If you are reading this, you are probably tired of propping your camera against a stack of books to film yourself. This is why you are considering getting yourself a proper tripod.
Tripods may seem like a simple concept, and you may think that they are all the same, but there are some key variations between brands and models. These simple variations will make all the difference to your filming experience, depending on your preferences.
Below are comprehensive reviews and a buying guide on some of the best video tripod options currently on the market to choose one that will be perfect for you.
10 Best Video Tripods
Let us now look at the detailed reviews of some of the top video tripods available.
1. Manfrotto MVH500AH 755CX3
Manfrotto's lightweight MVH500AH video tripod system includes a fluid video head (with a flat base) and their 755CX3 carbon fiber video tripod. The video head is lightweight with a wide platform for easy mounting of larger cameras such as HDSLR's.
Its sliding plate can balance some of the newer models of lens cameras perfectly. This tripod makes sure that you can get good control and seamless shots while supporting up to 11 pounds of weight in terms of equipment.
Still, this is one of the most compact heads in the brand's line up of similar tripods. Its professional-level fluid cartridges on the tilt and pan axes ensure the smooth movement of your camera while giving you all the control and precision you need.
This tripod's side lock mechanism helps the camera and QR plate click into place quickly without you needing to make any adjustments. The legs use lever locks, which are also efficient because you can adjust their tension accordingly.
The tripod is about 28.7 inches in length when not extended, while its extended length is 68.1 inches.
Manfrotto MVH500AH 755CX3
2. Neewer Professional Heavy Duty Video Tripod
Our next contender is Neewer's Professional video tripod, which has an attractive and sturdy all-metal body. It is durable and has great shock absorption abilities and resistance to heat and sound.
This tripod is super easy to adjust and disassemble when you are done. It is also suitable with most of the standard camera and camcorder brands. You can change the height of this from 35.8 inches to 77 inches. And you can fold it down to about 38.2 inches when carrying.
What's more, you can easily find precise balance with this tripod (of all other tripods) so that your footage is not tilted. The bubble level indicates how fully vertical (-70° to 90°) or horizontal (360°).
The tripod's anti-skid grip can be tuned between 15.7 to 23.6 inches, making for a more stable video shooting experience. As with most video and photo tripods, this one also has 3 legs, which can be adjusted as you need so that you can set your camera up evenly, no matter how uneven the surface is.
Neewer Professional Heavy Duty Video Tripod
3. Manfrotto Travel Befree Live Aluminium Tripod
Next up is Manfrotto's Travel Befree aluminum tripod for videographers and vloggers. It is a super lightweight product that is ergonomic and easy to carry with you anywhere. This one can support a lot of weight while itself being pretty light.
You can use this with DSLRs, camcorders, compact camera systems, and video cameras as long as they weigh below 8.9 pounds. The video tripod head is also super easy to get used to.
It has a strong core with its three legs to make filming more stable; you can use the ⅛" Easy Link attachment to mount different accessories and use the angle selector to pick from 3 angles instead of the usual 2.
The best feature of this video tripod is its reverse foldable legs. This makes it portable, adding to its feature of being lightweight. It also comes with a carrying bag, so there is no need to stuff it into your carrier. This tripod offers fluid movements when panning and tilting for seamless filming.
And its leveling ball-shaped joint ensures level alignment no matter how uneven the surface underneath it is. Also, the locks on the legs of this tripod are of the twisting orientation rather than the locking orientation.
Manfrotto Travel Befree Live Aluminium Tripod
4. Benro S2 Single Leg Carbon Fiber Video Tripod Kit
This Benro Tripod comes in two material options: aluminum tripod and carbon fiber tripod. It is one of the only carbon fiber tripods reviewed on this list. We will be discussing the latter option in this review. It also includes stainless steel besides the carbon fiber and weighs 3.8 pounds only.
The model is called an S2 as it has a two-way compact head and 3 tube legs. These legs employ a flip locking system, which is a quick locking process. The tripod head has a quick release plate mechanism that makes mounting and dismounting your device a simple process.
You can use the screw-in rubber feet with the tripod's legs, or you can opt for the stainless steel spiked legs when you are on uneven ground and need the support and stability for your video camera. It also has carbon fiber legs, which are sturdy in tough situations.
