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Video Tripod

The Best Tripods for Video (2022)

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This is a list of the best tripods I recommend and use for video production.

IMPORTANT: This list is only for tripods. None of these include the fluid head that goes on top.

Tripods, also called sticks or legs, are for support and stabilization. Fluid heads mount on top tripods and are for camera mounting and movement (smooth pans and tilts).

My list for best fluid heads can be found here.

Before the list, here are some things to look for when choosing a tripod:

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 the tripod's stability is compromised.

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

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

However, that might be 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" 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

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

Leg Locks

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.

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.

Now, on to the list...


Sachtler flowtech 75 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Sachtler flowtech 75

Top Pick For 2022! Get Latest Price on Amazon

Still my no-brainer top pick.

The speed lock mechanisms are super fast and incredibly useful for quick setup and collapsing.

New leg design combines the benefits of single leg designs while offering added torsional strength found in tandem designs.

When you need a reliable system that gets out of your way quickly, this will not let you down.

This will make the most sense in mobile environments with medium-sized camera rigs.

Material: Carbon Fiber

Leg Type: Combination

Leg Lock Type: Speed Lock

Head Mount Type: 75mm bowl

Maximum Height: 61.8" (with mid-level spreader)

Minimum Height: 11"

Folded Length: 27"

Weight: 6.4 lbs

Maximum Payload Capacity: 44 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Innovative design and engineering

Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe Tripod

Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe

Budget-Friendly Option Get Latest Price on Amazon

Solid support and build quality that won't break the bank.

A decent option for lighter camera setups and lower budgets.

Material: Aluminum

Leg Type: Single

Leg Lock Type: Flip/Lever Lock

Head Mount Type: Flat Base (3/8"-16 male threaded center post) on a leveling center column

Maximum Height: 64.96" (with center column raised) or 55.31" (with center column down)

Minimum Height: 16.4"

Folded Length: 25"

Weight: 5.25 lbs

Maximum Payload Capacity: 26.46 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Price

Manfrotto 536 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Manfrotto 536

Incredible Capability Get Latest Price on Amazon

This beast reaches a maximum height of nearly 80" without a center column!

Not only that, the carbon fiber legs keep the weight under 8 lbs while still offering a payload capacity over 50 lbs. Amazing.

This will be a great option for those that do a lot of ENG shooting or have larger camera rigs and still need ultimate portability.

Material: Carbon Fiber & Magnesium

Leg Type: Single

Leg Lock Type: Flip/Lever Lock

Head Mount Type: 100mm Bowl with 75mm Adapter

Maximum Height: 79.92"

Minimum Height: 10.24"

Folded Length: 28.35"

Weight: 7.58 lbs

Maximum Payload Capacity: 55 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Capability

Manfrotto 635 FST Tripod

Manfrotto 635 FST

Innovative Single Leg Design Get Latest Price on Amazon

Sachtler flowtech finally has some competition!

Manfrotto took the twist lock a step further and put it into an entire leg section.

So instead of a 3-section tripod with 2 twist locks per leg we get a 3-section tripod with only 1 twist lock per leg. That means faster setup with less hassle.

Similar features and capability as the Sachtler flowtech 75 for nearly half the price. I'm sold!

You can also pair this tripod with the Manfrotto Nitrotech 608, my top pick fluid head, to make one stellar tripod system.

Material: Carbon Fiber

Leg Type: Single

Leg Lock Type: Twist Lock meets Single Leg Section

Head Mount Type: 75mm Bowl (compatible with optional 60mm bowl adapter)

Maximum Height: 61"

Minimum Height: 11.22"

Folded Length: 25"

Weight: 7.72 lbs

Maximum Payload Capacity: 44 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Innovative features at a lower price point

*The Manfrotto 645 is the next step up that offers a 100mm bowl mount and a fast tandem leg design. Available in aluminum and carbon fiber.

Manfrotto 055 Tripod

Manfrotto 055

Portable & Versatile Get Latest Price on Amazon

The carbon fiber version of this (along with the Manfrotto 555B leveling center column) is my daily driver for ENG, field, and studio production.

Excellent build quality, reliable leg locks, good extended height, light weight, and decent collapsed size all make this a great investment for the on-the-go shooter.

The 90-degree center column also might come in handy if you do a variety of shooting angles, like product shots or creative work.

Material: Aluminum or Carbon Fiber

Leg Type: Single

Leg Lock Type: Lever/Flip Lock

Head Mount Type: Flat Base (I recommend adding the Manfrotto 555B leveling center column)

Maximum Height: 66.9"

Minimum Height: 4"

Folded Length: 24.8"

Weight: 4.1 lbs (carbon fiber 3-section), 4.7 lbs (carbon fiber 4-section), or 5.51 lbs (aluminum)

Maximum Payload Capacity: 19.8 lbs (lower of two ratings)

My Favorite Feature: Choice of materials, leg sections, and replaceable center column - fitting a wide variety of budgets and needs

Robus RC-5570 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Robus RC-5570

Excellent Single Leg Design Get Latest Price on Amazon

Great load capacity and maximum height for the price.

If you need a great overall tripod that can do most things well and won't break the bank - scroll no further.

Material: Carbon Fiber

Leg Type: Combination

Leg Lock Type: Speed Lock

Head Mount Type: 75mm Bowl and Flat (3/8"-16 male threaded center post)

Maximum Height: 70"

Minimum Height: 4"

Folded Length: 26"

Weight: 5.6 lbs

Maximum Payload Capacity: 55 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Includes 2 head mounts (75mm bowl and flat)

Savy Series FII Camera Stand

Savy Series II Camera Stand

Best Permanent Install Solution Learn More

Right... it's not a tripod. It's better!

"This one goes to 11..."

The team at SAVY understand their customers' needs and provide incredible solutions to meet those needs.

When you need a great support solution that requires the least amount of footprint, these stands are your answer.

Material: Steel

Head Mount Type: 75mm, 100mm, PTZ Plate, Dual PTZ Plate, or Mitchell Mount

Maximum Height: 108"

Minimum Height: 40"

My Favorite Feature: Fully customizable solution, complete with cupoholders, monitor mounts, headphone holders, and more!


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