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Best Tripods For Photography

With so much choice now out there, finding the right tripod for you can be tricky so we've put a guide together, with our top recommendations, so you can make a more informed decision before spending your hard-earned money.

| Cullmann Mundo 525M in Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports

Best Tripods For Photography:


If you're looking for a new tripod, there is a lot of choice on the market and it can be difficult to make an informed decision. With this in mind, we thought it might be helpful to look at several tripods and give you a verdict on each in one place. All of the tripods listed have been reviewed, tried and tested by the ePHOTOzine team so you can be reassured that the advice we're giving is from hands-on experience with each product. 


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This buyer's guide is also updated regularly with new tripods we've recently put to the test and we also remove any tripods that are no longer available for purchase so you won't waste your time looking online and in-store for them. Talking of shops, you'll notice green Amazon buttons throughout this article which won't cost you anything extra when you press them but by using our Amazon Affiliate links when ordering anything online, you are supporting the site - thank you. 

The tripods below are split into two sections: Small/Table Top tripods and Full-Size tripods so the guide is easier to navigate. We also have a guide on buying a travel tripod which tend to be lighter, more compact and smaller so they fit in bags/cases. 


ePHOTOzine's Recommended Tripods: 


Smaller/Table Top Tripod

If you want something super compact that you can easily stow in a bag without weighing you down, then one of these is most likely to be your best option. They're tiny in comparison to full-size tripods and are ideal for shooting still life shots indoors when space is at a premium or for quick trips where you don't want to be weighed down with a full-size tripod. They're also ideal for smartphone users who may need a tripod for long exposures.


Benro 3XS Lite Gimbal 

Best Tripods For Photography: Benro 3XS Lite Gimbal


The Benro 3XS Lite is a feature-packed gimbal for your smartphone with a lot of features that will definitely help the videographer and blogger. It feels well-made and balanced in the hand and is responsive to movements and control commands. A little practice is needed to get the best out of the gimbal but once you've nailed it, you'll have a very useful companion accessory. We are happy to highly recommend it. 

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Miggo Splat 

Best Tripods For Photography: Miggo Splat DSLR And Compact Flexible Tripods

Overall, the Miggo Splat is an ideal compact, tabletop tripod that can easily be wrapped around branches, poles and hang from vertical objects giving you more options for alternative camera angles. It's really flexible and doesn't take up much space at all when packed into a bag or wrapped around the camera as an extra layer of protection when not in use. For those that want to place their camera on uneven surfaces but don't want to carry around a standard tripod, this provides a workable option. We are happy to recommend the product. 

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Cullmann SMARTpano 360CP 

Best Tripods For Photography: Cullmann SMARTpano 360CP


The Cullmann SMARTPano 360CP is a great investment for those that want to be able to achieve smooth panoramas, whether it be videos or images. There is a good amount of versatility to the functions of the mount and the fact that you can also trigger the smartphone to take an image through the remote is a nice touch. 

This kit is good because you can also use the metal tripod on its own, or the head at once, if you don't want to use both at the same time. 

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Velbon Ultra 353 Mini Q Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Velbon Ultra 353 Mini Q


The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini will be great for travellers thanks to its extremely compact size when folded down. It also expands to an impressive height and keeps its sturdiness, which is something other small tripods lose when fully extended.

It's easy to use thanks to being intuitively thought out and simple to operate. Materials used are of a really high standard. Any passionate amateur or someone looking for their first multi-use compact tripod shouldn't be disappointed. It's more expensive than alternative tripods on the market but has more features and has a premium feel for just under £100. Because of this, we are happy to recommend it. 

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Manfrotto Pixi Mini Table Top Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Manfrotto Pixi Mini Table Top Tripod

Features are fairly basic with a compact design, and limited ball head movement, and one extended leg position. Alternatively, Manfrotto says you can use the tripod closed as a handle for video. The button means that the head is either locked or unlocked with no real control over how tight the grip of the ball is. This can make handling a little awkward, as turning the camera the wrong way may lead to the camera coming unscrewed, rather than the desired movement.

The rubber feet provide a sturdy grip on nearly all surfaces, although the flatter the surface the better when out and about, and the compact size makes it very easy to take with you where-ever you go, with the tripod fitting in jeans pockets. Value for money is reasonable, although, with the previous model still available for a very similar price, we would recommend looking at that, although it is slightly larger. For anyone looking for a compact tripod for use with a compact system camera, the PIXI is a good option if you want something small and stylish.

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Ball Pod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Ball Pod Review


Overall, Ball Pod is a unique alternative to a tripod which is much more portable and stowable, especially when you are travelling light. It proved itself to be incredibly stable and versatile when used with an advanced compact camera, and is really easy to mould and position. Care needs to be taken to make sure that the pod is properly balanced before walking away from your camera to avoid any falls. It should serve you well if you're a casual shooter looking for more stability that precariously balancing your camera on a fence or wall when taking group images including yourself.  

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Full-Size Tripods

When you're heading out to photograph landscapes, or going on holiday or plan on capturing long exposure photos, a full-size tripod should be in your camera bag. These are bigger and more sturdy than tabletop tripods and are better equipt for the outdoors. 


