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Why Should You Buy A Video Tripod?
Any seasoned photographer will tell you exactly how important having a tripod is when taking videos. They will also tell you how much better an actual video tripod is when compared to a normal tripod. Sure, you can lock your camera onto a normal tripod and take a video, but it won’t take long before you realize how much an investment in a video tripod will pay off.
The thing is that video tripods are designed for taking videos. It’s difficult to capture motion and moving images while your camera is locked on a normal tripod. Trying to pan or tilt the camera can be an absolute nightmare. Even if you have the best standard tripod in the world, it’s still not designed in the same way a video tripod is. You need the head on your tripod to give you fluid movements so that you can adjust smoothly while minimizing jarring motions when recording video.
It’s also important to have a long control arm on the head of the tripod so that you can precisely control the pan. For your camera to stay balanced, almost every quality video tripod comes with a long top plate for maximum adjustments and full balance control. Many tripods even offer a counterbalance system that can be adjusted to better suit your needs.
In any case, today will try to uncover the best video tripod from a list of the very best on the market.
1. Manfrotto Travel Befree Live Aluminum Tripod
First on our list for today is the best video tripod for vloggers, YouTubers, and travel photographers. This video tripod has a unique design that allows for a front tilt of -90°/+65°. It’s ideal for people who are constantly on the move, as it sets up and tears down in just a few seconds. In fact, this tripod was designed specifically for performance while traveling. It’s built from aluminum, making it super lightweight, and it uses a specialized m-lock twist-lock system to give you the quickest and most secure operation.
If you want super smooth footage while traveling, this is the video tripod for you. It has a fluid video head for maximum maneuverability, and it even utilizes a side pull selector for simple set up. Even though this is one of the cheaper base models, it still offers a great balance of weight, and it can be packed down small to fit into your luggage. And if all that’s not quite enough, there are more expensive versions available built from carbon fiber.
- Highly affordable
- Quick to set up & take down
- Lightweight aluminum
- 3 leg sections
- Maximum extended height of 151cm
- No adjustment for pan & tilt drag
- No adjustment for counterbalance
- Small payload of 4kg
2. Manfrotto Professional Fluid Video System Tripod
Another great video tripod from Manfrotto, the Professional Fluid Video System Tripod is a huge step up from any of the budget models. This baby costs close to $1,000, but it is designed for serious videographers who can’t suffer a single flaw or product malfunction. The tripod comes included with a carrying bag, it has carbon fiber legs that give full stability with surprising lightness, and you get fluid panning and tilting with the video head. But don’t take our word for it. This expensive video tripod has over 1,000 positive reviews online from satisfied customers. And that is saying a lot for such an expensive piece of equipment.
The only bummer with this unit is that the counterbalance cannot be adjusted. However, the pan and tilt are both super simple to dial in because of the large adjusters. You get a smooth, perfectly controlled movement, and the head even comes with two 3/8” threaded connectors so that you can attach a variety of different accessory arms directly onto the head. The carbon fiber legs can be positioned at three different angles for even more versatility. Plus, the maximum extended height is extremely impressive at 185cm. And because the build is carbon fiber, this entire tripod only weighs about 6.6kg.
- Shockingly tall w/ height of 185cm
- 75mm ball head
- Superior quality & performance
- Simple adjustments
- Carbon fiber & durable
- Counterbalance is fixed
- Not very compact
- Seriously expensive
3. Neewer 2-in-1 Aluminum Video Tripod/Monopod
The Neewer 2-in-1 Tripod/Monopod delivers the best of both worlds. This is one of the most versatile and durable tripod/monopod combinations that you can get for under $100. This is an extreme budget unit that still works great. You can convert it from a monopod to a tripod, but it can do so much more than that. The entire system is constructed from an aluminum alloy to be solid and reliable with effective shock absorption. The material is also resistant to corrosion, making it great for all-weather use. It comes with a maximum height of approximately 180 centimeters, and you can even invert the center axis to get the best low-shooting angles.
For taking videos, this tripod is surprisingly effective. It comes with a quick shoe plate, it’s practical and adjustable, and it compacts nicely for storage. The entire system only weighs 3.17 pounds, making it ideal for portable use. It has dual convertible mounting screws that can be fit for all kinds of video shooting. It has a bubble level for finding the best balance and ensuring all your videos are accurate. And finally, the tripod is equipped with a pro fluid drag pan head. It supports different shooting angles, 360 degrees horizontally, and -70/90 vertically.
