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Best Video Tripod [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 12/08/2021

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Every videographer aims to shoot stable shots that tilt and span smoothly without a shaky appearance. However, this might not be the case if you don't equip yourself with the best video tripod. In the review below, we will help you identify the right video tripod for you. 

Our Top Video Tripod Reviews

Equipping your video gear with the best video tripod will make all the difference in your shooting experience, especially when it comes to video stability. Below, we focus on everything you may need to know about video tripods.

Brand
Best Overall
Manfrotto Professional
Best for the Money
Manfrotto Lightweight
Best Cheap Pick
National Geographic Travel
Product
Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video...
Manfrotto MVH500AH,755CX3 Lightweight Fluid Video...
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel tripod Kit, 5-Section...
Material
Aluminum
Carbon Fiber, Aluminium
Aluminum
Maximum Height
64.76 inches
58.27 inches
64.96 inches
Best Overall
Brand
Manfrotto Professional
Product
Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video...
Material
Aluminum
Maximum Height
64.76 inches
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Manfrotto Lightweight
Product
Manfrotto MVH500AH,755CX3 Lightweight Fluid Video...
Material
Carbon Fiber, Aluminium
Maximum Height
58.27 inches
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
National Geographic Travel
Product
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel tripod Kit, 5-Section...
Material
Aluminum
Maximum Height
64.96 inches
Price

Best Overall Video Tripod: Manfrotto Professional

The Manfrotto Professional is specifically designed for the modern interchangeable lens DSLRs and HDSLRs, with a 75mm half ball mount. The head comes with a pre-set counterbalance of around 8.8 pounds, but overall, the tripod can support camera gear of up to 15.4 pounds. 

Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video...

The head features two link connectors that enhance the fitting of an external monitor or accessory to the head. Unlike the Manfrotto Travel Befree Live, it comes with a telescopic mid-level spreader that enhances accurate angle settings. 

Thanks to the rubber overshoes and spiked feet, the tripod is stable and secure even on uneven grounds and slippery floors. It weighs 12.13 pounds, making it unsuitable for carrying around. However, the maximum height of 64.76 inches is less impressive than that of Manfrotto 290 Xtra.

Pros

  • The preset counterbalance supports heavy camera gears
  • The connectors enhance the head fitting with an external accessory
  • Like the Manfrotto 290 Xtra, it is ideal to use on slippery and uneven grounds

Cons

  • It is the heaviest on our list, making it inconvenient to carry
  • The maximum height is less appealing than that of the Manfrotto 290 Xtra.
Manfrotto MVH502A,546BK-1 Professional Fluid Video...
  • 75mm Ball Mount for quick adjustment
  • Mid spreader for better stability. Requires iOS (9.0 or higher) or Android (5.0 or higher)...
  • Video head gives silky smooth pans and tilts

Best Video Tripod for the Money: Manfrotto Lightweight

The Manfrotto Lightweight is a twin leg tripod that comes with a 60mm half ball fluid video head that ensures fine control and smooth shots. The platform is wide enough for HDSLR, with a slide plate that facilitates the use of modern cameras. 

Manfrotto MVH500AH,755CX3 Lightweight Fluid Video...

It comes with fluid cartridges on the tilt and pan axis that helps to enhance precise and smooth control of the camera movement. It features leg-locking collars and advanced ellipse-profile tubing, which improves stability and rigidity. 

Unlike the Manfrotto Professional, it comes with a maximum load capacity of 11.02 pounds, making it ideal in supporting heavy interchangeable lens cameras. 

Also, the feet are equipped with rubber overshoes which increases grip when shooting on slippery surfaces such as floors. Unlike the Manfrotto Travel Befree Live, it weighs 8.36 pounds, limiting its portability.

Pros

  • Suitable for supporting the heavy interchangeable lens cameras
  • The ellipse-profile tubing improves the tripod rigidity and stability
  • The fluid cartridges enhance smooth camera control

Cons

  • Unlike the Manfrotto Travel Befree Live, it is heavy to carry
  • Unlike the Manfrotto Professional, it lacks the head fitting connectors
Manfrotto MVH500AH,755CX3 Lightweight Fluid Video...
  • Fluid Head for silky smooth panning
  • Carbon Fiber legs
  • Fluid cartridges on both pan and tilt axes

Best Cheap Video Tripod: National Geographic Travel 

The National Geographic Travel tripod features an aluminum construction which makes it lightweight, sturdy, and compact. Typically, this video tripod can extend to a maximum height of 65 inches, and you can fold it to 16 inches, making it suitable for carrying in camera bags and backpacks. 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel tripod Kit, 5-Section...

