Here is my selection of the best tripods which I would consider to buy for a Sony A7III, A9 or a6500. My person favorites are the SLIK Mini Pro III if I go hiking and the Manfrotto Befree for more serious or creative stuff while traveling. If you don’t mind the weight then the Manfrotto 190go! offers the most flexibility for creativity of all tripods listed here.
|Manfrotto PIXI Mini||190 grams / 0.42 lbs|
|JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom||241 grams / 0.53 lbs|
|SLIK Mini Pro III||300 grams / 0.7 lbs|
|Sirui 3T-35K||431 grams / 0.95 lbs|
|BONFOTO b71t table tripod||766 grams / 1.6 lbs|
|Neewer Carbon Fiber 20||950 grams / 2.1 lbs|
|BONFOTO B690A Travel Tripod||1180 grams / 2.6 lbs|
|COOCHEER Camera Tripod||1250 kg / 2.76 lbs|
|AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod||1360 kg / 3 lbs|
|Manfrotto BeFree Aluminum||1590 grams / 3.5 lbs|
|Manfrotto 190go!||1600 grams / 3.7 lbs|
|Joby Gorillapod Focus GP8||1750 kg / 3.86 lbs|
|MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter Travel Tripod||2100 grams / 4.6 lbs|
Joby Gorillapod Focus GP8
Weight: 1750 grams / 3.86 lbs
Load capacity: 5 kg / 11 lbs
The Job GorillaPod Focus with ballhead has been designed for professional SLR cameras and offers flexible and wrapable legs to secure equipment to virtually any surface.
It can rotate 360” and tilts 90°.
Further, it also includes a permanent 1/4” universal screw and 3/8” adapter screw.
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripod & Ball Head for Sony Alpha Lever Lock
weight: 1500 grams / 3.5 lbs
load capacity: 8.8 lbs
maximum height: 56.7”
min height: 13.4”
folded length: 15.75”
leg dections: 4
The Manfrotto BeFree is my favorite Tripod when traveling. It folds small and offers most of the features you want to see on a tripod. It also comes with a quick release ball head and a QR plate. I don’t have the Sony version of this tripod since it was not released at the time when I bought it but obviously I would have bought the Sony version if it would have been available.
weight: 1600 grams / 3.7 lbs
load capacity: 15.4 lbs
maximum height: 57.5”
min height: 2.75”
folded length: 17.7”
leg dections: 4
The Manfrotto 190go! is probably my new tripod which I will use for more creative work or even replace my Befree tripod with it. Why? It has a reversible column which can be positioned at a 90 degrees angle. Moreover, it offers quick locks and an Easy Link socket where other gear such as a LED lamp or an external monitor can be attached. It is slightly heavier than the BeFree but is much more versatile. Moreover, you can remove the ballhead and use it together with a slider. The ballhead of my choice would be the Manfrotto 494 Aluminum Center Ball Head with 200PL-PRO Quick Release Plate.
Manfrotto PIXI Mini
weight: 190 grams / 0.42 lbs
maximum height: 5.3”
load capacity: 2.2 lb
The Manfrotto Pixi Mini comes with a mini ball head with a single knob and a push button for ball head adjustment. Further it has a 1/4”-20 Camera Screw and rubber feet.
Neewer Carbon Fiber 20 inches
weight: 950 grams / 2.1 lbs
minimum height: 23 cm / 9.1”
Neewer Carbon Fiber 20 inches/50 centimeters is a portable travel desktop mini tripod which could be a perfect choice for macro photography.
It comes with 3 sections adjustable-height leg tubes and an adjustable center column as well as a non slip feet design.
It also has a 360 degree dial of swivel ball head with bubble level which provides you with a panoramic view.
Sirui 3T-35K Tripod with 3T-35 Ball Head
weight: 431 grams / 0.95 lbs
load capacity: 4000 grams / 8.8 lbs
min height: 4.5”
folded length: 9.5”
The Sirui 3T-35K Tripod with 3T-35 Ball Head & Case comes with a removable and extendable center column and an Area-Type compatible ball head.
Further, it also comes with a quick-release plate so you can easily attach and detach your camera to the tripod.
SLIK Mini Pro III
weight: 300 grams / 0.7 lbs
load capacity: 0.7 lbs
max height: 10 inches
min height: 7.9 inches
folded length: 8.3 inches
COOCHEER Alluminum Alloy Camera Tripod
Weight: 1250 grams / 2.76 lbs
Load Capacity: up to 8.8 lb 4.0 kg
Folded length: 50 cm / 19.7 in
Maximum Height: 57.5 in / 146 cm
Minimum Height: 18.5 in / 47 cm
Leg Sections: 4
The COOCHEER Alluminum Alloy Camera Tripod is one of the best selling tripods on Amazon which is probably related to the price and the features it offers.
The tripod is advertised as being smoothly adjustable and having a good damping coefficient. Moreover, it’s also suitable for traveling as it comes with a low weight and with a durable case. The tripod has a load capacity of up to 4 kg and comes with non slip rubber feet. The tripod is made of high quality aluminium alloy and comes with 4-section legs and center column.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod
Weight: 3 lb / 1360 grams
Load Capacity: 6.6 lb / 3 kg
Maximum Height: 60 in / 152 cm
Minimum Height: 25 in / 50 cm
Leg Sections: 3
If you are more on a budget then you could have a look at the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod. It comes with rubber feet, a quick-release mounting plate and a bag.
JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom
Weight: 0.53 lb / 241 grams
Load Capacity: 6.6 lb / 3kg
Maximum Height: 9.8 in / 24,89 cm
If you need a flexible mounting solution which packs small and light then the JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom could be a solution. If your camera gear weights less than 1 kg you could also consider the JOBY GorillaPod Hybrid.
The JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom comes with rubberized foot grips and a quick release plate. This tripod gives you a lot of creative options as the Gorillapod lets you mount your camera almost anywhere.
BONFOTO B690A Travel Tripod
Weight: 2.6 lb / 1180 grams
Load Capacity: 17 lb / 7.7 kg
Maximum Height: 55 in / 139 cm
Minimum Height: 14.5 in / 36.8 cm
Leg Sections: 4
The BONFOTO B690A Travel Tripod comes with a carry handle, foam grips and a center column hook for hanging additional accessories. The tripod is made of lightweight aluminum and could be a good choice for outdoor or travel shooting. It also comes with a quick release mounting plate with standard 1/4” screw. There is also a secure clip which makes it possible to attach and detach the camera.
MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter Travel Tripod
Weight: 4.6 lb / 2100 grams
Load Capacity: 26.4 lb / 12 kg
Maximum Height: 64.2 in / 163 cm
Minimum Height: 16.1 in / 41 cm
Leg Sections: 5
The MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter Travel Tripod comes with a center column hook, an individual head tension and lock knob as well as pan lock help make the right adjustment. The tripod also comes with a precision matched ballhead with an Arca-Swiss style compatible quick release plate and rubberized locking grips and anti-rotation legs. Thre is also a foam grip on the monopod leg which could be useful in very hot or cold environments.
BONFOTO b71t table tripod
Weight: 1.6 lb / 766 grams
Load Capacity: 6.6 lb / 3 kg
Maximum Height: 20.5 in / 52 cm
Minimum Height: 11.8 in / 30 cm
The BONFOTO b71t table tripod is a light and small tripod which you can pack into your backpack. It is made of aluminium and comes with a mini ball head and a carrying bag.
Difference between aluminum and carbon tripod
Carbon is lighter than aluminium and is also more weather resistant. A carbon tripod might also be a good choice if you are planning to take pictures at the beach as salt water may not harm carbon that much.
An additional layer usually protects the aluminium tripods from erosion. However, sand could cause small scratches to that layer and the tripod may suffer from erosion.
Another advantage of an aluminium tripod over a carbon tripod is that it’s less expensive.
Difference between a light and heavy tripod
A heavy tripod might be not suitable for traveling however it has some benefits over a lighter tripod. First of all you can load more weight on it e.g. heavier lenses and equipment and it’s not going to vibrate that much when you are shooting in a windy environment.
A heavier tripod could be also useful if you are planning to use a slider with your tripod.
Can a tripod fit any camera?
When you are about to buy a tripod it is important to check if the quick release plate or the little screw on the tripod fits into your camera. Moreover, you should check if the tripod is able to carry the weight of your camera and your most heavy lens including all equipment you would like to use on your camera e.g. flash or external monitor.
Some cameras like the one on an iPhone might need a special adapter before they can be mounted on the tripod. You may also need to find out if the tripod has the right size or weight. For example, it might be tiring to carry a heavy tripod on a hiking trip in the mountains. Moreover, you might need to check if the tripod can be adjusted to your height e.g. if you are a very tall person.
Depending on your application e.g. travel, vlogging, overhead shots, astrophotography or hiking and backpacking you may find different tripods more useful in certain situations.
Can a camera tripod hold a phone?
Most of the camera tripods can also hold a phone (e.g. iPhone or Android phone) but you may need to buy a dedicated adapter for it.
Tripod for cameras with lots of accessories
If you are planning to buy a tripod for your camera which holds a lot of accessories then it would be a good idea to buy a camera cage or rig which allows you to attach for example an external microphone, screen (such as the Atomos Ninja V), video LED light or USB battery pack.
Tripod with remote control
Some applications such as astrophotography or using a slider with a small motor may benefit from using a remote control (e.g. an App which is installed on your smartphone).
Tripod vs Monopod
In some cases a tripod might be a better solution than a monopod depending on the application. For example, a monopod is faster to set up and can also be used as a walking stick. However, a tripod gives you more stable shots and you are also able to control the camera remotely or take pictures of yourself.
My own gear
I own a SLIK Mini Pro III and a Manfrotto BeFree . I use the SLIK when I need to count every gram e.g. when going on a long distance hike while I take the Manfrotto if I need a full featured tripod.
The Manfrotto is also a good choice if you want to take selfies as you can position the camera to the right hight.
I also take the Manfrotto tripod with me if I don’t carry much gear with me or if I don’t change my location that often during a trip.
So what is the best travel tripod? It really depends on the situation and how you are planning to use it.
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