Vector illustration of a video tripod

The Best Tripods for Video (2024)

This is a complete list of video tripods I use and trust for corporate video, broadcast television, ENG, houses of worship, sports, filmmaking, studios, and more.

Miller Solo 75

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The best overall tripod for most users.

Get Price at Adorama

For more than a decade the Miller Solo series has consistently and faithfully supported filmmakers, photographers, and videographers all over the globe.

When comparing all the tripods I've used in my 24‑year career, this one quickly stood out for the best quality for the price.

There are really no frills or innovations here - just a well made, simple, durable, and dependable tripod.

All in all, the Miller Solo lineup will be a great bang for the buck for a large majority of users and situations.

Want lighter carbon fiber legs with the same capability and the new Q‑Lock system for faster leg deployment? Check out the Miller Solo‑Q 75 2‑Stage Carbon Fiber Tripod.

Want even greater payload capacity, a taller maximum height, and a slightly shorter folded length? Check out the Miller Solo‑Q 100 3‑Stage Carbon Fiber Tripod.


Pros

  • Build quality
  • Consistency
  • Performance for the price

Cons

  • Some flex and twisting possible at full height

Miller Solo 75 Specifications
Maximum Height 64 inches
1.63 meters
Minimum Height 9.2 inches
23 centimeters
Folded Length 27.6 inches
70 centimeters
Leg Material Alloy
Mount Type 75mm half ball
Payload Capacity 0 - 44.1 pounds
0 - 20 kilograms
Weight 6.4 pounds
2.9 kilograms

I'll admit, you won't find many iFootage products on my site. But they really nailed their TC series of tripods.

The TC9 has 2‑stage carbon fiber legs, adjustable flip locks, rubber and spiked feet, a payload capacity of 26 pounds, and working heights from eight to 65 inches.

Not only that, it comes standard with a 75mm half bowl mount and flat base adapter complete with a quick release locking system, making this one incredible deal.


Pros

  • Price
  • Sweet spot capacity and working height
  • 75mm half bowl mount

Cons

  • Fairly long folded length
  • Flip locks can be troublesome if not adjusted properly and consistently

iFootage Gazelle TC9 Specifications
Maximum Height 65 inches
1.65 meters
Minimum Height 7.87 inches
20 centimeters
Folded Length 28 inches
71 centimeters
Leg Material Carbon fiber
Mount Type 75mm half ball
Payload Capacity 0 - 26.46 pounds
0 - 12 kilograms
Weight 5.2 pounds
2.36 kilograms

It's actually quite astonishing what you get with the SmallRig FreeBlazer for such a 🤯 low price...

  • Carbon fiber legs
  • Strong tandem leg design
  • Single flip lock adjustment per leg
  • Interchangeable wide and spiked feet
  • 75mm half bowl mount
  • Flat base head adapter
  • Mid-level spreader system
  • 55 pound payload capacity
  • Maximum height of 72 inches

And all for less than $250 USD!

But don't assume this is just some cheap, generic, budget tripod. Far from it.

This tripod comes with the same great dependability and build quality for which SmallRig is renown.

This is one budget pick that doesn't compromise on materials or build quality, and still maintains an outstanding bang for the buck!

And if you still wish to save a few more bucks, albeit at the expense of some added weight, then check out the aluminum alloy version (Amazon / Adorama).


Pros

  • Value
  • Stability
  • Payload capacity

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Long folded length
  • Flip locks not the best quality

SmallRig FreeBlazer Specifications
Maximum Height 72 inches
1.82 meters
Minimum Height 31 inches
79 centimeters
Folded Length 33 inches
85 centimeters
Leg Material Carbon fiber
Mount Type 75mm half ball
Payload Capacity 0 - 55 pounds
0 - 25 kilograms
Weight 11 pounds
5 kilograms

Sachtler flowtech 75

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The best tripod for video money can buy.

Get Price at Amazon Get Price at Adorama

Innovations like this only come around every 20 years or so.

The Sachtler flowtech uses a single lever clamp at the top of each enclosed carbon fiber leg, providing fast and intuitive control near the head and camera.

As a former ENG and EFP one man crew, and after using the flowtech for only a few minutes, my initial thought was simply "This is the tripod I always wanted".

It's fast, durable, streamlined, cleverly engineered, and highly capable.

If you're mobile and want a reliable tripod that gets out of your way, or even if you want a tripod for a semi-permanent setup or studio use that is sturdy and looks nice, the flowtech is a great fit and worth every penny.

Pair this with my top pick fluid head (Amazon / Adorama) and you will have a phenomenal setup to last for many years.

The flowtech 75 is available with a ground spreader (Amazon / Adorama) or mid-level spreader (Amazon / Adorama).

And if you need higher payload capacity up to 66 pounds or 30 kilograms, the flowtech 100 is also available with a ground spreader (Amazon / Adorama) or mid-level spreader (Amazon / Adorama).