Besides, to enhance the precise control and smoothness when shooting videos, the head comes with two fluid heads that work independently, one for tilt and the other for the pan. Unlike the Manfrotto Lightweight, it weighs 3.28 pounds, making it convenient to carry when traveling. 

However, the lightweight construction affects the overall stability, yet it doesn't come with a hook to connect to a weight when using in trying situations. The support for 13 pounds is ideal for heavy camera gear, better than the one in models like the Manfrotto Professional.

Pros

  • It enhances precise camera control when shooting videos
  • The minimum height makes it ideal for carrying in a bag
  •  Unlike Manfrotto Professional, is better for heavy camera gear

Cons

  • It lacks weather resistance sealing, making it unsuitable for working in trying situations
  • Unlike the Manfrotto lightweight, it lacks the ellipse-profile tubing
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel tripod Kit, 5-Section...
  • THE IDEAL TRAVEL COMPANION: The National Geographic Travel Photo Tripod Kit is a complete,...
  • AMAZING SMOOTH FOOTAGE: The head offers two independent fluid movements for high control during...
  • COMPACT AND MIGHTY: From CSCs to DSLRs with zoom lenses and medium-sized spotting scopes scopes,...

Best Video Tripod with Bubble Alignment: Benro Aero 4

The Benro Aero 4 uses folding legs, making it compact enough for carrying in a camera bag, rolling case, or backpack. It features a flat base fluid head which enhances both tilt and pans for a precise and smooth camera motion. 

Benro Aero 4 Travel Angel Video Tripod Kit...

It is equipped with an advanced leveling column that facilitates accurate and swift leveling, ensuring the horizontal pans are straight and level. Also, it comes with a built-in bubble level which ensures accurate alignment. 

The aluminum-made reversing folding stands come with flip lockers, which ensure independent adjustment of the leg angle. Although the maximum load capacity of 8.8 pounds is impressive, it's less compared to Manfrotto 290 Xtra. 

It comes with a weight hook, allowing you to secure it to the ground. It weighs 5.85 pounds, which is heavier than the Manfrotto 290 Xtra, making it inconvenient for carrying.

Pros

  • The compactness is ideal for carrying in a camera bag
  • Enhances independent attachment of the leg angle
  • The bubble level enhances accurate alignment

Cons

  • It is heavier than Manfrotto 290 Xtra making it inconvenient for carrying when traveling
  • The maximum load capacity is less appealing
Sale
Benro Aero 4 Travel Angel Video Tripod Kit...
  • Combines a removable flat base video head and 3-stage aluminum tripod legs.
  • Easily converts to a monopod by combining the center column with the removable tripod leg.
  • Equipped with interchangeable screw-in rubber feet and stainless steel spiked feet for increased...

Best Flexible Video Tripod: Manfrotto 290 Xtra

The Manfrotto 290 Xtra is a versatile video tripod that comes with flip locks that allows you to change the leg's height individually. It comes with four leg angles which provide flexibility on ways to place the tripod. 

Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum 3-Section Tripod Kit...

It features rubber feet which enhances traction even when you are using it on uneven or slippery grounds such as slippery floors. Unlike Benro Aero 4, with a maximum load capacity of 11 pounds, you can use this tripod with heavy mirrorless cameras or flashlights. 

It comes with a quick-release plate, enhancing the attaching and detaching of a camera using a flip lever, making it easier to use, especially in places where you frequently need to change the camera. 

Although lighter than Benro Aero 4, it weighs 5.6 pounds which is unsuitable for carrying around in a handbag.

Pros

  • Provides flexibility on the grounds to place the tripod
  • The grip is ideal for slippery grounds
  • The release plate enhances camera attachment

Cons

  • The weight might exhaust you if you carry for an extended time
  • Unlike Benro Aero 4, it lacks the independent mounting attachment
Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum 3-Section Tripod Kit...
  • Premium Italian design. Each leg can be set at 4 angles of spread.To change the angle on a leg,...
  • Adjustable aluminum Leg Locks,15.9 to 67.5" Height Range
  • Robust aluminum construction

Best Portable Video Tripod: Manfrotto Travel Befree Live

The Manfrotto Travel Befree Live features a distinguished design with traveling and portability in mind. Like the Benro Aero 4, it comes with a fluid video head that can support camera gear of up to 8.8 pounds while realizing a smooth pan and tilt. 

Manfrotto Travel Befree Live Aluminium Tripod...