Moreover, this is the perfect lightweight and versatile tripod systems option if you are filming outdoors. It is foldable and can be balanced easily no matter what the floor situation is.
Benro S2 Single Leg Carbon Fiber Video Tripod Kit
5. Vanguard VEO 2 235AP Aluminum Tripod
Vanguard's VEO 235AP tripod is a portable grey aluminum tripod that weighs only 3 pounds but can support weights of up to 7.7 pounds, which is more than double its weight. That should tell you about how stable and sturdy this travel-friendly tripod head is. That's why it's one of the best video tripods out there.
Including the central column and the three legs, you can set this up within 15 seconds no matter where you are. It has a 2-way pan head and 2 knobs that are independent of each other to lock and pan the camera. You can also use the nifty quick-fold handle to pack it up efficiently.
The tripod's legs can be positioned at 3 different angles: 80°, 45°, and 20°. This allows you to place your camera properly, even on wild terrains. One of the legs also has a non-slip and all-weather appropriate handgrip for extra stability.
Each leg is separated into 5 sections whose lengths you can adjust as you need and lock them into place by twisting. The tripod's height is 15.75 inches when folded and 56.75 when it is extended.
Vanguard VEO 2 235AP Aluminum Tripod
6. Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid VideoHead with MT190X3 Tripod
This is one of the tripod systems from Manfrotto that come with a tripod head and photo legs so that you can save a lot of time. Its dual-easy links are ⅜" connection systems that make it a breeze to attach monitors, accessories, etc.
The lightweight heads have a flat base, making it easy to mount CSC, HDSLR, and video cameras for shooting lengthy video footage. All in all, the tripod weighs below 6 pounds.
Your camera movements will be seamless, precise, and smooth thanks to the fluid cartridges on the tripod video heads' tilt and pan axes. This tripod will ensure that there is no shakiness in your footage and help you get professional results.
The tripod's legs are relatively quick and easy to adjust because of its Quick Power Lock levers. The heads, too, have sliding plates that make setting up and connecting your camera super-efficient.
Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid VideoHead with MT190X3 Tripod
7. Velbon DV-7000N Video Tripod
The Velbon DV-7000N Video Tripod is a 3-section and 2-stage aluminum tripod that can support cameras of weights of up to 13.2 pounds. Its signature PH-368 Vel-Flo 9 fluid head has adjustable controls for panning and tilting and has separate locks for panning and tilting.
This is one of the brand's tripods with a quick-release plate that allows for fast attachment and detachment of your camera to make for efficient filming. The head itself has 3-section centrally braced aluminum alloy legs supporting it.
At the topmost part of each tripod leg, the diameter is a good 1.14 inches, which offers great stability, especially in lower angle settings. The tripod can be extended up to 63.98 inches when the central column is fully extended. And it has a minimum working height of 22.36 inches.
For purposes of easy storage, the tripod can be folded down to be only 27.6 inches. Thanks to the tripod legs' non-sliding rubber feet, you can use it on virtually any type of terrain or flooring.
Velbon DV-7000N Video Tripod
8. Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video System
Another contender from Manfrotto is this black aluminum fluid video system. It can support a maximum weight of 8.8 pounds. And it uses a 75mm ball, which makes for quick adjustment when mounting equipment. The middle spreader also increases stability since this is a larger photo tripod than others on the list.
While it is meant for use with HDSLR, video cameras, and interchangeable lens cameras, you can also use this with smartphones that employ iOS 9 or higher and Android 5.0 or higher.
The head of this tripod can deliver panning and tilting, which is precise and smooth. It also provides pro-level filmmakers features like variable fluidity and a setting for a counterbalance system that matches the camera's weight or other equipment being used.
This is one of those tripods that come with a padded carriage bag. It has a closed length of 32.6 inches and a maximum length of 66.1 inches. The minimum height you can get out of this is 17.3 inches.
Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video System
9. Velbon Ultra 455 Tripod with PHG-40D Panhead
This Velbon Ultra 455 tripod has a maximum height of 162 cm and a minimum height of 21 cm. It only weighs about 1.4 kg and has 5 segments on each of its legs.
