Best budget tripods: 6 top models tested and rated

Best budget tripods: 6 top models tested and rated

Mixing stability with advanced features to suit all kinds of shooting scenarios, here are six of the best budget tripods available. Find out how we rate them.

Best budget tripods: 6 top models tested and rated

Even with image stabilisation lenses, you can’t beat a portable yet stable shooting platform for sharp shots, especially under dull lighting conditions. More than just three legs and a head, some of the latest tripods go one step further.

You might get multi-angle legs for shooting on rough terrain or in tight spaces, or pivoting centre columns for close-ups, low-level shooting and keeping tripod feet hidden when you’re using ultra-wide-angle lenses.

Benro FlexPod A297EX + BH2-M head

Best Budget Tripods: Benro FlexPod A297EX + BH2-M head

Price: £170, $265
Buy it:

The aluminium-based FlexPod A297EX tripod legs and BH2-M ball head have maximum load ratings of 10kg and 8kg respectively, making them suitable for even heavy camera and lens pairs.

The combined weight of the legs and head is 2.7kg, and the tripod extends from a folded length of 75cm to a maximum operating height of 184cm.

The three-section legs have sturdy clip locks and can be used in three angles, while the centre column has an effective pivot facility with 180-degree rotation vertically.

The ball head lacks an adjustable friction damper or separate panning control, but stability is great.

We say… The ball head lacks features, but this is a highly stable tripod for heavyweight cameras.

Features: 4
Build Quality: 4
Image Quality: 4
Value for money: 4

Score: 4/5

PAGE 1: Best budget tripods – Benro FlexPod A297EX + BH2-M head
PAGE 2: Best budget tripods – Giottos MTL9361B + MH1311-652 head
PAGE 3: Best budget tripods – Hama Omega Carbon II
PAGE 4: Best budget tripods – Jessops Major Carbon Fibre
PAGE 5: Best budget tripods – Manfrotto 055X PROB + 496RC2 head
PAGE 6: Best budget tripods – Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH + GH-100 head
PAGE 7: 5 things to look for in a budget tripod


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  • David

    These are not budget tripods; these are midrange tripods, if not near high end.
    Me, I got my tripod for £5 because I looked around. Sturdy aluminium, extends to about 6′ legs can be detached from central ‘holder thingy’ if you want one leg (or them all, but prepare to sacrifice plenty of stability) to be at a very obtuse angle (in relation to the vertical), has a detachable baseplate and has two settings of air cushioning for the crank. Total cost £5 because the person who had it didn’t know it’s actual (about £50, new) value.
    Only problem for me now is that in getting it to fit into a suitcase I had to take the base plate off (which involved fully unscrewing the pan-handle), sadly I lfet this with family and have yet to ask for it to be posted back (though I’ve found a screw that fits the threads, so it still works; albiet awkwardly)
    I’ve thought of getting a new one because this one is by no means the latest model (though there really isn’t much R&D going into tripods, unless it’s for a telescope and designed to track an object) and the handle may be lost for good. These are by no means budget ones, you’d have better luck checking ebay and having a max price set (and a minimum; as trusting £10 of cheap aluminium to hold up hundreds of pounds (GBP) of gear is a little risky) and seeing what you can drag up. Buy one second hand by all means, there isn’t much that can go wrong with a tripod; the more cosmetically battered and scraped the better I’d say, at least it shows it can take a beating and still work.
    Or you could just call into every charity shop in your city. One is bound to have a decent tripod or you’ll find one with lots of photography kit; which you can either give your number to and ask to be told if anyone drops in a tripod, or just call in every so often. Sadly finding bargains in charity shops is getting rarer and rarer; the owners usually look the items that may be worth something up online and if they find it’s worth lots they buy the item themselves. That said, finding something like a Leica for £20-50 would be an amazing find and although unlikely for the above reason; still a good enough one to poke your head into a few places. If you live in a city do some street photography while going from place to place.