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Here is my selection of the best tripods which I found interesting and which I might consider to use with a Sony a7s III, Sony a7 III, a7R IV, a7c, a9 II, a6400, or a6600. I have not tested all of those tripods. My favorite tripods that I have also tested are the SLIK Mini Pro III (which has been updated and is now called Slik Mini Pro DQ). I also used to have the Manfrotto Befree for hiking or traveling but I switched to the Manfrotto 190go! since it offers more stability especially with my Sony 100-400 GM lens.

Ortlieb Duffle RS 140

If you don’t mind the weight then the Manfrotto 190go! (see picture above in Japan) offers the most flexibility for my creativity of all tripods listed here. It is also more stable than the Manfrotto Befree tripod, which is especially important when using a Telezoom in more windy conditions. Most times, I also take the SLIK Mini Pro III and the Manfrotto 190go! to the same trip (as the Manfrotto 190go! can not be lowered quickly to the extent as it is possible with the SLIK Mini Pro tripods) and use them together with the Manfrotto 323 Quick Change Plate Adapter so I can switch the tripods quickly.

Tripod comparison table

Tripod Weight
Manfrotto PIXI Mini 190 grams / 0.42 lbs
JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom 241 grams / 0.53 lbs
SLIK Mini Pro DQ 350 grams / 0.77 lbs
SIRUI AM-223 730 grams / 1.6 lbs
Sirui AM-225 940 grams / 2.1 lbs
Neewer Carbon Fiber 20 inches 950 grams / 2.1 lbs
BONFOTO B690A Travel Tripod 1180 grams / 2.6 lbs
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod 1360 kg / 3 lbs
Gitzo tripod kit Traveler α, series 1 1450 grams / 3.2 lbs
Manfrotto BeFree Aluminum 1590 grams / 3.5 lbs
Manfrotto 190go! 1600 grams / 3.7 lbs
Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom 1750 kg / 3.86 lbs
MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter 2100 grams / 4.6 lbs

SIRUI AM-223

Weight: 730 grams / 1.6 lbs
Load Capacity: 15 kg / 33 lbs

The SIRUI AM-223 is one of my favorite tripods in this post. As it is a carbon tripod it is light and has 2 sections to extend the legs which makes it quite versatile for different shooting situations with a height ranging between 13 – 42,3cm. folded together the tripod has a height of 29cm. The tripod also comes with a carabiner hook to attach some weight to it to make it more stable. The rubber legs prevent the tripod from slippage.

You can buy the SIRUI AM-223 here.


SIRUI AM-225

Weight: 940 grams / 2.1 lbs
Load Capacity: 6 kg / 13.2 lbs

The SIRUI AM-225 is the big brother of the AM-223 and you should pick this tripod if you need to operate your camera on a higher level. The weight of this tripod is fantastic as it doesn’t have any center column. You probably want to avoid using the center column if you are taking pictures with a tele-zoom as it is less shaky. This tripod can be taken on a hiking trip. If you are looking for an even more stable solution, then the Sirui AM-254 is probably a better option but comes with additional weight.

You can buy the SIRUI AM-225 here.


Gitzo tripod kit Traveler α

Weight: 1450 grams
Load Capacity: 10 kg / 22 lbs

The Gitzo tripod kit Traveler α is probably one of the best tripods in this selection but it comes with it’s price. At a maximum height of 141 cm it’s quite light for its weight including the ball head. What I don’t like on this tripod is that it comes with a center column which might be quite useless in combination with my Sony 100-400mm Telezoom.

You can buy the Gitzo tripod kit Traveler α here.


Joby GorillaPod SLR Zoom

Weight: 1750 grams / 3.86 lbs
Load capacity: 5 kg / 11 lbs

The Job GorillaPod Focus with ball head has been designed for professional SLR cameras and offers flexible and wrappable 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.

You can buy the Joby GorillaPod SLR Zoom here.


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 sections: 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.

You can buy the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripod here.


Manfrotto 190go!

weight: 1600 grams / 3.7 lbs
load capacity: 15.4 lbs
maximum height: 57.5″
min-height: 2.75″
folded length: 17.7″
leg sections: 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 that 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 ball head and use it together with a slider. The ball head of my choice would be the Manfrotto 494 Aluminum Center Ball Head with 200PL-PRO Quick Release Plate.

You can buy the Manfrotto 190go! here


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.

You can buy the Manfrotto PIXI Mini here.


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 that 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 a swivel ball head with a bubble level which provides you with a panoramic view.

You can buy the Neewer Carbon Fiber 20 inches here.


SLIK Mini Pro DQ

weight: 350 grams / 0.76 lbs
max-height: 226 mm
min-height: 173 mm
folded length: 205 mm

The SLIK Mini Pro DQ replaced the SLIK Mini Pro III which I had previously as my go-to travel tripod. You can buy the SLIK Mini Pro DQ here.


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.

You can buy the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod here.


JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom

Day 2: Relaxing at Yuki Chichibu Onsen, Packrafting on Lake Toya and Walking in the Tree-tops at NAC Adventure Park

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 that 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.

You can buy the JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom here.


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 a standard 1/4″ screw. There is also a secure clip that makes it possible to attach and detach the camera.

You can buy the BONFOTO B690A Travel Tripod here.


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, Individual head tension and lock knob, as well as pan lock help, make the right adjustment. The tripod also comes with a precision matched ball head 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.

You can buy the MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter Travel Tripod here.


FAQ

Difference between aluminum and carbon tripod

Carbon is lighter than aluminum 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 saltwater may not harm carbon that much. An additional layer usually protects the aluminum tripods from erosion. However, sand could cause small scratches to that layer and the tripod may suffer from erosion. Another advantage of an aluminum tripod over a carbon tripod is that it’s less expensive.

Difference between 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. You should check if the tripod can 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.

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 can also control the camera remotely or take pictures of yourself.

My own gear

I used to have a Manfrotto BeFree in the past but exchanged it to a Manfrotto 190go! for more stability. Moreover, I am using a SLIK Mini Pro III when I need a light solution e.g. when going on a longer hike. If I use my Sony 100-400 GM lens Telezoom or shoot videos, then I prefer the Manfrotto 190go!. The Manfrotto 190go! is also an excellent choice since you can position the camera to the right height.

I also take the Manfrotto tripod with me if I carry little gear with me or if I don’t change my location that often during a trip.

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