When you’re keen on using a camera system, then the next thing on your shopping list should be a tripod. Using this allows you to position your camera in a stable location as you take photos/ videos. The tripod can also help you compose your shots better as opposed to just using your hands. Even though the traditional shape of the tripod remains the same, there are differences in height, load capacity, material, and pan head, just to name a few features.
For individuals looking to buy a tripod at this time, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to present the top tripods you can buy on the market right now. The top recommended tripods will be ranked in order with a helpful guide to choosing the perfect one.
How to Choose a Tripod in the Philippines – Buying Guide
You should always choose a tripod that fits your personal shooting style and for the image, you want to produce. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider when you’re selecting a tripod from the market.
Consider the Load Capacity of the Tripod
When we talk about the load capacity of a tripod, it’s the weight that it can endure without breaking. The tripod should handle the weight of your camera for you to properly take images or videos without any problems.
Manufacturers offer different load capacities for the varying tripods they have to offer. For instance, there are some models that may not handle the weight of a high-end full-frame DSLR, but they might have no problem carrying the weight of a compact digital camera or a mirrorless camera system.
Choose the Right Pan Head That’s Appropriate for the Scene
What is the pan head? It’s the element usually found in the top portion of the tripod. It allows you to carefully adjust the direction and the inclination of your camera while still introducing stability at the same time. Let’s take a look at the different pan heads the market has to offer.
3-Way Pan Heads: Great for Landscape Photos
Many landscape photographers like to use a 3-way pan head on their tripods. This element has a lever that allows the user to adjust their cameras in both horizontal and vertical directions. Furthermore, changing the direction where the camera will be facing can be individually set. As a result, the best angle for the shot is achievable.
Aside from landscape photographers, this pan head is also ideal for telephotography and still-life photography. However, it’s not a good choice for taking fast-moving objects, for example, sports or animal photography. Also, the lever protrudes so tripods with this pan head tend to be heavy and bulky.
The Free Platform Head: A High Degree of Freedom
If you’re looking for the world standard in pan heads, then you should look for free platform heads, which are also known as free heads, for short. You can easily adjust the direction of your camera with this pan head. It’s also reasonably easy to lock the position of the camera in place with the use of a simple control function.
However, there’s no lever to be found in a free head as compared to what you can see in a 3-way pan head. As a result, tripods with free platform heads are great for storage since it doesn’t have any protruding parts. Such a tripod is great for shooting outdoor images because of its compact features.
Additionally, it’s not a great choice for fine-tuning your compositions because you can’t individually move the vertical and horizontal axes. Furthermore, releasing the lock will disengage both the horizontal and vertical configurations. In other words, you’d have to recompose your shots once more every time you remove the lock.
The Gear Head: For the Composition Perfectionist
The gear pan head may not be a part of several shopping lists, but it’s a photography accessory that has existed in the market for many years. Just like the 3-way pan head, users can individually set the vertical and horizontal axes on the gearhead. However, there’s no lever found here; instead, you’re going to manipulate the gear to adjust the positioning of your camera.
Perhaps the biggest feature to watch out for in a gear pan head is that you can precisely define the composition of your shots. As such, it’s an ideal choice for shooting buildings, products, or still life.
Yet, the mechanism for manipulating the direction of the gear pan head is quite complicated. Therefore, it’s not a great choice for beginners. Furthermore, gearheads are more expensive than other pan heads on the market.
Consider the Material of the Tripod Legs
Tripod manufacturers use different materials in the construction of their tripods. When selecting a durable tripod, you ought to consider getting one with legs made of either aluminum or carbon.
Aluminum is an inexpensive material, so tripods with aluminum legs are perfect for any photographer on a budget. However, it’s also heavier than carbon, and it can become difficult to bring around at times. Photographers who want to lighten the load on their camera bags might have difficulties weight wise if you have a tripod with aluminum legs.
Carbon, on the other hand, is a light and durable material. It’s also highly resistant to heat, thermal expansion, and contraction. However, its additional properties mean it carries a heftier price tag than its aluminum counterparts.
Choose a tripod material that fits your personal preferences and budget.
Consider the Height of the Tripod Legs
Most tripod legs have an adjustable height. Tripod legs will also have a maximum and minimum operational height.
There are some shooting scenarios wherein you need to have that extra height in your tripod. Sports festivals, events where there’s a stage, and wedding ceremonies all require a tall tripod. Some tall photographers may also want to make use of a tripod that matches their height. It’s going to be an inconvenience for a tall person to work with a short tripod.