You will have peace of mind when using it on uneven surfaces as the leveling ball facilitates excellent horizontal alignment. In case you are using it in trying situations, it comes with a hook that allows you to attach a weight to improve stability. 

It weighs 3.6 pounds, lightweight enough to carry in a backpack or camera bag when traveling. However, it has a maximum height of 59.06 inches, which is less appealing compared to Manfrotto 290 Xtra.

Pros

  • Like the Benro Aero 4, it can support heavy camera gears
  • Facilitates horizontal alignment for non-level surfaces
  • The weight is ideal for carrying around

Cons

  • Unlike Manfrotto Lightweight, the small weight negatively affects the overall stability
  • The maximum height is ineffective when shooting in situations with obscuring objects
Sale
Manfrotto Travel Befree Live Aluminium Tripod...
  • Video tripod Kit built for travel performance
  • New m-lock twist lock system for fast, secure operation
  • Amazing smooth footage with be free live Fluid video head

Best Video Tripod with Vibration Control: Vanguard VEO 2 PRO

The Vanguard VEO 2 PRO comes with a modern, sleek design that incorporates unique features for video shooting, making it ideal for hunting and bird-watching videography applications. 

Vanguard VEO 2 PRO 233CV Carbon Fiber Tripod with...

Unlike National Geographic Travel, it features camera shock and vibration control which helps dampen the vibration and reduce camera shake even when you are using it in a moving vehicle. 

Also, it comes with a 2-way pan head which ensures a smooth camera controlling experience. It features spiked feet, which helps in maintaining grip and stability when using in uneven grounds, improving usage versatility. 

However, unlike Manfrotto Lightweight, it comes with a less impressive capacity of 8.8 pounds. With a weight of 3.3 pounds, it's the second most lightweight and suitable for carrying when traveling. 

Pros

  • The camera shock control minimizes the camera shake effect
  • The spiked feet helps maintain grip and stability even on slippery grounds
  • It's the second most lightweight on our list and convenient to carry around without exhaustion

Cons

  • Unlike Manfrotto Lightweight, its capacity is less appealing
  • It has short handles making it less impressive for heavy cameras
Vanguard VEO 2 PRO 233CV Carbon Fiber Tripod with...
  • Ultra-smooth 2-way video pan head with quick release plate, back-up safety lock, and sturdy long pan...
  • Lightweight carbon fiber legs adjust to 20°, 45° and 80° degree angles. Twist leg locks
  • Advanced camera vibration and shock control. QS-66 quick release plate

Best Sturdy Video Tripod: Benro S2 

The Benro S2 comes with a sturdy construction of carbon fiber and stainless steel, making it reliable and durable. It's equipped with a quick-release plate that allows you to attach and detach your camera gear easily, making it ideal for situations where you change the camera frequently. 

Benro S2 Single Leg Carbon Fiber Video Tripod Kit...

Like the Manfrotto Lightweight, the feet are rubberized and spiked, making it ideal for use on slippery grounds due to the improved grip. Although it's heavier than Vanguard VEO 2 PRO, it weighs 3.8 pounds which is lightweight enough to carry in a bag. 

Also, it features a leg flip-lock function, which prevents flipping, ensuring the camera is secure. However, unlike the Benro Aero 4, the maximum load capacity of 5.5 pounds is unsuitable for heavy camera gear.

Pros

  • Its construction makes it reliable and long-lasting
  • The release plate enhances camera attachment and detachment
  • The lock lever function ensures that the camera is secure when shooting

Cons

  • Unlike the Benro Aero 4, its maximum load capacity is less impressive
  • Unlike Vanguard VEO 2 PRO, it lacks the camera vibration control
Benro S2 Single Leg Carbon Fiber Video Tripod Kit...
  • Offers an S2 compact two-way video head combined with carbon fiber single-leg tube tripod legs with...
  • Features a quick release plate for east mount and release.
  • Equipped with interchangeable screw-in rubber feet and stainless steel spiked feet for increased...

Features to Consider in a Video Tripod

If you are planning to get yourself a new video tripod, choosing the best from the many options in the market might be challenging. Fortunately, below are the essential attributes you should consider when deciding. 

Additionally, the chart provides you with an overview of the varying features of these video tripods.

ProductMaximum Load Capacity (Pounds)Maximum Height (Inches)Weight (Pounds)
Benro Aero 48.852.565.85
Manfrotto 290 Xtra1166.75.6
Manfrotto Travel Befree Live8.859.063.6
Manfrotto Professional8.864.7612.13
Manfrotto Lightweight11.0260.68.36
National Geographic Travel13653.28
Vanguard VEO 2 PRO8.857.53.3
Benro S25.562.23.8

Plate

The camera is connected to a plate on a tripod. Typically on small or cheap tripods, this is a solid plate with a mounted screw mount that connects directly to the bottom of the camera. 

