You might think that any tripod will do when you’re shooting videos with your DSLR camera, but that isn’t always true. Some features are universal, like stability, functionality and portability. On the other hand, you will still want something you can maneuver easily when you are panning your scene, changing shooting angles and framing.
That’s why we’re examining the best tripods for DSLR videography in this article. These tripods will work equally well for your still imaging, but they have the strength and flexibly to accommodate unique video needs. Here are the best tripods for shooting videos along with what makes them the best.
6 Best Tripods for DSLR Videos
Best Overall: Geekoto 77’’ AT24 Pro Dreamer Tripod
- Adjustable Height: 19-77 in.
- Weight Capacity: 17.6 lbs.
- Carrying Length: 19 in.
- Tripod Weight: 3.4 lbs.
- Special Features: A
This lightweight aluminum system is one of the tallest available, simplifying your subject framing, settings and adjustments. Four leg segments and quick releases collapse into one of the shortest carrying distances available for a full-sized tripod, and the weight distribution triangle can be set in various configurations to compensate for your terrain and shooting conditions.
It quickly converts to a monopod for even greater flexibility in video shooting or to use as a walking stick to get to your location.
The best part of this tripod is the multi-function head. The ball joint turns 360 degrees, allowing you to capture panoramic sweeps in your videos. Tilt and shift work smoothly, and no angle is impossible when shooting for artsy effects.
While the weight capacity might not sound like much, it is more than enough to handle a full frame DSLR, super telephoto lens, pro shotgun mic, flash system, and more. This being said, users have noted that super teles tend to make the system wobble at full height and extension, probably because gear is heavier on one side of the tripod than the other. Reviewers agree, though, that this tripod is almost without flaws and a great addition to the professional or hobbyist YouTube videographer’s gear bag.
Best Portability: ZOMEi 55″ T1-111 Travel Camera Tripod
- Adjustable Height: 18-55 in.
- Weight Capacity: 11.0 lbs.
- Carrying Length: 19 in.
- Tripod Weight: 3.2 lbs.
- Special Features: B
Made of lightweight aluminum, this tripod features four leg sections you can set to varying lengths to accommodate your shooting terrain.
A gravity hook at the lower end of the center column allows you to add hanging weight to further stabilize its distribution, though this can decrease the overall weight capacity of the system. The center column lifts with a cranking mechanism.
The mounting head features a quick release plate. Panoramic 360-degree videos can be achieved with the swivel head, though tilt from landscape to portrait or up and down are the only possible angle changes. Users note that panning and tilt shift are not smooth, causing wobbles in videos.
This tripod is best used for static video shooting because the head is stiff and difficult to move. This being said, if you want a tripod to carry in the field, the handy bag (included) makes it easy to throw this on your backpack or over your shoulder.
For many remote shooting situations, this system will improve the quality of your videos because it is so stable.
Best Heavy-Duty: Gitzo GK3532-82QD Series 3 Tripod Mountaineer Kit
- Adjustable Height: 11-69 in.
- Weight Capacity: 39.7 lbs.
- Carrying Length: 31 in.
- Tripod Weight: 5.8 lbs.
- Special Features: A
This is the newest generation of the tripod pros love, favoring it for its simplicity, durability and weight capacity. The carbon fiber legs extend in three sections, and each can be moved independently to offer you a flexible and wide shooting stance. This model is said to be more rigid in strength than previous units.
The ball head swivels and tilts, giving you the maximum number of angles for shooting videos. Users note the movement between settings is smooth. The quick release system allows you to change or move your DSLR with ease, though some users say it is not as quick release as they would like.
This system is officially rated for up to a 300mm lens plus pro DSLR. However, if you’re using a tripod collar for a longer length lens, weight distribution changes and reviewers say you can film with an even stronger lens. This is a professional tripod for pro-level videography and should last you for years to come even with constant use. (Carrying bag sold separately.)
Best Fun Shooting: JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ball Head Bundle
- Adjustable Height: 3-12 in.
- Weight Capacity: 6.6 lbs.
- Carrying Length: 13 in.
- Tripod Weight: .8 lbs.