On the other hand, if you want to shoot relatively close to the ground, then you need a tripod that can go as low as possible. Choose a tripod height according to the subject you want to shoot.
While we’re still talking about the height of the tripod, we should also take into consideration the functions of tripod legs; whether it can be fixed or not. The latter allows the user to lower the tripod to a significant degree since the legs aren’t locked in place. However, the former restricts the photographer to shooting images only at certain heights because of the locked legs.
Consider the Locking Mechanism of the Tripod Legs
Tripods will also have different locking mechanisms for their legs. However, the locks on modern tripods are now found under two major classifications: the nut lock type and the lever lock type.
Tripods with a nut lock require users to turn the round part to lock the leg in place. Nut locks are round and don’t protrude. As such, it’s great for portability. However, since you have to turn it to lock the leg in place, it can cause some degree of trouble. There are times when some photographers will have difficulties in visually confirming if the tripod’s legs are already secured and locked in place if the accessory has nut locks.
As for the lever lock type, users can just fold the lever in place to lock the leg. You can do the motion swiftly and easily. Furthermore, even beginner photographers can visually confirm that the legs are already locked in place when it has a lever lock. However, lever locks protrude, inevitably portability is compromised as compared to the nut lock.
Consider the Number of Stages it Takes to Fold a Tripod
Different tripods also call for varying folding stages. Modern tripods will generally have either three or four folding stages.
If you’re looking for portability, then opt for the tripod that takes more steps to fold to a compact size. However, more folding stages also mean the legs are going to be thinner than the norm, which means it’s going to be less stable and less durable.
If you want your tripod to be more durable and stable, then choose one with a 3-stage folding mechanism. However, you’re going to sacrifice the portability features in the process.
Top 10 Best Tripods to Buy Online in the Philippines 2018
In this segment, we’re going to introduce the top 10 tripods on the current market by ranking. We’ve carefully considered all the important factors in choosing the best tripods to add to our list.
10. Benro Portable Tripod Kit IS05
Have Stable Shots Even on Uneven Terrain
Even though you might have a tripod, there’s still the challenge of using the accessory on an uneven surface. Thankfully, the guys over at Benro lets photographers and videographers properly deal with such issue with the company’s IS05 Portable Tripod Kit.
This tripod lets users adjust its legs to different angles. In other words, you can position the tripod on a flat or uneven surface. The stability is made by the 3-position sliding lock with which we can adjust leg angle.
This IS05 is, however, made of aluminum. Hence, even though it’s not as expensive as many other tripods on the market, it does suffer a bit in durability. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a reasonably-priced option for more stable shots, then this can be a good choice.
9. Benro Tripod T-600EX
An Ideal Choice for Beginner Photographers
The market is now saturated with tripods with confusing instructions and multiple features that doesn’t scream “beginner.” Thankfully, there are still tripods like the T-600EX from Benro that happily accommodates to those who are new to the art of photography.
The T-600EX is a basic tripod with three fixed legs. It has a mixture of hard plastic and aluminum for its construction. As a result, Benro made it possible to keep the price of the T-600EX in the budget-friendly zone.
Its aluminum portions are durable enough, but the plastic parts are still something to be considered. Still, the T-600EX is an ideal choice for beginner photographers on a tight budget.
8. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod MTPIXI-B
Great for Product Photography
Sometimes you don’t need a tripod that’s too long for the right shot, especially if you’re going to do product photography. Introducing the MTPIXI-B PIXI Mini Tripod from Manfrotto. This tabletop tripod maybe on the shorter scale, but it can easily hold point-and-shoot cameras, compact camcorders, and even your DSLR.
It has a maximum height of 5.31-inches and it only weighs 6.7-ounces. With these figures, it’s a great choice for shooting subjects that are close to the ground. The MTPIXI-B PIXI Mini Tripod is also great for product photography because of its tabletop-friendly design.
However, its low height does mean it’s like a “one trick pony.” If you’re planning on getting a tripod for anything other than product photography, then you might want to look somewhere else.
7. QZSD Camera Tripod Q999
The Right Tripod for the Price
Sometimes you just need a tripod that has the right numbers of features for its price point. The QZSD Q999 is one such tripod as it has a decent number of functionalities with its reasonable price tag.
You can take advantage of an S-section center column to get low angle shots, a quick release leg-locking feature for a more convenient way of tripod leg handling, not to mention, it’s also reasonably compact. The Q999 also has a more-than-average durability, which means you’ll be using this camera accessory for years to come.
