You’ve got your microphone and camera, and now it’s time to find a cheap tripod that fits your budget. One of the things that can easily make your video unwatchable is your camera shaking. This is not an article that will show you flashy, top-of-the-line tripods. Instead, I will be focusing on budget to medium priced tripods that will be a good entry point for beginners. Let’s begin!
- Photo Tripod vs Video Tripod
- Tripod Heads – What’s the Difference
- Top Mid Range Tripod (Under 200)
- Best Budget Tripod (Under 100)
- Best Cheap Tripod (Under 50)
Photo Tripod vs Video Tripod
First, you’ll need to know if you want a photo or a video tripod. Video tripods are sturdier, heavier and clunkier, all while allowing camera to move more smoothly. They provide excellent stability. Photo tripods have light design accompanied with a head that locks into place. There are also some tripods which try to combine both functions, but they are usually not the best.
Tripod Heads – What’s the Difference
This type of head is used in video tripods. It can provide you with a surprising level of professionalism at a really affordable price. With it, you will easily get smooth panning shots that everyone likes, and you will spend less time editing the video. Although they can get pretty expensive, I have found a few great budget options.
Ball heads are popular in photography. This head can rotate fully and lets you position your camera in nearly any position you want. This way you can get really unique shots, but it is often hard to finely adjust position.
Because of their size and weight, many of the tripods can be bothersome. Maybe, you just want to keep it a bit simpler. The best way to go then is with tabletop tripods. They are ridiculously cheap, set-up fast, and are easy to travel with. Height is one of the problems with this kind, so you will need to keep it on your table, or other raised surface. Also, since they almost always feature a ball head, you can forget about your moving shots. Still, it’s very useful to have one lying around.
Top Mid Range Tripod (Under 200)
To start, we have this beauty. VT-3000 is a professional tripod with a two-way fluid head. The height of the durable aluminum legs can easily be modified, with a range going from 28.6 to 61 inches. Passive counterbalance and middle spread are here to provide great stability, even while tilting your camera. The quick-release plate is very convenient and will speed up your workflow. This Magnus model supports a 6.6 lbs. camera, which is more than enough for our purposes. A top product.
Next, we have a solid portable photo tripod/monopod. ZOMEi’s Z669C is both lightweight and compact. It is made out of 8-layered carbon fiber, which makes this model very stable and durable. Z669’s height can be adjusted in the range from 15 to 60 inches. All 3 legs feature separate adjustment-lock and are comprised of 5 sections, so you can easily place it on uneven surfaces. There is also a central hook that allows you to put stabilizing weight on the bottom. The ball head is made out of strong metal and allows you 360-degree panning. This model will suit you best if you like to travel or vlog from outside.
The Magnus VT4000 is a bigger and better brother of the previous model. Its fluid head moves smoothly and will give you great panning shots. You can thank that to a counter-balance spring. Height can be adjusted in the range from 27.6 to 59 inches. The middle spreader will keep all legs in a locked position, which gives you greater stability. Tilt angle adjustments can be made from +90 to -60 degrees. VT 4000 really has everything you need to start vlogging.
This is another affordable premium photo tripod/monopod. The ZOMEi Z668C is made out of carbon fiber, which is weather-resistant, lightweight and offers efficient shock absorption. The 3-angle adjustment guarantees you will manage to get some really creative angles for your videos. Maximum height is set to 65 inches. For stability, legs can be modified separately and have a built-in bubble level. Z668C is one of the best professional tripods under 200 dollars.
3Pod Orbit Aluminum Tripod
Guys at 3Pod offer interesting model that can be used both as a photo and a video tripod. 3POD Orbit‘s legs are flexible and can be spread to 35, 60, or 85-degree angle, so you can easily conquer uneven terrains. The 3POD features Overhead Shot System, which lets the shaft to move away from the body. This will give you interesting overhead and low angle shots. For stability, there are foot spikes which you can unscrew if you are vlogging from the inside. All in all, this is one of the best mid-priced tripods.