3 Legged Thing Ray Tripod Kit 

Best Tripods For Photography: 3 Legged Thing Ray Tripod Kit


The Ray Tripod Kit from 3 Legged Thing has really grabbed our attention with its cool looks and even better performance. It has all of the premium qualities and robustness you expect from a 'full-size' tripod without the bulk or expense and it also converts into a tabletop tripod or monopod, too, which means you're getting three tripods for the price of one. 

The Airhed VU is a lovely addition to the tripod, as are the Vanz feet (sold separately), but the tripod on its own is also a great buy. 

Overall, Ray is a quality bit of kit that's well-made, looks great and does exactly what it's designed to do. It also looks really cool and doesn't cost the earth when compared with other premium tripods which makes it easy to recommend. In fact, have an 'Editor's Choice' award Ray. 

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3 Legged Thing Mike Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: 3 Legged Thing Mike Tripod With AirHed Cine Arca Swiss Head

There aren't a lot of fully hybrid tripods on the market, at least not which have got the balance between the disciplines so right. The tripod weighs a little more than you'd expect for a stills tripod, but for its size, it's not too bad, and it's considerably lighter than other video tripods. 

For enthusiasts and professionals that practice both video and stills work, this tripod could be a saving grace and a breath of fresh air in terms of the features that it brings to the table. If you're looking for a more compact version, consider the Jay, a companion model in the Legends range. 

Extremely well built, and packing quality as well as useful versatility, it doesn't come cheap but once you have it, Mike could be your tripod for life.

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Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB Tripod


Vanguard wanted to deliver quality and precise engineering with the VEO 3+ Series and they've certainly achieved this with the VEO 3+ 263CB which is a well-built and reassuringly sturdy carbon fibre tripod. The fact that it comes with the VEO BH-160 Arca Compatible Ball Head and Multi-Angle Central Column that can be used as a Multi-Mount for attaching additional kit gives it another big tick as does the fact that you can use a leg as a monopod, too. 

Yes, it's a big tripod that has some weight behind it but it's not designed to be a support that fits in a bag easily for travel so it was never going to compete in those areas. What you do get, though, is a Vanguard tripod that has all of the premium qualities and robustness you expect from a 'full-size' tripod and it looks great, too. 'Highly Recommended'. 

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Manfrotto Element MII Aluminium Blue Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Manfrotto Element MII Aluminium Blue


The Manfrotto Element MII Aluminium tripod is a fairly light and trendy offering with a basic ball head. 

The's a good rubber grip on one leg and the twist grip leg locks only require a slight twist to free the legs, making it quick to set up and put away. It packs away fairly neatly and the drawstring bag which it comes with means you can easily swing it over your shoulder.

It's a trendy offering with a price point that means it's a good option for young creators on a budget.

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Cullmann Rondo 460M RW20 Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Cullmann Rondo 460M RW20 Tripod


Overall, the Cullmann Rondo 460M RW20 is well-equipped for a budget tripod, featuring a trendy design, built-in monopod, and a robust build. If you're looking for a new tripod that's relatively light, won't break the bank and can be used in a variety of scenarios, this model will suit your needs perfectly. 

The 3-way pan head makes it easy to switch orientations without altering other elements of the setup, and the clip leg locks feel sturdy and secure. If you're on a tight budget you really can't go wrong with this tripod for the money. 

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Vanguard VEO 2GO 235AB 

Best Tripods For Photography: Vanguard VEO 2GO 235AB Tripod


The Vanguard VEO 2GO 235AB is a great offering for those that want a compact, sturdy base for mirrorless or small DSLR kit. The 4kg max load is modest, but fine for those that don't use heavy-duty bodies and lenses. 

This is an ideal tripod for enthusiasts and amateurs that want to head out for landscape shooting or close-up macro shooting pursuits thanks to its low-level shooting capability. You get a lot for your money, too, making it a great value option. 

It isn't the tallest tripod, but it does offer great ergonomics, easy-to-use knobs and twist locks, and super compatibility. Don't forget that its sister product, the VEO GO 34M shoulder bag, houses the tripod perfectly too. 

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3 Legged Thing Patti Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: 3 Legged Thing Patti Tripod


Overall, the Punks Patti is an easy to use tripod that has a lot of premium features for a not so premium price. Build quality is very good - sturdy, and the legs seem well damped.  

The max height is good and we loved the versatility of the centre column for shooting lower to the ground. Everything about 3 Legged Thing products is ergonomic, making the Patti easy to operate even when wearing gloves. One thing that we would have liked to see is a foam or rubber grip on one of the legs.

The tripod also offers great customisation options, with different feet available to purchase separately as well as heads. We are happy to highly recommend it. 

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Cullmann Mundo 525M Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Cullmann Mundo 525M Tripod


Overall, the Cullmann Mundo 525M is a highly versatile tripod that is easy to set up and is well made. The grippy twist-lock legs make setting it up a breeze, and the all aluminium build makes it feel like a premium product. The extra neoprene grip is a good addition for when the monopod is in use, and the built-in spirit levels are a great aid when setting up shot.  

