Choosing a Good Tripod for DSLR Cameras

This is a great video on how to choose the right tripod for DSLR cameras.

Hope you enjoyed the video. I second his advice about buying a sturdy, solid tripod – the cheap, flimsy tripods just don’t get the job done and the money you save isn’t worth the missed photographs.

Tripod for DSLR Cameras: Requirements

If you’ve invested the money to buy a nice DSLR camera and on or more lenses, then it doesn’t make much sense to use a cheap tripod that’s made for point and shoot cameras which weigh very little and which don’t have big lenses hanging off the front them (…which pull the cheap tripods down after you frame the shot).

I have several criteria that I use when selecting a tripod for DSLR work:

  1. Can the tripod handle the weight of my camera and lenses comfortably (most professional units will, but you will need a big set of legs if you are using huge zoom lenses)?
  2. If you have to carry the tripod a lot, is it light enough so that it doesn’t become painful?  If you’re going to carry it a lot, consider the extra cost of carbon fiber because if you buy a heavy tripod and it’s painful, you’re not likely to keep using it.
  3. Is it manufactured by a reputable company that has been in business and that will probably stay in business? (Manfrotto, Gitzo, SLIK, etc.)
  4. If you’re tall or need to get your camera up in the air, is the tripod tall enough? I personally love Manfrotto’s 055XPROB and 055CXPRO3 tripods – the first is aluminum, the second is a very sturdy carbon fiber tripod.

Looking for a Tripod for DSLR Video?

If you’re looking for a tripod for DSLR video, then you have a couple of options depending on how much gear you plan to use when you are filming.

If you are going to use a lot of extra accessories or a long lens, then you might want to consider getting a tripod that’s built for video, like the Manfrotto 546B with a tripod head like the Manfrotto 504HD.  Tripods built for video have two columns on each leg and usually connect all three legs together with a brace – both of which improve stability.

This site is chock full of articles to help you pick a tripod for DSLR video or photography – enjoy.

Houssein - May 1, 2012

A good tripod is parlobby the smartest move you could even make. The quick-release camera plate makes working with or without tripod extremely flexible. Well done on your choice!Bear in mind that bigger lenses have a foot’ of their own that can be mounted on a tripod. The body then hangs’ in the air behind the lens but the balance will then be super! (Remember the lesson about the position of the left hand under the lens? Balance is the key ) It makes it easy to point’ and far less force is needed to secure the position of the camera. The body is relatively light so the stress on the body because of the weight is well within safety.So my recommendation is (if you come in posession of such a lens) that you buy additional plates.Otherwise you’ll find yourself constantly changing where the plate is used. Not good for either camera or lens (wear and tear). Putting a big combo on a tripod can also be done with the plate at the bottom of the camera, but that will put stress on the body where the heavy lens is attached. The bigger (heavier) the lens, the bigger the stress/forces on the body. Not good if you want your camera to survive a long time Another tip: get a sling’ or use a soft type of rope to make your tripod more portable. Lasso one end at the head and the other round the bottom ends. Make sure the piece in between is longer than the (closed) length of the tripod. Now you can hang the tripod over your shoulder and carry it around with your hands free Last tip: avoid using the center column. This is the most unstable part of any tripod. I chose deliberatly a tripod without one (Gitzo G1348 mk2). Also good to know: the thick parts of the legs are stiffer than the slim pieces. Stiffer legs means less tremors affect your camera.

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