Choosing the best professional tripods shouldn’t be such a nerve-wracking affair. In fact, if you’re well acquainted with the basics, spending your money on the right tripod shouldn’t be a problem.
You see, the market dynamics are changing fast and what was hot a couple of months ago may not be so relevant today.
We have assembled a comprehensive guide on the top 10 best professional tripods so that you have an easier time finding a stand that meets your needs. But, back to basics:
Why Would You Need a Tripod in the First Place?
If you’re a professional photographer, then you know that for quality shots, your camera needs to be stable. A tripod is a tool that helps you to position your camera in the perfect position for great images. And the best part is, you can use a tripod stand in any situation, for all types of photography.
When Does a Professional Tripod Come in Handy?
When you are taking sunset and nighttime shots – A tripod will help lessen the camera movement which by extension translates into better quality pictures in low lighting.
When you need to bring in some flexibility into your photography – A professional tripod will hold your camcorder and also double up as a light stand to hold reflectors, slave and flash units into place. It enables you to pan smoothly, giving your video shoots the professional touch they need.
When you are shooting close up photos – It takes an accomplished photographer to make close-up shots. The minor movements determine how excellent your photos will be. With a tripod as part of your shooting kit, that doesn’t have to be a problem.
When you are doing sports photography or taking action shots – Panning is part and parcel of recording perfect action shots. A tripod makes panning relatively easier and more fluid for fast paced action.
When you are doing nature photography – At times, you have to wait for hours before you can capture a panoramic shot in the wild. You guessed it right, a tripod will hold your camera in place as you wait to for that once in a lifetime shot that may only last a couple of seconds!
There are many reasons you need a professional tripod, more so if you’re serious about taking your photography to the next level. But, that’s one side of the spectrum. You have to know what to look for in a tripod before spending your money on any unit.
What Should You Take into Consideration When Buying a Professional Tripod?
- Level of Expertise – There are tripods for entry- level photographer and seasoned users
- The Head Style – You may choose between a 3-way “pan-tilt,” Ball, Gimbal or Fluid head. Each type allows you to take pictures at varying angles. The Fluid head style, for instance, comes with video functions.
- Tripod Leg Styles – Look at the construction materials and the lock style. Again, this depends on your levels of expertise.
Now that you’ve got a head start, let’s break down the best professional tripods on the market and what each model has to offer.
- 10. Sinnofoto K888 Professional Aluminum Camera Tripod
- 9. ZOMEI Q111 55-Inch Professional Tripod
- 8. Zomei Z818 Professional Camera Tripod
- 7. Neewer Carbon Fiber 6 Portable Camera Tripod
- 6. Dolica TX570B150SL Ultra Compact Tripod
- 5. Ravelli AVT Professional Camera Tripod
- 4. Ravelli AVTP 75mm Video Camera Tripod
- 3. Ravelli ATD Professional Tripod Dolly
- 2. Ravelli APGL4 New Professional 70″ Tripod
- 1. Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod
10. Sinnofoto K888 Professional Aluminum Camera Tripod
The Sinnofoto K888 is a compact camera tripod that has the needs of a frequent traveler in mind. It weighs a mere 3.5 pounds and can handle up to 20 pounds of camera gear. You’re better off using it with DSLR and Digital cameras.
The Sinnofoto K888 sports a panoramic 36 mm head ball made using aircraft grade ADC12 aluminum alloy for robustness. It also has bi-directional degree scales that allow you to adjust angles for amazing shots.
Twist Lock System
Setting the Sinnofoto K888 is straightforward, making it one of the best professional tripods for beginners. Just loosen the central tube on the left to twist and right to tighten. You may also want to know that this tripod promises up to 8 years of consistent use.
9. ZOMEI Q111 55-Inch Professional Tripod
If you own a mirrorless camera, you need to check out this tripod. An excellent option for a point-and-shoot snapper, it boasts and ergonomic design, with soft foam material for a firmer grip. It even has a Center-Column Hook, offering increased stability for heavier camera gear.
You can take shots at any angle with the ZOMEI Q111 thanks to its quick release plate. Meanwhile, the 360-degree panning makes it easy to orchestrate brilliant vistas. And, you can equip it with a steel rocker, for easier aligning of the pan head as you shoot.
You can adjust the ZOMEI Q111 four-section legs from 18 to 55 inches for additional versatility. Plus, the Anti-Rotation System offers more convenient leg handling.
8. Zomei Z818 Professional Camera Tripod
The Zomei Z818 is lightweight, with a load capacity of 33 pounds. With such a capability, it provides the flexibility you need to use all types of camcorders and camera. It is one of the best professional tripods for experienced photographers.
The Zomei Z818 is a 2-in-1 tripod, which means that you can convert it into a full-size monopod. All you have to do is screw together the detachable center column and the leg, and you are ready to go. You can also invert and fold back the legs at 180 degrees to a compact size of 18 inches for increased portability.