Despite its size, the tripod folds up surprisingly compactly and would be carryable in a large backpack. 

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Velbon Ultra 455 Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Velbon Ultra 455 Tripod With PH-G40D Head


Overall, the Velbon Ultra 455 tripod will be a great purchase for those on a budget that want a step up from a basic tripod. With features commonly found on more expensive models, such as a smooth and well-damped pan head with a built-in spirit level and easy to operate twist-lock legs, there is no denying the value for money of this tripod. 

It's well made and compacts down to a really portable size, as well as being easily carried in its fabric bag. We are happy to highly recommend it. 

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Manfrotto 290 Dual / 290 Xtra Tripods 

Best Tripods For Photography: Manfrotto 290 Dual / Xtra Tripods


Overall, these tripods really are available at an amazing price for the quality and sturdiness you are getting. They might not have all the bells and whistles of a higher spec tripod, but they feature everything that an enthusiastic amateur who is looking for a step up from cheap, flimsy tripod would want. For those that are interested in macro photography then the 290 Dual will be indispensable for getting close to your subject, with a minimum height of 6.2 cm for the most intimate close-up shots. 

Manfrotto has found a gap in the market here, and quite a big one, which is the photographer on a budget that wants a good quality tripod that will last, and can also grow with the photographer, with the possibility of buying different heads for it as they progress. 

For someone looking to expand their kit as they delve further into the world of photography, without breaking the bank, these tripods are ideal. We are happy to highly recommend them.

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Slik PRO CF-834 Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Slik PRO CF-834 Tripod & SGH-300 Compact Gimbal Head


The Slik PRO CF-834 proves to be a sturdy base even when using a DSLR camera with a long lens. When combined with the SGH-300 gimbal head, it makes a great kit for those that will be shooting in one place for a while and tracking subjects. If you do a lot of moving around then you may well find it a little heavy - it falls into the remit of use for studio photography as well as outdoor pursuits. 

It's a good option for all-round use with occasional travel and is fast to set up and pack down. When combined with the Gimbal head you'll have yourself a high quality and well-damped setup which can be precisely positioned with ease.

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Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263CGHT Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263CGHT


Overall, if you're a professional photographer or just someone who likes a lot of versatility in their kit then this Vanguard Tripod is certainly going to fit the bill at a good price point. The extra leg angle compared with most tripods and the ability to tilt the centre column mean that the tripod can be set up for all sorts of applications including Astro and macro photography. 

The maximum height is impressive, as is the flexibility of the head allowing you to get just about any angle easily. It's perhaps not quite as sturdy as other tripods, in terms of the flexibility in the carbon fibre legs but everything else points to a quality, well-equipped model. The pistol grip trigger is unique, and for those that want this feature, there is very little alternative available. It is this versatility and reasonable price point that allow us to recommend it.

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Manfrotto BeFree 2N1 Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: Manfrotto BeFree 2N1 Tripod


The Manfrotto BeFree 2N1 sets itself apart from the competition by being the only one that makes the centre column a part of the monopod. This makes the transition from tripod to monopod easier when a camera is mounted, as you don't have to detach the ball head from the column. 

It's a well-priced tripod for the build quality and sturdiness it offers, not to mention the versatility. Manfrotto have done everything they can to make the tripod (or monopod) feel sturdy and secure by implementing clever screwing sections and collars. The rubber handgrip and rubber collar are nice touches, as well as the friction adjuster for the ball head. 

Anyone after a versatile tripod from a reputable brand can't go far wrong with this one.

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3 Legged Thing Punks Billy Tripod 

Best Tripods For Photography: 3 Legged Thing Punks Series Billy Carbon-Fibre Tripod


The 3 Legged Thing Billy tripod is a trendy, well built and versatile option that should make a fantastic choice for anyone looking to partake in a variety of photography genres. It's not the lightest tripod available, so some may find it a bit too heavy for longer treks but as an all-around tripod, it performs exceptionally well. 

It's priced really well for the amount of features that you get, and it is a really well-made tripod. The fact that there are different feet that you can interchange, the ability to turn the tripod into a monopod with the fully functional head and the amount of optional accessories available from 3 Legged Thing make the Billy tripod a very appealing buy. 

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Budget Tripod Options Not Reviewed By ePHOTOzine



To learn more about the tripods currently available, have a read of our reviews where you'll also find our verdicts on the latest cameras, lenses, bags and other accessories. We also have a round-up of photography basics and a guide to budget tripods that are well worth a peruse. 

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7 Oct 2020 11:43AM
I know they are heavy but why no Uni-Loc??.
6 May 2021 2:27AM
I was expecting more based on the heading. Tripods for what? What you mean is tripods for general use and shortish focal lengths. It is not a complete list. They may be fine for 200mm lenses or shorter. For prime lenses 500mm and over, none of the above would be a top choice.
All you need is one sentence which says: “We have not included tripods for use with lenses over 400mm.
Tripods are designed for specific tasks. For lenses like 400mm F2.8, 500mm F4, 600mm and 800mm there are a range of specialised tripods (with appropriate price tags). You should specify that this is a list for many but not all types of uses.

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