- Special Features: B+
At first glance, you might thing this is a toy, something fun for messing around with personal shots that you use on social media or for family fun. The flexible legs wrap to hold on to whatever you set the tripod upon, fully articulating and contorting into whatever shape you need. However, this is a legitimate tripod for situations where you want that grip and tight control for shooting videos.
Constructed of ABS plastic and stainless steel, this tripod changes into whatever position and angle you need because it is completely articulated. Each leg is comprised of interconnected balls and sockets. Some users note these can become stiff over time; a hand wash with gentle soap and water usually takes care of that problem.
This model includes a quick-release multi-functional ball mounting head. Overall capacity works with telephotos up to about 11 ounces because of weight distribution concerns, depending on how securely you wrap the legs or spread them out.
Throwing this in your camera sling bag as a different way of viewing the world can bring new and different angles from interesting vantage points to your videos.
Best Multiuse: Neewer Carbon Fiber 66” Tripod/Monopod
- Adjustable Height: 22-66 in.
- Weight Capacity: 26.5 lbs.
- Carrying Length: 21 in.
- Tripod Weight: 4.7 lbs.
- Special Features: A-
This system comes with a swivel ball head that pivots 360 degrees. The camera is mounted on a quick release plate, and the ball head can be adjusted in two planes of movement. Users note they would not trust a large expensive camera plus long lens with this head, as it does not appear to have that much holding capacity.
Reviewers say movement of the head on this system is smooth, allowing for clear and crisp videos. Telescoping the legs and lifting the center column can take time. Overall, though, this tripod has many of the features of much more expensive pro models without the heavier price tag.
Best Budget: Polaroid 75″ Photo / Video ProPod Tripod
- Adjustable Height: 28-75 in.
- Weight Capacity: 5.0 lbs.
- Carrying Length: 28 in.
- Tripod Weight: 4.0 lbs.
- Special Features: B
If you don’t mind having some limits in the triangle of leg distribution, this basic tripod can meet your needs. Legs and center column are attached in a locking brace for further stability. The system should handle a small DSLR plus short lens but beware putting teles on it.
The mounting head on this system tilts three ways, including landscape to portrait and panning. Users say it is not flexible enough to pan smoothly for videos, so it’s best to stick to static shooting with this model. Two bubble head indicators ensure your horizon is level.
Reviewers note that you will need to be gentle with the plastic parts and overall construction, typical at the budget / beginner DSLR end of the price range. It is not designed for heavy-duty use but is appropriate for the serious enthusiast.
This is a good option to consider if you’re new to tripod-based videography and need a good basic model to add to your gear bag.
The Complete Tripods for DSLR Videos Buyer’s Guide
What You Need to Know about Tripods
Tripods are a must-have in your gear bag if your want crisp, sharp images without camera wobble or hand shake. If you can achieve that for videos with handheld work, more power to you. Most of us welcome the assistance of a stable platform for our gear so we can concentrate on the best shots.
In olden days (like fifty years ago), tripods were cumbersome, clumsy, heavy beasts. They did not telescope easily, and a little dirt on the legs meant they would no longer telescope into a shorter length easily because release brackets would bind. Mounting heads were hard to turn and lacked the ability to tilt or adjust without taking the whole shebang apart.
Thankfully, we don’t face those kinds of issues anymore. With advances in materials and design and expanded mass production, a great tripod is available to meet your special needs and in your price range. Let’s dig in to what we need to know about tripods to make an informed decision.
Stability is the number one reason why you buy a tripod. You want to set the legs in place, attach your camera and lens, and think about the videos or photos you’re taking, not whether or not it will collapse under the weight of your gear or teeter with the first gust of wind.
Extra points are given if legs fold up and telescope quickly, meaning you can change vantage points with ease.
All tripods have three legs, making it the perfect geometric design for stability, the stability triangle distributing the weight across the space. Some have a brace that fastens the legs one to another, which means they can’t separate too far out and fail. Most have this control in the head (meeting point) of the legs.
Legs telescope to full length, usually in three to five sections. Each of these can be adjusted separately, a great feature when you’re working on uneven terrain. The highest end products include the ability to set any length and angle, not just clicks to set section distance.