The legs of this tripod employ a twisting lock system to be locked into a certain height. You can use equipment as heavy as 2.5 kg with this tripod. It essentially has 4 legs, including the central one, which you can use as a sturdy hand grip, as is done with most tripods.
For this particular tripod, the panning and tilting actions are both quite flawless, and you need not do much in that sector during your editing. The twist-lock legs end in a blunt point, which can easily grip any surface that it is placed on. It also has a minimal design with all black accents and rounded tripod legs.
And this is truly one of the perfect video tripods to travel around with because of how lightweight it is and how low its minimum height can be.
Velbon Ultra 455 Tripod with PHG-40D Panhead
10. Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Travel Tripod
Last up, we have the Vanguard VEO traveling tripod that helps pro photographers achieve the right balance between a lightweight and stable tripod kit. This one has a fully-featured ball head, too. Once you get the center column in place, you can connect your camera to the tripod and get on with your filming.
The tripod has 23 mm legs, which, along with the innovative leg locking mechanism, is sturdy enough to support heavier cameras such as HDSLR's, video cameras, and Pro-DSLRS, even if they have grips or long lenses attached to them.
Even people using standard DSLR cameras will find using such video tripods a breeze. The sturdy ball head has a plate that is Arca Swiss compatible and that you can attach your camera to super quickly. As for the release process, that is also equally efficient.
Moreover, the most dynamic part of this tripod is that you can switch the leg ends between rubber and spikes, depending on the terrain.
Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Travel Tripod
How to Choose the Best Video Tripod
Here are some specific features you should be on the lookout for when shopping for video tripods, regardless of the brand.
The locking orientation of your tripod is the system of locking the legs at a certain height. There are generally two locking mechanisms for video camera tripods: twisting and lever.
With the twisting mechanism, the joints of a tripod leg's different segments are surrounded by a cover that can be twisted to tighten or loosen it. So when extending the leg, you turn the cover one way to loosen the joint and set it at a height you want. Then you twist it tightly so that the height is secure in place.
Now, this process can, of course, be a bit time-consuming, especially during a timed shoot where you are counting the hours. That is where a lever system of locking can come in handy. The lever sits at the intersection between the different segmented tubes of the tripod leg.
You can flip it one way or the other to release or lock it, respectively. Just extend or retreat the leg as much as you need and then flip the lever.
This mechanism is certainly quicker and is just as secure as the twisting mechanism of locking. The only issue can be that the lever screws might need to be tightened once in a while in order to keep it working correctly.
Another essential feature in a video tripod is its accuracy of horizontal and vertical alignment. In a perfect tripod, there should be a bubble level or an alternative indicator to let the user know whether they have positioned the camera strictly vertically/horizontally or not.
Being able to know that your lens is aligned perfectly makes all the difference in the final footage.
This will ensure that the tilting and panning of your camera are seamless and positioned in a way that is artistically pleasing. It will also save you a ton of time editing the footage later on since the angle will be perfect from the beginning with the raw footage itself.
Most video tripods will use a bubble level, which is essentially a transparent tablet with horizontal and vertical markings, plus a colored liquid inside that helps you see how well your camera plate is aligned at the moment before you start filming.
Weight Supporting Capacity
A common misconception is that the heavier a tripod is, the more weight it will support. That is, if a tripod is heavier, then that means it will be able to work better with a heavy camera than a lighter tripod would be able to do.
This is simply not true. Even in the reviews above, there are video tripods that can easily support camera equipment more than twice their weight. And luckily for customers, manufacturers will almost always list a video tripod's weight supporting capacity.
Making sure you get a tripod that you know will support your camera's weight is crucial. There is no point in buying the tripod otherwise. And for good measure, try to get a tripod that supports more than your current camera's weight since you never know which camera you will move onto next.
So, if your new camera is heavier than your old one, you can avoid buying a new tripod.
The best video tripod will be one that can help you film with the same consistent quality no matter where you are located. And the footage needs to be smooth with flawless panning and tilting.
All of the video tripods reviewed above can give you these features, so just go with the one that best suits your requirements!