The Best Video Tripods (2020)

The Best Video Tripods (2020)

Updated

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

This list is for tripods only - it does not include the fluid head that goes on top.

Tripods, also called sticks, are for support and stabilization. Fluid heads are for camera mounting, panning, and tilting.

My list for best fluid heads can be found here.

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

Load Capacity

Load is everything that is supported by the tripod - head, camera, lens, accessories, extra weight, etc.

The maximum weight that the tripod is rated to hold.

However...

This does not refer to the weight the tripod can hold before collapsing. It refers to the maximum weight the tripod can hold before the stability is compromised.

Therefore, I always recommend staying under 50% of a tripod's maximum load capacity at any time for the most safety and stability.

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 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 part of the tripod where the head is 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 interviews back-to-back. This allows me the to only adjust 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...

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Sachtler Flowtech 75 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Sachtler Flowtech 75

Top Pick For 2020!

This system is slick, and has become very popular.

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.

Material: Carbon Fiber

Head Mount Type: 75mm bowl

Maximum Height: 60"

Minimum Height: 11"

Folded Length: 27"

Weight: 6.4 lbs

Payload Capacity: 44 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Outside-the-box design and engineering

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Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe Tripod

Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe

Budget-Friendly Option

The cheapest tripod I recommend.

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

Material: Aluminum

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

Maximum Height: 64.9"

Minimum Height: 16.4"

Folded Length: 25"

Weight: 5.25 lbs

Payload Capacity: 15.4 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Price

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Robus RC-5570 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Robus RC-5570

Best Bang For The Buck Single Leg Design

Incredible 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

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

Payload Capacity: 55 lbs

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

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Manfrotto 536 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Manfrotto 536

Great Portability & Maximum Height

Reaching a height of nearly 80" at this weight and price is pretty rare.

A great option if you need a lot of height in a fairly portable package.

Material: Carbon Fiber

Head Mount Type: 100mm Bowl and 75mm to 100mm Bowl Adapter

Maximum Height: 79.9"

Minimum Height: 10.5"

Folded Length: 28.5"

Weight: 7.6 lbs

Payload Capacity: 55 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Includes 100mm to 75mm bowl adapter

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Savy Series FII Camera Stand

Savy Series II Camera Stand

Best Permanent Install Solution

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

"This one goes to 11..."

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

Material: Steel

Head Mount Type: Customizable Options

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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