You might not think this is important but consider setting up your tripod on a slippery hillside or under windy conditions. The kind of feet on the ends of legs mean you have grip (rubber) or a set point (pins). Some tripods have a selection, so you can put on the legs you think you’ll need based on your terrain.
|Tripod||Best For:||Adjustable Height||Weight Capacity|
|Geekoto 77’’ AT24 Pro Dreamer Tripod||Best Overall||19-77 in.||17.6 lbs.|
|ZOMEi 55″ T1-111 Travel Camera Tripod||Best Portability||18-55 in.||11.0 lbs.|
|Gitzo GK3532-82QD Series 3 Tripod Mountaineer Kit||Best Heavy-Duty||11-69 in.||39.7 lbs.|
|JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ball Head Bundle||Best Fun Shooting||3-12 in.||6.6 lbs.|
|Neewer Carbon Fiber 66” Tripod/Monopod||Best Multiuse||22-66 in.||26.5 lbs.|
|Polaroid 75″ Photo / Video ProPod Tripod||Best Budget||28-75 in.||5.0 lbs.|
Between the legs is a center column featuring the camera mount. It raises or lowers between the legs, or in some rarer cases, folds out from between the legs. You can adjust the overall height to be whatever your need for your style of shooting within the overall height of the tripod’s capacity.
Here’s where things become tricky, because a tripod made with lightweight materials extended to its fullest reach can fall prey to wind buffeting or tip over with too much gear set to a particular side. We might be in a stability triangle, but even those fail under certain circumstances with too much weight.
Even a standard tripod with a mid-sized DSLR and a short focal zoom might be too much weight.
Because overall gear weight is important, it is critical to pay attention to how much you plan to mount on the tripod. Totaling up your camera body, heaviest lens, and additional pieces such as battery grip and microphone is the first step. Think about where the gear will be relative to the center of gravity of the triangle as you shoot your videos.
For example, I have a lightweight tripod with which I have a love-hate relationship, though I’ve mellowed towards it with my newest camera body. On a recent shoot, however, I nearly lost the whole set-up over the edge of a balcony when I moved the gear because the body plus lens nearly caused it to topple over. One leg wasn’t positioned in that perfect triangle, and I caught the tripod just before it fell over.
Ergo, weight is more than total capacity. It’s distribution. If you are shooting your videos with a big tele lens, make sure you have the widest leg stance possible to give you the greatest area of weight distribution. And don’t move it without paying attention.
|Tripod||Carrying Length||Tripod Weight||Special Features|
|Geekoto 77’’ AT24 Pro Dreamer Tripod||19 in.||3.4 lbs.||A|
|ZOMEi 55″ T1-111 Travel Camera Tripod||19 in.||3.2 lbs.||B|
|Gitzo GK3532-82QD Series 3 Tripod Mountaineer Kit||31 in.||5.8 lbs.||A|
|JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ball Head Bundle||13 in.||.8 lbs.||B+|
|Neewer Carbon Fiber 66” Tripod/Monopod||21 in.||4.7 lbs.||A-|
|Polaroid 75″ Photo / Video ProPod Tripod||28 in.||4.0 lbs.||B|
All tripods come with a screw and knob assembly that attaches to the bottom of your camera housing or to the tripod collar on your heavier telephoto lenses. Some have a plate to position the camera forward or back, useful if you plan to turn the body from horizontal to vertical shooting. Past these basics is where the fun begins.
Some tripods come with multifunctional heads. You can lean the head across one dimension of direction and lock it in place or tilt it on its side 90 degrees or anywhere in between. Bubble levels are built in to some.
You can also add sophisticated mounting heads to the existing knob and screw assembly for even more functionality. I have two primary tripods and half a dozen heads, each for a different purpose. The ones I like best for video pan, flex, tilt and turn smoothly so I can adjust my framing on the go.
Since the photography world has evolved, people are finding new ways to hold their image steady while adding functions and features. For example, if you’re adding a shotgun mic, you may have choices about where you attach it, above or below the camera. If you keep a tethered remote control handy, you can click that to a leg.
Yes, we’re talking about tripods, but monopod functionality is often included as a feature in tripod descriptions. If you’re shooting videos and want some artsy movement in your work, or you need to move around quickly but want stability in between movements to freeze your framing, the ability to function like a mono is a nice perk to have. Monopods have all the same features as tripods, with the exception of the three-legged stability triangle and therefore, standalone stability.