Pros

  • Intuitive design
  • Quick adjustments
  • Surprisingly lightweight for the capability

Cons

  • Price point out of reach for some
  • More difficult to service and repair than other tripod styles
  • Magnetic leg latch can cause unnecessary strain on mid-level spreaders

Sachtler flowtech 75 Specifications
Maximum Height 61 inches
1.55 meters
Minimum Height 24.8 inches (with mid-level spreader)
63 centimeters (with mid-level spreader)
10.24 inches (without spreader)
26 centimeters (without spreader)
Folded Length 26.77 inches
68 centimeters
Leg Material Carbon fiber
Mount Type 75mm half ball
Payload Capacity 0 - 44.09 pounds
0 - 20 kilograms
Weight 7.72 pounds
3.5 kilograms

If mobility, weight, and packing space are top priorities then look no further than the Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod.

With a payload capacity of 20 pounds, a maximum height of 60 inches, a folded length of 15.4 inches, and all of that coming in well under three pounds, this is a stellar companion for you and your camera through any type of journey.

(As if the average 4.75 stars from over 2,500 reviewers on B&H, Adorama, and Amazon isn't enough proof, too.)

IMPORTANT: Don't forget the Peak Design Universal Head Adapter (Amazon / Adorama), which gives you a flat base and ⅜"‑16 center post for mounting various fluid heads and bowl mount adapters.


Pros

  • Form factor and size (sleek and packs well)
  • Intuitive design and features
  • Build quality

Cons

  • Form factor and size (limited function and not the most rigid)
  • Universal Head Adapter an extra cost
  • Slightly taller maximum height would be nice

Peak Design Travel Tripod Specifications
Maximum Height 60 inches
1.52 meters
Minimum Height 5.5 inches
14 centimeters
Folded Length 15.4 inches
39.1 centimeters
Leg Material Aluminum
Carbon fiber
Mount Types Compact ball head with Arca-type plate (Standard)
Flat base with ⅜"‑16 threaded center post (With Universal Head Adapter)
Payload Capacity 20 pounds
9.1 kilograms
Weight 3.44 pounds (Alloy)
1.56 kilograms (Alloy)
2.81 pounds (Carbon fiber)
1.29 kilograms (Carbon fiber)

SAVY Camera Stands

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The best camera supports for permanent installations.

Learn more at SAVY

I know, I know... cAMeRuh StANz R N0t a +r1PoD Jo3L!!!

ヽ(。_°)ノ

You're right. They're better!

When putting stationary cameras in auditoriums, event venues, and houses of worship, these custom camera stands from SAVY go above and beyond standard tripods.

You get better stability, higher payload capacities, a smaller footprint, less intrusion of sightlines, more customization options, ability to add multiple cameras to a single stand, ability to add PTZs and other equipment in addition to regular cameras, and so much more.

If you're mounting permanent, or even semi-permanent, cameras then consider these excellent camera stands from SAVY first.


Pros

  • Build quality
  • Customizability
  • Cleaner overall look than tripods
  • Optional cup holders 🍻

Cons

  • Shipping/freight can get pricey
  • Requires more planning and work compared to a tripod

SAVY Series FII Specifications
Maximum Height 108 inches
2.74 meters
Minimum Height 40 inches
1.02 meters
Folded Length N/A
Leg Material Steel
Mount Types 75mm
100mm
Mitchell Base
Universal PTZ Plate
Dual PTZ Plate
Payload Capacity N/A
Weight Weight dependent upon size and options

Matthews MT‑1

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The best tripod for heavy box lenses.

Get Price at Adorama

Work on any OB or sports truck in the U.S. and there's a good chance you'll see a herd of MT-1 tripods hanging around.

These bad boys have been an industry standard for larger box lens configurations for many years, and for great reasons:

  • Heavy-duty aluminum construction
  • 265 pound payload capacity
  • Versatile Mitchell base mount
  • Strong single brass plate brake assembly
  • Rigidity prevents twisting and buckling, even for whip pans and jib arms

When supporting heavy (and costly) lenses and camera bodies, this is your Huckleberry.


Pros

  • Build quality
  • Payload capacity

Cons

  • Price point out of reach for many
  • Overkill for most configurations
  • Limited operating heights

Matthews MT‑1 Specifications
Maximum Height 44 inches
1.12 meters
Minimum Height 25 inches
64 centimeters
Folded Length 34 inches
86 centimeters
Leg Material Aluminum
Mount Type Mitchell Flat Base
Payload Capacity 0 - 265 pounds
0 - 120 kilograms
Weight 24 pounds
11 kilograms

Why You Can Trust Me

I started my career over 24 years ago as a freelance live and ENG camera operator for broadcast television networks including ABC, FOX Sports, and Speed Channel. Since then, I have spent countless hours with hundreds of different tripods throughout 25 different countries. Additionally, I have spent the last decade running this website and consulting with organizations to help them find the right cameras and maximize their results. Learn more about Joel


Tripod Buyer's Guide

Choosing the right support for your camera is a crucial step in achieving the best results. So here are a few key things to keep in mind when shopping for your next tripod or camera support.

Payload Capacity

Payload (or load) is everything that is supported by the tripod - head, camera, lens, accessories, extra weight, etc.

Payload capacity is the maximum weight that the tripod is rated to hold before tripod stability is compromised.

