If you are looking to up your photography or videography game, you need the right accessories to get the best end results – perfectly steady footage. Whether it is a landscape shop, wildlife footage or a family event, it pays to have a tripod handy to keep the camera steady and at the right height to capture the best footage.
A camera tripod does not need to cost a massive amount, a sub £50/$65 camera tripod will be good enough for a majority of situations. Unless you consider yourself above an amateur level or even semi-amateur, there is no need to splash the cash on a massive tripod.
What to look for in a tripod?
The choice of tripods can be overwhelming and the specifications confusing. Let’s keep it simple by breaking up the key factors in buying a camera tripod.
- Maximum camera weight capacity (weight rating)
- Maximum and minimum height
- Tripod construction materials and tripod weight
- Tripod head and mounting
Maximum camera weight capacity (weight rating)
If you have a large DSLR camera, you need to consider the maximum weight the tripod can safely handle. Remember, the tripod may be on unsteady ground, you don’t want it to topple over. Also, the camera weight must be within limits of the camera mounting head to keep it steady.
Maximum and minimum height
If you are very tall or average height, you must ensure that you have a tripod you can use properly with your camera mounted to actually see through the viewfinder or watch the screen. Having an undersized tripod will mean having to bend down for what could be long periods, this could lead to unnecessary back pain.
Tripod construction materials and tripod weight
It’s no fun having to lug around a massive tripod, and camera, and batteries and so on. If the usage requirements allow, go for a good quality, lightweight tripod. If you have large or heavy video equipment, you may need a heavier stainless steel tripod.
Carbon fibre tripods are the lightest tripods, they don’t rust and are very durable, The next material to consider is aluminium tripods, these are cheaper and also very light. Aluminium tripods are the most popular because aluminium is cheaper to manufacture.
Good quality tripods vary in weight, most are 1.5KG plus. The materials make a difference here, carbon fibre and aluminium will be light, steel will be a lot heavier. The ideal weight depends on how much you can manage to carry comfortably, especially if you plan to take the tripod outdoors. There is no reason to buy a massive bulky tripod, leave it at home and never use it.
Tripod head and mounting
Adjusting the tripod and the quality and variety of the mechanics is very important. All tripods should offer a 3 way 360 degrees swivel pan head with an arm to adjust, preferably locking arm. The mounting head should be detachable which is beneficial for quick release. Rubber coating on the mounting head is essential to prevent marking on your expensive camera equipment.
Recommended camera tripods for under £50/$65
So which tripods are recommended that won’t break the bank? The following tripod selection has been carefully choses from many tripods available. Taking into consideration the points raised, user reviews and user experience, I hope you find these to meet and exceed your expectations.
This is a fabulous 2-in-1 tripod and monopod. The tripod is both lightweight and practical, sturdy construction, good load capacity of 4kg, good securing options and adjusting features.
The stated maximum load is 4kg or 8.8 pounds, this should accommodate most medium or large cameras with ease. The primary construction is aluminium allow, sturdy and lightweight, suitable for portable usage, the tripod weighs only 1.8kg, about 4 pounds. There is an added bonus of a free storage bag for easy transporting.
The tripod offers a unique feature that not all tripods have, the middle leg can be secured to the ground using the fitted hook. Not useful to everyone but something unique.
The camera tripod height ranges from 53cm to 177cm, quite a large range. The legs are adjustable and all have locks for various positions and securing. The mounting head is full 180 degrees tilt, 360 degrees swivel and 3 direction pan, adjustable with a lockable handle. The feet are non-slip, this ensures safe standing on tiles, wooden flooring etc. The camera head mounting is standard universal fitting for all cameras with tripod mounting holes.
A unique feature is the ability to remove the middle section and use as a monopod for quick capturing of wildlife, for example, the mounting head remains fitted for easy adjustment whilst taking the shot.
Overall the camera tripod has a good solid feel, gives a good user experience and is priced well making it great value for money.
This camera tripod is on the top end of the £50/$65 budget but is it worth it?
The maximum load capacity is 5kg, about 11 pounds. This is more than enough for even the larger DSLR cameras available.
The tripod has a quick release mounting plate and full 360 degree panning. Because of the pistol grip design, the camera can be locked to almost any position, including 90-degree angle. The tripod is supplied with 2 quick release 1/4″ mounting plates, ideal for multi camera use and quick changes.
The tripod has non-slip rubber feet, useful for slippery surfaces, the rubber feet can be removed exposing metal spikes, ideal for outdoor shots on rugged terrain.
The camera height ranges from 81cm, to 177cm, the overall weight is a reasonably hefty 3.7kg or 8.15 pounds. The central column is removable for use as a monopod.
Due to the weight, the camera tripod is ideal for outdoor use in windy conditions, it provides a steady platform for your camera – the downside is the extra weight this entails.
This is a great indoor and outdoor camera tripod, very highly rated for its sturdiness and overall quality.
The Albott camera tripod is another good quality 2-in1 tripod with a good set of features for a reasonable price.
The maximum load capacity is 4kg or 8.8 pounds, this should accommodate most medium or large cameras with ease. The construction is aluminium, making this sturdy and lightweight, suitable for portable usage. The tripod weight is 1.5kg about 3.3 pounds – one of the lightest featured. There is an added bonus of a free storage bag for easy transporting and packing.
The camera tripod height ranges from 54cm to 179cm, quite a large range. The legs are adjustable with locks to secure into various positions. The mounting head is full 180 degrees tilt, 360 degrees swivel and 3 direction pan, adjustable with a lockable handle. The feet are non-slip, this ensures safe standing on tiles, wooden flooring etc. The camera head mounting is standard universal 1/4″ screw fitting for all cameras with tripod mounting holes.
A unique feature is the ability to remove the middle section and use as a monopod for quick shots. The monopod is also extendable from 45cm to 165cm – very impressive.
Overall the camera tripod is lightweight and portable, has a great monopod and good locking features.