Whether you’re a professional or beginner photographer, chances are you’re interested in buying a camera tripod. Tripods are a very important piece of equipment, because when you shoot in low-light or unpredictable weather conditions, it’s extremely difficult to get a sharp shot. In these situations, a camera tripod is necessary. It allows photographers to produce high-quality and professional-looking shots anytime.
Not all tripods are created equal, however. Some are better suited for certain tasks. That’s why it’s beneficial to know about the different tripod options, so that you can make an educated decision on which choice is right. We’re here to make the decision process easier for you.
Once you understand what a tripod is, you might wonder how you should use one. A tripod is useful for a variety of purposes. It’s great for taking pictures that maintain a single frame and position. They basically eliminate the likelihood of blurry images and leave your photos or video looking sharper. A DSLR camera tripod can also serve as support for heavier camera gear.
In general, a tripod is most practical when photos are being taken in one position, since it can be a headache to move them around a lot. However, some tripods are easily collapsible and travel-friendly. To see video content produced with the use of tripods, check out some stock video footage.
You’ll want to take the different tripod parts into account before making your choice. Just about every photography tripod is made up of the following parts (from top to bottom):
- Release plate – the part that your camera sits on
- Clamp – keeps your camera in place, can be adjusted
- Head – topmost portion of the tripod
- Base Plate – a removable square that attached to the camera’s bottom
- Column Lock – a feature that fastens the head to the column
- Center Column – the adjustable pole that connects the head to the legs
- Tripod Base – connects column to legs and can provide extra stability
- Leg Pivot – the movable joint that joins the legs to the base
- Leg Locks – holds a section of the legs in place
- Legs – adjustable poles that provide a firm base for the tripod
- Feet – the bottom portion of the tripod that touches the ground
It’s important to note that although most tripods consist of these parts, they differ in how these components are structured and how they operate.
There are generally 3 different head types. Each one has its own set of advantages, and they’re well-suited for different purposes:
- Pan and tilt head – Consists of three knobs that can be twisted to change the position of the head. This feature is sometimes considered bulkier than other options.
- Ball head – Has a single lever that can be adjusted to position the head at almost any angle. They’re usually more compact compared to other types.
- Gimbal head – Attaches separately from the head and can support large lenses. Best for long-lens photography like wildlife in nature and sports.
Leg locks come in all sorts of sizes. Additionally, the legs themselves can be made of different materials:
- Wood – Eco-friendly, doesn’t heat up in hot environments and doesn’t corrode. It can be heavy and could splinter.
- Aluminum – Durable, light, and generally the cheapest option. It gets very hot and cold depending on weather conditions and can corrode.
- Carbon fiber – Does not corrode and is usually the most stable. Most expensive type.
Tabletop tripods are easy to move around, but they’re typically less stable than full-size standing tripods. Consider the height of a standing tripod, so that you’re not crouching over to look through the lens.
If you travel a lot, you’ll want a tripod that is easily collapsible, as opposed to one that’s bulky and difficult to fit in a case.
As with most items, you get what you pay for. A cheaper tripod might be appealing, but they’re usually more susceptible to breaking and will need to be replaced sooner. A more expensive tripod can be a good investment because it’ll be durable and probably last you a long time. Manfrotto manufactures tripods that are both affordable and durable, so you get the best of both worlds.
When considering which type of tripod to buy, the first question you should ask yourself is: what is my goal? Think about where you are taking your photos. Do you typically take images in calm and comfortable environments, or in areas with inclement weather and rough terrain? Will you be frequently transporting your tripod to photograph in different locations? Or will you generally be keeping it in one place, like inside a studio? How much are you willing to spend?
Don’t go into the tripod buying decision blindly. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type. After reading this article, you’re already well on your way to choosing the best tripod for your needs. Manfrotto sells a high-quality DSLR camera tripod excellent in many ways.
Buying the right tripod for shooting can make all the difference in the world. It can improve your photos and make your life as a photographer easier and more enjoyable. Have fun photographing!