You can’t ignore the size of your tripod when it’s folded down and not in use. If you want to attach it to your gear bag, think about the overall height and weight and how that impacts your load. Trying to shove a camera backpack into the overhead compartment on the plane becomes more of a chore if the tripod it taller than the bag – or wider.
Some tripods come with carrying cases. These are great for transportation when you don’t have to put it all on your back but may not work if you’re trying to be self-contained and keep your hands free. This applies to transportation in addition to planes, like room on the bus or competitive space in your back seat.
Your videos will benefit from the stability tripods offer, plus you minimize the amount of gear you’re juggling while you’re shooting. A good tripod manages heavy loads without failing in wind or when you want to reframe or zoom into the shot. In this way, using your DSLR on a tripod is no different from using a video camera/camcorder.
There are still considerations, however. Learning how to use the tripod to your DSLR’s advantage should be your first priority. Here’s what you should contemplate as you make your tripod decision.
FAQs about Tripods for Taking DSLR Videos
|Tripod||Best For:||Special Features|
|Geekoto 77’’ AT24 Pro Dreamer Tripod||Best Overall||A|
|ZOMEi 55″ T1-111 Travel Camera Tripod||Best Portability||B|
|Gitzo GK3532-82QD Series 3 Tripod Mountaineer Kit||Best Heavy-Duty||A|
|JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ball Head Bundle||Best Fun Shooting||B+|
|Neewer Carbon Fiber 66” Tripod/Monopod||Best Multiuse||A-|
|Polaroid 75″ Photo / Video ProPod Tripod||Best Budget||B|
Is a tripod best for all videography situations?
Tripods are best used for videos with your DSLR when you want to stay in one place. You can still zoom in and out, reframe the photo within the scope of movement the mounting head offers, and tilt the camera’s direction. But if you plan to follow the action, such as running along side or toward it, a tripod will get in your way.
If you need to move, use a gimbal stabilizer (Steadicam) instead. The framework for the camera and all of its associated video pieces come together in a harness or brace you wear on your body. You can learn more about the best in this category by checking out our Steadicam & Gimbals article here.
Can a remote control or flash gun be used with a tripod?
Anything you usually attach to your camera when you’re shooting handheld can also be attached for video work on your tripod. In fact, some tripods offer additional hooks and such to help carry the load. You can mount a shotgun microphone too.
The one number to be aware of when you’re adding gear to the load is the total weight capacity. As you build your stack of equipment, consider how steady it is on the tripod. A shotgun mic and flash make the system top-heavy, while a battery grip lowers the center of gravity but adds significant weight.
Here’s a tip for keeping your videos crisp and clear on a tripod. Use a remote control for your camera to start and stop recording, zoom, and make setting adjustments. The less you touch the equipment while you’re shooting, the less likely you’ll be to find a resulting tremor in the images when you’re done.
Today’s DSLRs with fully articulating tilt screens make watching the video as you’re taking it easy and using a cabled or smartphone remote takes the worry out of accidental movements.
Are the materials a tripod is made from important?
Materials used in construction are important for two reasons, strength and weight. A lightweight aluminum tripod is easy enough to hang on your photography backpack or sling over your shoulder, but if it needs to support a lot of gear, it might not handle the load. Carbon steel is strong, durable, and made for heavy weights, but that adds weight to the tripod too and more for you to tote around.
Weight also comes into play when we discuss the various mounting heads we can add to the top. Usually, the more flexibility a mounting head has in terms of ability to pan, tilt, flex and twist, the heavier it is. Some steel versions weigh more than the tripod, and that too adds to the weight capacity of your tripod.
Is mounting head movement important while shooting?
If you plan to focus your DSLR on your subject and leave it there while the video records (static shooting), you probably care less about moving the head while the action is going on, but more about releasing it quickly or setting in place and tightened fast.
The most common motions are tilting. If that’s what you’re after, look for a tripod with a mounting head that you can loosen and move smoothly. Usually when using a DSLR for video work, we want to lock it in place and forget that part of the shooting equation.
Is weight capacity a true measure of stability?
Weight capacity is the first factor to consider, and after that, think about weight distribution. A top-heavy set-up is prone to tipping with the weight distribution toward the full extension of the tripod. A stack of gear with a large sail space (flat surfaces all aligned up like a little wall) catches the wind’s buffeting more easily.
