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Digital Camera Tripod Reviews

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What You Should Know about Digital Camera Tripods

Remember the last time you took your camera with a long lens out and came back with blurry photos? If you blamed your camera, you are looking in the wrong direction. This problem is commonly referred to as camera shake and has more to do with you being unable to hold the camera still than the camera or lens. The simple fact is that whether you are shooting still photos or video, a tripod is a vital addition to your gear as it is the best possible way to eliminate camera shake.

 

Important Tripod Features You Should Know About

All tripods have the same seven basic features, and the more you know about each of them, the easier it will be for you to choose the best one to fit your needs. These are:

  • Collapsed size
  • Open size
  • Load capacity
  • Head type
  • Feet type
  • Leg locks
  • Common material

Collapsed Size: This is how long the tripod is once it has been fully collapsed. It lets you know how much room the tripod will take up in your gear bag or trunk. It also lets you know if your tripod will fit in the overhead compartment if you are traveling.

Open Size: This describes how high the tripod stands when all of the legs have been fully extended and the adjustable center post is at its maximum height.

Load Capacity: This determines how much weight the tripod can safely handle. This includes the weight of the camera, lens, and flash unit. If you try to overload your tripod it might break or fall over, leading to the death of your camera.

Head Type: Most top quality tripods come with some form of head. The only thing to keep in mind is that the head may not be the best one to fit your needs. The head itself sits on top of the adjustable center column and in better quality tripods should be replaceable, allowing you to install one that fits your needs more exactly.

Feet Type: In most cases you will find tripods come with rubber non-slip feet that are intended for indoor and certain types of outdoor photography. Others include spikes that are intended to hold your tripod firmly in place when shooting outside. There are also a number of custom feet such as ball bearings and wheels.

Leg Locks: There are several different styles of leg locks including twist where you simply twist the leg and then pull it out or push it in. Then there are lever locks that use a lever to firmly lock the legs firmly in place, these are a more popular option as they tend to have a stronger grip. Here again you may find there are a number of custom options on the market.

Common Material: This describes the material that the bulk of the tripod is made from. The least expensive models are made from plastic, and mid-range models tend to be made from aluminum as it is more durable. Top of the line models are coming out made from lightweight and very strong carbon fiber materials. You can also find a number of tripods made from wood for those who prefer a more natural look and feel.

 

Here are Five Great Tripods for Your Consideration

The Ravelli APLT4 is perfect for the photographer who is interested in a versatile 61 inch tripod that is exceptionally lightweight and loaded with features. It is designed to allow you to take landscapes, portraits, and to ensure you are able to capture the perfect picture. The APLT4 has two leveling bubbles, one on the camera plate and one on the leg to ensure your shots are straight and level. It features a quick release plate, a gear driven center post, and level leg locks, and is made from aluminum and plastic.


The AmazonBasics 60-inch lightweight tripod features legs that can be extended to 20 inches and 48 inches, achieving a maximum height of 60 inches. The lever style leg locks work smoothly and the crank style center post glides easily up and down to achieve the perfect shot. One bubble at the top of a leg lets you see when the base is level, while one more on the camera base lets you know when the camera itself is level. It comes with self-adjusting rubber non-slip feet for added security.


The Butterfly Professional Tripod fits a wide range of the most popular brands of camera, and features a 3-way pan head to help you get the best pictures. Quick leverlock legs and self-leveling rubber feet combine with 3 section legs to give you a maximum height of 72 inches with the center column fully extended. Built in bubble levels and a professional grade foam grip complete the package, along with a soft carrying case. It also comes with a special carrying handle to ease the load when you have a long walk to your next photo shoot.


The Polaroid ProPod weighs in at only 4 pounds and extends to a full 72 inches when the Stay Set auto locking legs and center post are fully extended, yet folds down to only 28 inches when fully collapsed. It features the Polaroid Double Bubble Dual Bubble level system to ensure you are always working on the straight and level. Made of industrial grade materials to ensure maximum durability and stability, it has no sweat foam grips, and a built in carrying handle. The multipurpose pan head works on still cameras and camcorders with equal ease.


The Dolica AX620B100 is perfect for both indoor and outdoor photography. Can be used with Digital SLRs, point and shoot cameras, and camcorders. Made from heavy duty aluminum alloy, this tripod can support up to 13.2 pounds. It features a ball head, bubble level, and a quick release plate. The platform supports 90 degree vertical, standard wide angle, semi-full angle, and full-wide angle. It also features quick release leg locking mechanisms and rubber feet for added safety. Maximum extended height is 60 inches, minimum closed height is 22.5 inches and weighs in at 2.5 pounds.

Tripod Comparison Chart
Ravelli APLT4 61-inch Light Weight Aluminum Tripod With Bag
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag
ButterflyPhoto Professional 72-inch Tripod with MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth
Polaroid 72-inch Photo / Video ProPod Tripod Includes Deluxe Tripod Carrying Case + Additional Quick Release Plate
Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head
Customer Ratings
Collapsed Size24"24"28"28"24"
Open Size61.5"60"72"72"62"
MaterialAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminumAluminum
Head TypePanPanPanPanBall
Leg Locks
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