implemented in tripods – flip locks and twist locks. While the twist locks work swiftly and allow you to unlock all the leg sections in a single movement, flip locks are much slower. Flip locks allow you to operate each leg section individually. This allows for more flexibility but drastically reduces the speed of the setup.