Photography and video production is a skill, art and science all in one. There are many facets to this expert profession, yet one of the most crucial is rigging your camera. Tripods for DSLR cameras are the most basic rigs available. And as simple as a tripod appears, it can take some time to master the correct usage of such a device. It would be best if you considered the following:
- Tripod payload constraints
- Height adjustments
- Viewfinder Panning
Not all tripods are made equally. Yet it isn’t necessary to purchase the best one you can find. In fact, you will probably waste money if you do so since expensive DSLR tripods may not accommodate your beginner camera.
Why You Need a Cheap DSLR Camera Tripod
As you learn your craft in DSLR photography, it isn’t necessary to go out and buy the most expensive tripod available. And they can get pricey. While learning how to use a tripod and your camera effectively, budget options are available to meet your requirements. And as expensive as a tripod can get, there are some surprising features of cheaper models.
The cost of a camera tripod varies, and you can pick up an entry-level tripod such as the AmazonBasics 60″ Lightweight Tripod to suit your entry-level DSLR for less than £25. A bargain, you can agree. Learning how to use a tripod effectively is part of vlogging equipment 101. As such, tripod mounting is a skill in and of itself. As with most skills, there is no right way or wrong way. Yet, you will develop your technique as you learn.
What to Look For in a DSLR Tripod
The intricacies of a tripod almost equal the camera itself. Therefore, there are superb and inadequate models available. A good model tripod offers unique benefits over others depending on what you need. However, it would help if you remembered that affordable tripods are designed to accommodate affordable equipment. Therefore, an expensive DSLR might not benefit from a cheaper model tripod not designed for such a camera and vice versa.
Be Aware of Weight
With that out of the way, you should know some things when deciding on a tripod. First, you need to consider your tripod’s payload. In short, this is the maximum weight it can accommodate before it becomes unstable. Professional cameras are heavy and require professional tripods. But for your purposes, an entry-level DSLR should be fine with a minimum payload tripod. However, the extra weight will be added by lenses and flashes.
Consider the Height
Next, consider the height of the tripod. Many budget tripods are smaller to keep the price down. Yet, if you are a tall person, you will hurt your back from constantly bending over to view your DSLR screen and positioning your viewfinder. Budget tripod heights range between 3ft and 5ft, so carefully consider the height before making a purchase as you may need to buy another one. Yet some, like the K&F Concept 62″ DSLR Tripod, are fully adjustable for low angle shots, and the centre column is removable for monopod conversion.
Decide on Stationary or Moving Shots
Finally, as a vlogger, your tripod may require a video head for better positioning. A tripod video head caters to the fluid movement of the device when recording. This is useful when recording moving scenes such as someone running, panning across a beautiful landscape of animal migration. Yet, if you generally shoot stationary shots, a standard ball head might be a better option. The Vanguard Veo 2 Go 265HCBM ball head is removable for 91° portrait and 360° pictures.
How a DSLR Tripod Benefits Your Production
Of course, the primary reason for using a good quality tripod that accommodates your height and weight requirements without breaking the bank is to improve your production quality. Many vloggers use a monopole when starting out. This is because they are relatively cheap and mobile. Yet as you become more serious about video production, your equipment repertoire will expand. As such will your talents. However, audience expectations will also increase.
Like using professional audio equipment such as a DeadCat for minimising the impact of wind on an audio track, video tracks require increased finesse. A shaky camera from inexperienced monopod handling will make your videos look very amateur. On the other hand, a correctly adjusted, stationary and well-positioned camera on a suitable tripod makes a huge difference to the look and feel of your video production.
ZETONG Phone Tripod
The ZETONG phone tripod is a lightweight aluminium tripod perfect for video creators who utilise their phones. With phone cameras being so powerful, we recommend this tripod for those looking to shoot travel vlogs, sport videos, or home cooking videos that arise our tastebuds.
Amazon Basics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod
Another cheap option is the Amazon Basics 60-inch tripod which is made out of metal and includes a pan head. The tripod itself is excellent for travel due to its size. It weighs just under 2 kilos and can be utilised with most basic DSLR cameras. However, if you want to shoot with a heavy camera and lens, we’d recommend opting for something sturdier and of higher quality.
Victiv 72-inch Camera Tripod
The Victic is an excellent alternative to the two above for creators looking for more positive performance. Like the Amazon Basics tripod, it weighs under two kilos and has an even better body chassis that can hold slightly heavier cameras. Moreover, it can also be converted into a monopod, making it an excellent option for tight spaces or specific scenes that require that. Lastly, it comes in three colours: red, blue, and black. It has a 360-degree rotation available for easier day-to-day shooting.
Neewer Portable 70-inch Tripod
Neewer is a known brand for semi-pros and for those looking to take scenic photos and quality videos. Its aluminium chassis and swivel pan head make it a great option for those looking to have 360 panning on their videos. Furthermore, like the Victiv, it can be converted into a monopod simply by losing the knob and pulling out the centre column.
Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN-BK Compact Aluminium Tripod
Our favourite choice by far is by the Italian brand Manfrotto, known for quality tripods that are trusted by thousands of top-level professionals. Manfrotto delivers well with this tripod, making it affordable and perfect for entry-level DSLR cameras that require a quality built tripod to support them in filming times. Besides, if you are shooting with a higher specification camera, you can simply use the special adaptor with the tripod.