The Zomei Z818 comes with an anti-corrosion Magnesium alloy tube, which makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor photography. You can carry it to sports activities, family gathering, and camping.
7. Neewer Carbon Fiber 6 Portable Camera Tripod
This tripod from Neewer comes with a 360-degree swivel fluid head and can hold a whopping 26.5 pounds of gear. It can reach a maximum height of 66.1 inches, making it an excellent choice for serious shooters or newbies learning the ropes of the craft.
High-Density Carbon Fiber
The Neewer is one of the very few professional tripods on the market with a carbon fiber tube. Other than that, the tube is corrosion resistant, has better heat resistance as well as high-efficiency shock absorption. With such a profile, you can use this tripod virtually anywhere.
Quick Release Leg Locking
The best professional tripod should guarantee stability. On that front, the Neewer scores remarkably well as it locks into place once you’ve set it up. The non-slip feet are indeed a plus as is the carry bag.
6. Dolica TX570B150SL Ultra Compact Tripod
The revamped Dolica TX570B150SL is wallet friendly and comes with a plethora of features for any photographer, beginner and experienced alike. This unit brings forth flexibility and strength to your mirrorless and interchangeable lens cameras.
Pitch-Perfect Outdoor Photography
The Dolica TX570B150SL is just the tripod you’ve been looking for outdoor shoots thanks to the reversible legs. The four leg extensions combine with extra strength gauge for extra stability more so when you’re on the go.
Revolutionary Ball Head
The TX570B150SL has a unique ball head, complete with rubberized knobs for tilting and panning. And, with a load capacity of 15 pounds, this tripod can accommodate most camcorders and cameras for a contemporary photographer.
5. Ravelli AVT Professional Camera Tripod
The Ravelli AVT is an impressive unit that deserves mention among the best professional tripods. Even though it relatively bulky at 10 pounds it can support large equipment weighing up to 16 lbs.
The Ravelli AVT uses a highly vicious gel between every moving part to reduce movement. Any photographer knows that this is essential more so when you’re making the initial set up. In other words, the gel provides fluid movement.
You can “set and forget” the Ravelli AVT during your shooting sessions thanks to the firm vertical panning. The horizontal panning is equally good, with three tension screws for heavier camera gear.
4. Ravelli AVTP 75mm Video Camera Tripod
If you’re looking for a bigger version of the tripod we’ve just reviewed, this unit is your best choice. It features a dual fluid head and can accommodate video cameras with a weight of up to 27 pounds. We take a closer look.
Interlocking Crutch Type Design
The Ravelli AVTP 75mm legs have three segments with a mid-level spreader for outstanding stability. The ergonomic lock adjustment knobs as well as the rubber feet take the steadiness a step further.
Dual Continuous Drag Fluid
The head supports both a 360 degree pan and 180 degrees tilt. It also comes with dual handles to give you more control. In the meantime, the independent locks make sure that your camera is secure by preventing slide off.
3. Ravelli ATD Professional Tripod Dolly
The Ravelli ATD Dolly is one of the best professional tripods for video shooting. It comes with light and background strands to hold your equipment safely through use. The heavy duty construction allows it to hold up to 30 pounds.
One thing that sets the Ravelli ATD Dolly apart from its competitors is its 3 inch metal diameter wheels. The wheels have metal bearings and a rubber outer surface to give you a smooth roll during outdoor shooting. The one step locking feature allows you to have the Dolly where you want it, for long.
Easy Folding Design
Transporting the Dolly is easy too. In fact, it is one of the few models that come with a carrying handle. This unit truly seeks to help you get on with your video shooting without operational fatigue. To keep it short, this is one of a kind camera tripod.
2. Ravelli APGL4 New Professional 70″ Tripod
One of the most sought after professional tripods, the Ravelli APGL4 has an impressive collapsible height of 32.75 inches, allowing you to take it anywhere. It weighs only 8 pounds and could as well be your one-the-go tripod.
Pistol Grip Tilt Adjustment Head
You can quickly set the Ravelli APGL4 at an angle that enables you to take perfect shots, thanks to the tilt-able head. Besides, the quick release camera plate evenly distributes your equipment’s weight, so there’s no wobbling.
The Ravelli APGL4 is all about letting you customize it for the best possible photos. You can set its legs at any angle or configuration that you may think of. Also, the center shaft inverts quickly for low shots.
1. Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod
The Dolica AX620B100 is arguably one of the best professional tripods you can get on the market. It is cheap and comes with features that rival high-end models. This unit boasts superb craftsmanship, an elegant retro design and excellent features to match.
There is no guess work with the Dolica AX620B100. Its built-in compass ensures that get the shooting angle right whether you’re using it indoors or outdoors. That makes it an ideal option for taking evening or sunset photos.
The Dolica AX620B100 will give you feedback on whether your camera is at the correct level before you take a shot. In effect, this means that once you have set your gear, there’s no need to keep adjusting it for the entire session which by extension translates into less stitching errors.