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Here is my selection of the best tripods which I found interesting and which I would consider buying for my Sony a7 III. I have not tested all of those tripods but 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*) and the Manfrotto Befree* for hiking or traveling. However, I switched to the Sirui AM-254 after using the Manfrotto 190go!*. The Manfrotto 190! go was nice (see picture below where I used it in Japan) and was very versatile but I prefer the Sirui tripod as it is lighter and has no center column which gives the tripod from my point of view more stability when using my Sony 100-400 GM lens*. You can find a list of my camera gear here and some of my pictures on my Instagram account.
A little bit more details – I find the Manfrotto 190go!* and the Sirui AM-254* more stable than the Manfrotto Befree. There is also a hook on the Sirui where you can attach some weight to it to stabilize the tripod even more. Most times, I also took 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 used them together with the Manfrotto 323 Quick Change Plate Adapter* so I can switch the tripods quickly. One disadvantage of the Manfrotto 190go! was that the leg sections are connected with thin plastic shims. One of the shims broke after one year but I was able to replace it. However, since the Sirui AM-254* does not have a center column, it’s not necessary for me anymore to take a separate mini tripod with me. I also ordered the Sirui BK-00 ballhead*. Sirui also offers a more professional ball head* but it weighs 100 grams more and costs twice as much. So basically, my new tripod setup with the Sirui AM-254* and the BK-00* ball head (1.2 kg) saves me 1 kg of weight compared to the Manfrotto 190go! aluminium* and theXPRO ball head* (2.2 kg). Additionally, I also got another Sirui TY-C10 Quick Release Plate* which I attached on my Sony 100-400mm GM* so I can quickly attach it to the tripod without removing the adapter plate from the camera.
Tripod comparison table
|Tripod (click to check price)||Weight (in grams)|
|Manfrotto PIXI Mini*||190|
|JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom*||241|
|SLIK Mini Pro DQ*||350|
|Neewer Carbon Fiber 20 inches*||950|
|BONFOTO B690A Travel Tripod*||1180|
|AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod*||1360|
|Gitzo tripod kit Traveler α, series 1*||1450|
|Manfrotto BeFree Aluminum for Sony Alpha*||1590|
|Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom*||1750|
|MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter*||2100|
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*.
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″
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*.
weight: 1600 grams / 3.7 lbs
load capacity: 15.4 lbs
maximum height: 57.5″
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 of 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
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 weighs 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. There 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*.
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 and a 190go! tripod in the past but exchanged it to a Sirui AM-254 as it is lighter for traveling while also giving a quite stable impression especially when using my Sony 100-400 GM lens* Telezoom or if I want to shoot videos.