This rating has always been a bit confusing and potentially misleading, though.

There has been no standard and every manufacturer uses their own methods and language.

However, that is changing, albeit slowly. Gitzo and Manfrotto, two major Italian tripod manufacturers, have worked with the Italian standards body UNI to create UNI / PdR 105: 2021, a new standard for load capacity.

But since the adoption for that standard will take time, it's still recommended to approach payload capacity ratings conservatively.

Therefore, I always recommend staying under ~70% of a tripod's LOWEST rated payload capacity (if there are multiple ratings) at any time for proper safety and stability.

Getting close to or going over a tripod's load capacity is never recommended and can compromise safety.

Dimensions

Pay attention to maximum height, minimum height, and folded length.

I recommend at least 60 inches of maximum height if you plan on using the tripod to capture people while standing up.

Minimum height will be important if you want the flexibility to capture low angles.

Be sure to get a folded length that will fit everywhere you need to carry and store the tripod without compromising the heights you need for production.

A fluid head will add a few inches to all of these dimensions, so keep that in mind.

Leg Types

  • Single Legs
    • Tube sections that collapse inside the section above
    • Simpler and, usually, lighter compared to tandem legs
    • Prone to twisting with camera movement, especially on heavier setups
  • Tandem Legs
    • Two parallel posts per section that collapse between the two posts in the section above
    • More contact points at each connection provide better rigidity and stability
    • Less prone to twisting during camera movement
  • Combination Legs
    • A single tube style but shaped similar to tandem style
    • Best of both types wrapped into one
    • My premium pick, the Sachtler Flowtech, uses this design

In most situations, tandem and combination legs are going to provide better stability for video production.

However...

Single legs can still work well for many lighter setups, situations that don't require a lot of camera movement, and lower budgets.

Materials

  • Aluminum
    • Best performance and durability for the price
    • Recommended for permanent and semi-permanent situations
  • Carbon Fiber
    • Stronger and lighter than aluminum, but comes at a higher price
    • Recommended for travel and mobile applications where weight is important
  • Plastic
    • Cheaper than aluminum and carbon fiber, but much less stable and less reliable
    • Can work well for less critical parts like knobs and connectors to keep cost down
    • Not recommended for tripod legs or other critical components

Leg Locks

  • Twist Locks
    • Tighten and loosen legs with a screw/unscrew action around single post legs
    • Usually don't catch on other things easily on single leg designs
    • Cheaper = more turns to loosen/tighten = more time to operate
    • Can be less reliable if not tightened well
  • Flip/Lever Locks
    • Tighten and loosen legs with an open/close lever action
    • Usually faster and more consistent than twist locks
    • Can easily catch on other things
    • Cheaper versions can loosen over time (some are not adjustable) and become unsafe
  • Speed Locks
    • Usually similar to a lever/flip lock, but operate all leg sections simultaneously instead of one lock per section
    • Newer and more expensive, so not as widely adopted
    • Extremely fast and smooth when done right
    • My premium pick, the Sachtler Flowtech, uses this design
  • Knobs
    • Can be a screw that applies direct pressure to the inner leg when tightened or operates similar to a lever/flip mechanism by clamping around tandem legs
    • Least popular design
    • Tendency to be the least reliable and have the shortest life span

This usually comes down to personal preference.

For example, I prefer twist locks on single legs for travel and lever/flip locks for basically everything else.

If you are constantly opening and collapsing the tripod, the type and quality of leg lock will definitely be important.

Base Mount

The top of the tripod where the head is mounted and attached.

  • Bowl/Ball
    • Bowl-shaped base that accepts a ball-shaped mount, allowing for quick and accurate leveling adjustments
    • Recommended for most video production
    • Popular diameters include 75mm, 100mm, and 150mm (60mm is becoming slightly more popular, but mainly in still photography)
    • Size of bowl should be appropriate for the payload
      • 75mm for payloads usually less than 20 lbs
      • 100mm for payloads usually between 20 and 45 lbs
      • 150mm for payloads usually greater than 45 lbs
  • Flat
    • A flat base, usually with a ⅜"-16 male threaded center post
    • Most common for photography and lower budget tripods
    • Can be mounted on an adjustable bowl base, but cannot be directly adjusted to level the head
    • Can tend to come loose during pans if there are no retention/safety screws tightened around the base

Center Columns

Center columns are typically used to give you a greater maximum height while keeping the leg sections shorter.

They are generally less stable and will usually increase the chances of vibrations reaching the camera.

Therefore, I only recommend a center column if you need the extra height or need the ability to adjust for various heights often.

However, I do use a center column when I do a lot of quick interviews back-to-back. This allows me to only adjust the center column with one knob for differences in people's height.

Spreaders

Spreaders connect to each tripod leg and provide added stability. They are usually hinged and removable.

They prevent the legs from sliding outward on slick/uneven surfaces or from the amount of total payload weight.

There are two types of spreaders: mid-level and ground-level.

Both generally achieve the same results, and the one you choose usually comes down to preference or what is available with the tripod you want.

While spreaders are not always necessary, they are definitely nice to have, especially for heavier setups.

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