However, advanced video tripods such as Benro S2 come with a release plate. These quick-release plates are convenient and enable you to detach or attach the camera more quickly.

A quick-release plate is particularly important for single-camera shooters, especially when you quickly switch from tripod mount to handheld. You can also leave the camera plate attached when storing the camera to make subsequent mounting quicker.

Head

The tripod's head materials and design significantly affect its ability to capture smooth, beautiful slopes, pan, and tilts. With cinematography and videography, it's almost impossible to achieve smooth movement without the use of the right head. The pan-and-tilt and ball heads are the main types of video tripod heads.

The pan and tilt head enables you to set your tripod head around the axis individually by loosening and tightening the adjusting knob. This knob can have a knob's arm connected to this button, and so with this head style, you can swipe up and down or left to right.

On the other hand, the ball head comes with a ball and socket design. When connected, the ball moves freely at its joints like in the Manfrotto Travel Befree Live. 

You can use a knob to squeeze and hold the ball and safeguard it to its place. Movements are regulated with this knob, which usually has an arm connected to it.

Selective focus of hand holding a camera on a video tripod

Fluid Head

As the name suggests, fluid heads are sealed with lubricating oil. This lubrication allows the head to move when turning or tilting smoothly. As these video heads use liquids, it should be noted that not all are suitable for working in extreme temperatures.

The best tripod head moves 360 degrees and tilts +/- 90 degrees, like that of Benro Aero 4. The pressure in the head fluid can be corrected or adjusted. 

The adjustments, known as dragging, offer you more control over your movements. The heads are attached to the tripod legs using a flat or a ball mount.

Arms

Most video/film tripods have a handle or a control arm for rotating and tilting. However, some tripods have options for handling mounting. Some models, such as Manfrotto Professional, offer the option of using a second handle for better control. 

However, you can use this second handle as a mounting point for additional zoom and focus controls. Two-stage telescopic arms are very useful when using remote controls.

Legs

Many tripods in the market have carbon fiber or aluminum legs. Aluminum is generally inexpensive, while carbon fiber is significantly stronger and lighter. For instance, the Benro S2 comes with carbon fiber leg construction, making it more sturdy than the others on our list. 

Although the material of the legs doesn't really affect the tripod's performance, the weight might be different.

Many manufacturers include the weight of the legs or tripods. Finally, you need to decide if the difference in weight is worth the cost.

The video tripod legs are usually one-legged or two tandem legs. Double legs provide additional stability and support and are often the only option for carrying high payloads. The number of telescopic parts that make up the base must also be taken into account. 

The more stages or pieces the tripod has, the smaller the folded size. However, multiple leg sections can also result in slightly longer set-up times and a bit heavier to transport.

Payload

When considering the tripod's maximum payload, you need to take into account more than the camera's weight. Some lenses weigh more, and also the weight may not be evenly distributed. 

Tripod balance issues can be caused by extra weights of the external recorders and larger batteries that are attached to the back of the camera. Finally, you should consider the extra weight of anything you attach to the camera bracket, such as microphones or lights.

The weight capacity of tripod heads is rated, and it is very crucial not to exceed this weight because it can damage the head. If you want to avoid such scenarios, it's advisable to go for a video tripod with a high payload, such as National Geographic Travel. 

Fluid from the head creates a cushion that stabilizes your shots. If you surpass your head weight limits, it will affect your cushioning capacity. This makes shooting problematic to the operator. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Bubble Level?

Although it is not important, it's good to have a perfect match bubble level on the tripod head and the other one on the tripod stand. You will not need to use a bubble level much if you have a digital level in your camera. 

If you don't have either, attachment of a bubble level to your camera hot shoe can be done. Fortunately, some video tripods, such as Benro Aero 4, come with a bubble level.

How Fast Does A Ball Head Adjust?

You can mount your camera once the tripod is secure and in place. Ball heads that require only one lever to loosen and tighten are the best, meaning you can position your camera in the right position just with two lever turns. 

Getting a ball head that will allow you to switch quickly between portrait and landscape, such as Manfrotto 290 Xtra, is also important.

Conclusion

As a videographer, your aim is to shoot smooth tilting and panning shots. Also, you want your hands free, so you can adjust the lights and lenses. However, not all video tripods can give you this versatility and stability. Fortunately, any pick from the above list won't disappoint.

PFRE Team
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