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At first glance, purchasing a tripod as a content creator can seem like a simple endeavor. All you need is something that can prop up your camera while you record, right? But top-of-the-line equipment like this runs into the hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of dollars for a reason—not all tripods are created equal.
Most content creators don’t need the best of the best when it comes to tripods, but you’ll want to grab something that both suits your needs and will be a reliable product. You want it to save you frustration when you’re filming and won’t add new problems that have to be corrected in editing.
So where do you start? We’ve pored over reviews for some of the most popular tripods on the market right now, and pulled together a list of some of the best options for all your content-creating needs.
Magnus VT-4000 Tripod System
Best tripod for: day-to-day vlogging
If you’re looking for a good all-around tripod that will grow with you in your content creation journey, the Magnus VT-4000 is a great place to start. For the price point, it’s relatively sturdy and stable, just about the most important quality in a tripod of any kind. It also comes with a fluid head, which is a necessity if you plan on ever doing more than just pointing and shooting a still frame.
If you’re willing to shell out a little bit more money, this tripod also comes in a Pro version, which offers a slightly higher weight capacity, improved sturdiness and spiked feet, and a padded carrying case. It also adjusts up to a height of 63.5” compared to the VT-4000’s 59” although both should be adequate for the majority of content creators.
Price: $179.99 (normally $199.99)
Oben CTT-1000 Carbon Fiber Tabletop Tripod
Best tripod for: tabletop, travel
Depending on your needs and space constraints, a full-sized tripod might be overkill for the time being. In that situation, a tabletop tripod will often do the trick, and the Oben CTT-1000 Carbon Fiber is a solid choice. Three-section carbon fiber legs with twist locks provide quality stabilization in a small, space-saving package.
This tripod comes in two options—one with a maximum height of 15.5” and another with a max of 28.2”. But just as important is its minimum height of 4.2” and 4.4” respectively, making it easy to film something on the table itself, or just utilizing a low angle, without having to drastically change your setup.
JOBY GorillaPod 5K Flexible Mini-Tripod
Best tripod for: versatility, beginners
GorillaPod tripods are some of the most versatile tools you can add to your arsenal. While this doesn’t have the full height capacity of a standard tripod, it makes up for a lot with its flexibility and ease of use. You can wrap a GorillaPod around just about anything and keep your camera sturdy, making it ideal for unconventional scenarios, on-the-go filmmaking, and quick adjustments.
The 5K in particular can hold up to 11 pounds and isn’t limited to just a camera. So if you start out with this but ultimately find you outgrow it and prefer a more expensive tripod for your day-to-day needs, the GorillaPod can still be utilized for lights, speakers, or other gear in your setup.
If you don’t need something quite as hefty, you could always grab the GorillaPod 3K at a steep discount from the 5K, and the GripTight Pro 2 is a great alternative for anyone using their smartphone instead of a dedicated camera.
Switchpod Handheld Tripod
Best tripod for: handheld, quickly changing setups
As great as the GorillaPod is, depending on what kind of content creation you do, you may need something in your gear that makes it a little easier to grab and shoot without taking the time to configure the tripod itself—especially between setups.
The Switchpod Handheld Tripod boasts the ability “to switch from tripod to vlog grip in a matter of seconds,” making it an ideal option for content creators who know exactly what they need and prefer something minimal to something more customizable. It manages to be both sturdy and lightweight, has legs that can be brought together for one-handed self-recording, and has a whopping 100-pound weight capacity.
Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced Tripod
Best tripod for: travel, multi-purpose
The priciest, but still affordable, tripod on our list, the Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced Tripod is another that’s great for any content creators in need of a full-sized tripod offering quality on a budget. Aluminum alloy legs offer a maximum height of 59” and the stability necessary for all recording, while an integrated hook allows the user to add additional weight when the need for even more stabilization arises.
It also folds down to just 15.7”, making it a great option if you need to travel but require something more than a handheld or tabletop tripod. The fluid head and hydraulic damping system also keep any camera movements smooth and versatile, adding production value to your videos at a lower price than one might expect for a tripod this good.
As you get further along in your content creation journey, you may find that having more than one tripod in your collection is the best solution to your filming needs, but each one of these is a great jumping-off point for both new creators and those ready to take their videos to the next level.