- Durable & lightweight
- Monopod/tripod combination
- Less than $100
- Ideal for travel w/ easy storage
- Professional fluid drag pan head
- A little heavier than expected
- Tripod legs don’t lock
- The monopod isn’t great for video
4. Cayer BV30L Video Tripod System
Welcome to one of the most useful video tripods on the market. And the best news is that this piece of equipment is cheaper than you might think. It costs less than $200 and comes with loads of advanced features for video recording in lots of different environments. The tripod supports 13.2 pounds, and it has a height range of up to 182cm. If you’re shooting with a DSLR camera, this is definitely the best budget tripod as it’s specially designed to work with interchangeable lens cameras and DSLRs. The BV30L Video Tripod System even comes featured with locking rubber buckles, a built-in 75mm bowl, and a mid-level spreader to provide increased stability by keeping the legs in a locked position.
The fluid head is excellent for videos, and it even comes included with a preset counterbalance. You get 360 degrees of panning with -70/90 tilt. And you even get an integrated flat base, which helps the head be more versatile. If you want a quality tripod for video recording without going over budget (or under budget), we highly recommend this unit from Cayer.
- Mid-grade tripod for various uses
- Locking rubber buckles
- Heavy 13.2-pound loading capacity
- Full range of tilt and panning
- Designed especially for DSLR cameras
- Maximum load capacity feels unstable
- Less stable at full height
- Better for amateur videographers or hobbyists
5. Geekoto Heavy Duty Video Tripod System
The Geekoto Heavy Duty Video Tripod System is exactly how it sounds – heavy duty! This is a definitive boost to your videography no matter which way you slice it. The tripod is designed to be extremely tough, allowing you to use it outside in harsh conditions. The tripod is stable, it gives you a superb amount of length, and it is always comfortable to use no matter what position you have it in. The horizontal pan rotates 360 degrees, the legs and pan are simple to adjust, and this is one of the better tripods to use at high altitudes. Yes, even when shooting videos, you can count on this tripod in rainy weather, in tough winds, and any other harsh conditions.
The tripod comes included with a duffel bag for transport, which even feels like a real duffel bag rather than a cheap bag you get with other tripods. Geekoto really went out of their way to make a quality product with this one. It may cost a bit more than some of the other budget items, but it’s well worth the 30 or so extra dollars for such a boost in quality. You get the standard fluid head features, the tripod is included with quick release plates, and one of the biggest bonuses is a huge support capacity of 33 pounds. This allows you to use a professional camera without any stress about overdoing the load capacity.
- Fabulous reviews & great quality
- Quick-release plates
- Highly stable
- Massive loading capacity of 33 pounds
- Ideal for outdoor shooting
- A little heavy
- Could be more compact
- Legs don’t move independently
The Best Video Tripod: Final Thoughts
It is certainly difficult to pick out the best from the best. When shopping for a new video tripod, try to keep in mind what you’re using the video tripod for. Casual video recording, creating YouTube videos, vlogging, making indie films, and capturing nature videos are each unique in their own ways, and you will benefit differently from different tripods.
For example, the Manfrotto Travel Befree Live Aluminum Tripod is an excellent option for casual vloggers looking to travel with their tripod. It’s cheap, lightweight, and has all the standard features to capture crisp videos.
But if you are doing some serious filmmaking, you will probably prefer the Manfrotto Professional Fluid Video System Tripod. It costs way more money, but it offers way more in terms of performance. As with anything that has to do with cameras, the more it costs, the better it will perform.
The biggest difference is that vloggers and YouTubers may be using small, mirrorless cameras, whereas indie filmmakers probably have a much larger camera setup to work with. This means a bigger budget, bigger pieces of equipment, and a more expensive video tripod. Know where you’re at in the game and it will be easy to pick a video tripod.
As a secondary note, if you don’t feel comfortable with the massive price tag on some of these video tripods, you probably don’t need one. You might want to check out normal tripods, which can still work great for taking normal videos. They are significantly cheaper than all the models on today’s list.
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