Among the many common frustrations photographers face, no matter their skill level, is camera shake. Whether caused by low light, unstable footing, or hands that are wont to tremble, unwanted motion can ruin a shot. A quick fix is to use a tripod, which can also expand your photo-taking ability, allowing you to shoot time lapses, video, and self-timed portraits. Find the right one for your needs below, from fuss-free stabilizers to models with lots of bells and whistles.
1. Vanguard Espod Cx 234Ap
In the world of tripods, Vanguard’s model is considered a budget option. But in addition to its good price, it provides ease of use, top-notch stability, and versatility for a range of shooting situations. It can be extended to a height of 61 inches, features a bubble level and strong legs with rubberized feet, and has a pan head that moves very smoothly and can rotate 360 degrees. All its parts can be quickly adjusted, from the flip knobs on the legs to the plate that lets you pop in and lock your camera quickly. This is also a pretty light tripod, weighing just over 2½ pounds, but the aluminum alloy frame can still support a maximum load of three times its weight.
2. Linkcool Octopus Tripod
If you’re looking for a more compact tripod, we like this option, which has multi-jointed legs with super-grippy surfaces. You can place it on a flat surface or bend its legs to securely mount it to essentially any surface, from a fence to a tree branch. Although it’s lightweight and largely designed for smartphones, it’s strong and sturdy enough to support small cameras too. The tripod comes with a wireless remote control that can activate your camera shutter from a distance.
3. UBeesize Extendable Tripod
Another great product for those who love their smartphone cameras, UBeesize’s tripod is a simple yet elegant solution for low-light settings and long-distance selfies. It consists of an adjustable central column that extends to a height of 51 inches, and it remains stable even at its fullest extension thanks to a three-legged base that opens wide. The mount features a holder that comfortably grips a phone; this can be swapped for a plate with a universal camera screw to support light to medium-weight cameras. Whatever your preferred shooting device, the mount can be rotated to switch between portrait and landscape mode, or swivel 360 degrees for micro-adjustments. And once it’s all folded up, you can even use it as a selfie stick.
4. Manfrotto MT190X Pro4 Tripod
Manfrotto’s tripod is a solidly built product packed with features for customization and maximum stability. Its legs can open out at four angles to accommodate uneven terrain, and it features a central column that can swing into a horizontal position at the push of a button, which allows you to shoot from straight above or get close to the ground. This tripod is finished with rubber leg grips, a bubble level, and your choice of a three-way head or a ball head, both of which offer seamless motion. It’s heavier than our other picks, weighing about 4½ pounds, but it’s also capable of supporting much heavier cameras with bigger lenses.
5. AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod
This lightweight and easy-to-use tripod is ideal for hobbyists and casual users. It can reach a height of 5 feet but remains stable even at that maximum extension, as components stay firmly in place when locked. Adjusting it is a breeze, thanks to easy-twist knobs, flip tabs on the legs, and a unique crank for adjusting the central shaft. Because it collapses to a compact size and weighs only about 3 pounds, this is an especially excellent tripod to travel with. The construction quality is far less impressive than that of higher-end tripods, but its low cost also means you won’t be overly worried about scuffs and scratches.