If you thought all tripods were essentially the same, then think again! What looks like a small difference in design can have a big impact on usability.
So how do you choose the best tripod? If you want your tripod to be a trusty lifelong companion and not just an overpriced, overweight millstone, you need to read our top 10 tips for choosing the right one!
How to choose the best tripod: 1. Balls of fire
Tripod heads come in two types: ball heads and three-way heads. Ball heads have a single locking screw – when you loosen it you can move the camera in any direction.
Ball heads are (usually) cheaper, lighter and more compact. This makes them perfect for travel and most other types of photography, but they’re less effective for precise framing and small adjustments.
How to choose the best tripod: 2. Three way precision
Three-way heads have separate pan, tilt and swivel movements.
They take a little longer to set up, but they allow you to make small accurate adjustments, and to move the camera along one axis without disturbing the others.
They’re ideal for studio work or more demanding landscape photography.
But they’re bigger and heavier than ball heads, and the handles stick out so they’re less convenient to carry around.
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