If you’re looking for a tripod that can provide top quality, then you might not want to look elsewhere than the Q999. However, keep in mind that you might still have some difficulty getting images from ground-level subjects.
6. Fotopro S3 Lite Tripod
Above Average Performer From a Simple Design
One look at the S3 Lite tripod from Fotopro and you might think that it’s a design that you’ve seen hundreds of times already from other brands. However, scratch more than what’s on the surface level and you’ll see that there are other things to enjoy from this tripod.
First of all, the legs will clip open and close in three stages. With its spring-loaded leg design, you will be able to pull out its legs with ease. Also, the additional leg stage promotes better versatility as it allows users to take advantage of letting the tripod handle different camera models.
Next, there’s also an additional tightening screw found on the S3 Lite. This additional element increases the level of support for your camera, especially when you have to extend the neck of the tripod.
There are some areas of concern with this tripod. For instance, there are no great bubble levels, and the twist-lock grip feels a bit too cheap when touching it. Nonetheless, this tripod is great for anyone looking for a great tripod at a reasonable price.
5. Manfrotto Befree Live Tripod Kit MVKBFR-LIVE
A Well-Built and Flexible Tripod
One look at the price tag of the MVKBFR-LIVE Befree tripod from Manfrotto is enough to make anyone slowly back away from the product. It’s perhaps one of the most expensive tripods you can find on today’s market.
However, its high price point does bring more to the table than your average tripod. First of all, its build quality is second to none. Just try holding it in your hand and you can immediately feel the great durability on the tripod.
Furthermore, just about every part of the tripod is adjustable. As a result, you’ll take advantage of great amounts of flexibility for a broad range of shooting scenarios.
If you do have the extra cash to burn and would definitely want a great tripod, then consider getting the MVKBFR-LIVE Befree tripod.
4. QZSD Portable Mini Desktop Tripod Q166A
A Compact Masterpiece
Even though some tripods claim to have a compact feature, they’re not going to be as portable as the QZSD Q166A Portable Mini Tripod. If you need a tripod to do product photography or shoot subjects located close to the ground, then this might be the best tripod for you.
The feature that makes this tripod unique from the other models on this list is its legs. Its tripod legs are designed in such a way that you can fold them upwards for better storage. As a result, it’s not going to take up too much space inside your camera bag.
Furthermore, it’s also made of high-quality aluminum alloy. Hence, you’re going to get a good amount of durability and stability from this tripod.
3. Manfrotto ALU 3-S Tripod MT055XPRO3 055
The Sturdiest in the Bunch
If you thought the Manfrotto MVKBFR-LIVE Befree Live Tripod was expensive, wait until you get a hold of the price attached to the MT055XPRO3 Tripod from the same brand. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you’ll be amazed by how stable and durable this tripod is.
Its premium material does make it heavier than most, but you’re going to get a great deal of stability and durability out of this model. As such, landscape photographers who like to use filters and have to leave their camera systems for the entire night should get this tripod.
With the MT055XPRO3, you’re sure that your camera stays in place for the entire duration of the shot.
2. Benro Handheld Extendable Mini Tripod Selfie Stick MK10
A Tripod and Selfie Stick in One
The MK10 tripod from Benro may not handle high-end full-frame DSLRs, but it can definitely carry the weight of compact digital cameras, most mirrorless systems, and even your smartphones. You can even transform this tripod into a full-fledged selfie stick.
Benro markets this tripod for 360 cameras and action cameras, but it doesn’t provide problems for smartphone users. Users can take advantage of its flexible pan head, along with its reasonably-stable legs.
If you’re a selfie-centric individual that wants a tripod-slash-selfie-stick combo product, then this is the tripod that should be on your next shopping list.
1. Benro Portable Travel Tripod Kit IT15
The All-Around Performer
If you’re looking for a tripod for a product, portrait, landscape, outdoor, travel, and even macro photography, then the IT15 Travel Tripod from Benro is the one for you. Its versatility and flexibility make this model snatch the top spot from the rest of the tripods on this list.
Make no mistake – this tripod is a compact model, but it doesn’t mean it can’t provide a reasonable height for different shooting occasions. Its 5-section legs make it stable enough to handle different shooting scenarios. You can even prop your camera up on this tripod when it’s standing on uneven ground.
You can even attach a long lens to your camera like a 70 to 200-millimeter, and your camera will still remain as stable as possible when it’s on the IT15 Tripod.
The right tripod can make all the difference in shooting great photos and videos. Using the best tripod might even make you more obsessed with your compositions as compared to before. You can always refer to this article every time you want to buy a new tripod to enhance your photography skills.
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