Choosing the Right Tripod
3 August 2017 | Category: General News
A tripod can transform shaky and unwatchable video footage into a high-quality movie and a blurred still into a pin-sharp award-winner. We have a wide selection of tripods and heads available to suit all types of cameras and uses. Let’s go through some of the key considerations to help you find your perfect match.
Small and light
If you’re using a small, light camera and walking long distances you’re unlikely to want a big, heavy tripod. However, the Joby Gorillapod Original or SLR-Zoom make a great addition to your kit that you’ll hardly notice carrying. They’re perfect for low-level shots, or you can rest them on a table or bench to shoot from higher up. Alternatively, the bendy legs can be wrapped around a convenient branch or pole - just make sure you check it’s secure before leaving your camera.
Staying light but gaining height
A small carbon fibre tripod like the Manfrotto Befree which compacts down to just 40cm is perfect for travel. With a maximum extended height of 142cm, it provides a higher shooting platform than a Gorillapod yet weighs just 1.1Kg and can cope with a payload of 4.4Kg - more than the average SLR and lens!
Opting for a larger tripod with thicker legs brings greater stability. That’s especially important if you’re going to be shooting in a breeze or you want to make long exposures as any flex or wobble in the legs will translate into blur in your image.
Thanks to its carbon fibre construction and magnesium alloy castings the Manfrotto 055 CXPRO3 tripod weighs just 2Kg but can support a whopping 9Kg, making it an ideal support for large camera and lens combinations. Where the 055 CXPRO3 really wins though is with its versatile centre column that can be rotated quickly through 90 degrees allow you to get close to awkward subjects or shoot objects from directly above.
If you don’t need the horizontal option of the 055 CXPRO3’s centre column, and strength and rigidity are your prime concerns, take a look at the Manfrotto 057 carbon fibre tripod. At 2.8Kg it weighs a bit more than the other tripods we’ve mentioned so far but it can cope with payloads up to 18Kg. That means it’s a great choice for a pro-level camera like the Canon ESO-1DX Mark II or Nikon D5 with a fast long telephoto lens.
Keeping it smooth
Whether you’re using a small mirrorless model or a large broadcast camera, when you’re shooting video you need a tripod that can take the camera’s weight, prevent any wobble and enable smooth panning and tilting movements. A large strong tripod paired with a fluid video head is ideal.
We have a collection of Manfrotto tripods with fluid heads, from relatively small and light options to bigger, heavier arrangements. The advanced tripod heads have a counterbalance to help make movements smooth and lock heavy camera systems in place.