If you’re below the weight capacity but worried about being top-heavy, lower the center column (lowering the tipping point) and widen the stance of the legs (distributing the weight of the stability triangle across a larger area). Both of these methods will give you more control over potential movements. Add a remote controller and you’re doing the best you can to create greater gear stability.
Can you carry a tripod without telescoping in the legs?
Yes, leaving your DSLR in place on the mounting head and bringing the legs together without collapsing them makes the setup portable (tip: look specifically for a travel tripod). You’ll have a length of legs out in front or behind you and the camera close to your hand or shoulder.
Just remember you have a length out further than normal personal space when negotiating narrower openings or swinging around when obstacles are nearby.
Are tripods weatherproof?
Yes, most tripods are weatherproof, up to a point. They are made of metal and plastic and can usually withstand light weather conditions. If you have any mechanical additions to it, though, like a special bubble level or light meter, those are not.
You will want to think about the general conditions you’re using the tripod in, just as you would your DSLR. If you’re in salt spray, that corrodes even the most sturdy and otherwise weatherproof material. Remember to wipe down your tripod along with the rest of your gear whenever you come inside from wet or dusty conditions to prolong equipment life.
Criteria for Selecting a Tripod for DSLR Videos
When selecting a tripod, you want to understand how functional it is for your kind of video shooting. DSLRs are a different shape from video cameras, and as such, they distribute weight differently. You also want quick attachment and release and the ability to set up and break down quickly, never missing a minute of potential shooting time.
Here are the criteria we use in our comparison of the best tripods for shooting videos with your DSLR camera.
|Tripod||Best For:||Adjustable Height||Weight Capacity||Carrying Length||Tripod Weight||Special Features|
|Geekoto 77’’ AT24 Pro Dreamer Tripod||Best Overall||19-77 in.||17.6 lbs.||19 in.||3.4 lbs.||A|
|ZOMEi 55″ T1-111 Travel Camera Tripod||Best Portability||18-55 in.||11.0 lbs.||19 in.||3.2 lbs.||B|
|Gitzo GK3532-82QD Series 3 Tripod Mountaineer Kit||Best Heavy-Duty||11-69 in.||39.7 lbs.||31 in.||5.8 lbs.||A|
|JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom with Ball Head Bundle||Best Fun Shooting||3-12 in.||6.6 lbs.||13 in.||.8 lbs.||B+|
|Neewer Carbon Fiber 66” Tripod/Monopod||Best Multiuse||22-66 in.||26.5 lbs.||21 in.||4.7 lbs.||A-|
|Polaroid 75″ Photo / Video ProPod Tripod||Best Budget||28-75 in.||5.0 lbs.||28 in.||4.0 lbs.||B|
The extended height used to be a feature many complained about in tripods, simply because full extension often still didn’t bring the viewfinder to eye height.
Thankfully, the advent of DSLRs with fully articulating screens means we can frame and focus from a tilt screen, and it matters less how tall the tripod will become. Taller is not necessarily better, unless you’re trying to set up the camera over a railing or above another obstacle.
This height is calculated by telescoping the legs and setting the feet the minimum recommended distance apart. Then, extend the center column to its full reach. The distance from the ground to the camera mount is the adjustable height.
Note that the lower number in each category is the minimum height manufacturers recommend for use. When set at its lowest, the legs are often not extended and are set at their widest, without extending the center column.
This is the total weight the tripod and mounting head can bear before the system becomes unsteady. You want to add all pieces into this equation, including additional mounting heads, camera body, lens, mic, flash and anything else you stack up. Keep in mind the weight distribution and opportunities for wind vibrations too.
Carrying length is the overall length of the tripod when collapsed completely for storage. This is where the number of sections or segments in the legs becomes important. More sections of shorter individual length mean the full collapse results in a shorter overall carrying length.
This is the weight of the tripod when collapsed for storage. It does not include any additional mounting heads you may leave in place, unless the head is part of the kit
We’ve assigned a letter grade to the tripod’s special features, such as a hook for additional gear or built-in bubble level. In our comments, we note major features you might want under certain circumstances.Back to Top