Best Budget Tripod (Under 100)
The FT9901 is one of the best video tripods under 100 dollars. It features a dual fluid head which can move in both directions and dual handles for excellent control. Pan and tilt locks are separate, which gives a better degree of freedom. There is also a quick-release lock, which is quite convenient. Stability is achieved with a combination of interlocking legs and a mid-level spreader. FT9901 shines best on flat surfaces.
Joby’s GorillaPod is a photo tripod that immediately captures attention with its interesting design. The legs are completely wrappable, which means you can achieve some pretty weird angles quite easily (bend it around a tree branch; wrap it under bikes handlebar etc.). The tripod will also remain really stable, thanks to its rubberized ring grips. The Joby GorillaPod is also a lightweight model that will hold cameras up to 6.6 lbs. of weight. GorillaPod offers 360-degree panning and is designed specifically for mirrorless and SLR cameras.
Neewer Carbon Tripod
This is another tripod which can be used as a monopod as well. It is made out of durable lightweight carbon fiber and can reach the height of 66 inches. This Neewer Carbon Tripod features a ball head with 2 locks (pan & tilt), which is best used for 360-degree panoramic shooting. All legs can be quickly unlocked, so your workflow will not suffer. All in all, the Neewer is a solid photo tripod.
Magnus’s VT-300 is a really robust video tripod. It has a max height of 64.3 inches. Pan and tilt locks are made separate in order to provide more freedom. VT-300 has a great fluid head and a quick-release plate. Flip-lock legs have 2 stages and feature a bubble level that helps with stability, even on uneven terrains. It has everything you need to start your vlogging adventure.
MACTREM drops into the list with a solid photo tripod. The MACTREM tripod made out of premium aluminum that supports the weight of up to 33 pounds. The ball head has 3 locking knobs that will provide you with full movement range. The central column that controls the height (max 62.5”) can be detached, which will give you a nice monopod. Tripods legs have 4 sections and quick release locks, so setting up is quite easy. Not a bad model.
Best Cheap Tripod (Under 50)
Neewer Macro Mini Tripod
Here we have a good tabletop tripod made by Neewer. The Macro Mini is made out of aluminum alloy, which provides decent stability. The height ranges from 9 to 19.7 inches (23 to 50 cm), and there are 5 sections on each leg that you can manipulate. Tripod feet also have a non-slip design. It has a swivel ball head, so it’s best to use it for static images. Place it on your desk, and let the vlogging begin.
RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod
If you are looking for a budget video tripod, RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod is one of the best options. This is another desk-friendly tripod, with a max load of 6.0 lb. It has a 3-way pan/tilt head with a bubble level that will help keep everything straight. The quick-release mount plate is another function you will be glad to have. The tripod is made out of aluminum and features quick-snap leg locks. Considering it’s priced under 50 dollars, I am really impressed.
SuperLegs Flexible Tripod
SuperLegs offers a space-like tripod with flexible legs. There are more than 20 knee joints which bend freely and rotate 360 degrees, which is really cool. This tripod is very stable as well, and small enough so you can carry it anywhere you go. It is compatible with most cameras on the market, as it features both a 1/4” and a 1/2” screw. If you like to experiment with your angles a lot, this is your best budget option. It will also look pretty cool on your table.
AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod
This AmazonBasics tripod will provide you with the bare basics. It is made out of strong and light aluminum, which can extend up to 50 inches. The 3-way head has a decent tilt and swivel motion. Quick release plate means you can easily switch between various different angles. Legs are made out of 3-sections and are easily modified. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature a bubble level, which makes it a bit less stable. Not the best, but far from worst.
Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod
Once you put a PIXI on your desk, it will hardly leave its place. As this is a tabletop tripod, its height can’t be adjusted (its 5 inches), but that’s only minus I’ve found. Manfrotto PIXI is beautiful looking, flexible, and sets up in a matter of seconds. This tripod is aimed at compact cameras, but thanks to the universal clamp, it can also hold your smartphone. It’s a great addition to your table.