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The best video tripod in 2020: smooth and steady supports for videographers

The best tripod for video should be sturdy, long-lasting and reliable. There's a tonne of choice out there in terms of what you pick, as plenty of different manufacturers make plenty of different models. Whatever kind of video you plan to shoot, and whatever camera kit you use, there will be a video tripod for you. But how to find it?

Picking the best tripod for video is no easy task, but it is a vital one if you want to improve the quality of the footage you're shooting. Fortunately there are models t suit every budget (in the same way as there are lots of cheap camera deals around at the moment) so even if cost is a real issue, you should be able to find a tripod to get the job done.

While it's perfectly possible to use pretty much any tripod as a functional video support, the best 4K cameras will work best with dedicated video tripods, and therefore we'd recommend taking one from the list we've put together in this article.

We've tested hundreds of tripods over the years, and these are the ones we feel will give you the best results for your buck right now. It doesn't matter whether you're shooting on a small CSC or a larger camcorder; each one of these models offers something that videographers will appreciate. This might be the design of its legs, the type of head with which it comes, or its flexibility and portability.

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Right now we think the best video tripod available is the Manfrotto MVK502AQ Video Tripod with MVH502A Fluid Head, which offers a brilliant balance between strength and flexibility. Any filmmaker, whether they're using the best camcorders that cost thousands of pounds or an inexpensive setup with a light compact system camera, can make use of this exceptional support system. There are plenty more tripods that may fit the bill for you however, so read on to discover our picks of the best video tripods available right now...

The best video tripod in 2020

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

1. Manfrotto MVK502AQ Video Tripod with MVH502A Fluid Head

Highly versatile, with a generous load capacity too

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 171cm | Folded height: 59.5cm | Weight: 1.8kg | Leg sections: 4 | Max load: 20kg

Massive payload
Deploys quickly
No spreader

Whether you’re using heavier rigs involving professional camcorders or a lighter setup that utilises a DSLR or CSC, the combination of the Manfrotto MVK502AQ Video Tripod and the MVH502A Fluid Head is a superb choice. Offering a 20kg payload, the spreader-less design of the legs also means that the tripod is quick to set up and pack down, and the tension-adjustable leg locks mean users can make regular adjustments to stop them from loosening over time. The feet can be set to spiked or rubberised thanks to the adjustable covers, making the tripod usable on a broad range of surfaces. So, indoors or out, on flat surfaces or more challenging ones, this model fits the bill.

(Image credit: Miller)

2. Miller 1514 DS20 Tripod System

A light, easily transportable tripod, that's still sturdy and reliable

Material: Carbon fiber | Extended height: 175.1cm | Folded height: 37.1cm | Weight: 4.9kg | Leg sections: 2 | Maximum load: 10kg

Impressive extended height
Easy to transport
Only two leg sections

Thanks to its carbon fiber build, the Miller 1514 DS20 Tripod System is an ultra-light option that can support rigs of up to 10kg. Because of this, it's a viable option for filmmakers at various points throughout their careers, regardless of what kit they move on to. The light build of the tripod also makes it a good choice for smaller roving crews who need to lug their own gear around and set up spontaneously. The system features a choice of 1/4in pin or 1/4in and 3/8in screw mounts, with sliding quick-release mounts for quick lens and battery changes. There is a trade-off in setup versatility, with only two leg-sections, but overall this is one of the best video tripods you can buy right now.

(Image credit: Velbon)

3. Velbon DV-7000N Video Tripod with PH-368 Fluid Head

This low-budget option could be the best choice for amateur crews

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 162.5cm | Folded height: 57cm | Weight: 3.47kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 6kg

Super affordable
Quick to set up
A little ugly

Generally available for less than £199, this tripod/head combo is ideal for low-budget film crews, with its 6kg load capacity ideal for the DSLR or mirrorless setups these crews will likely be using. Thanks to its quick-release platform and built-in spirit level, the tripod is quick to set up, making it excellent for run-and-gun situations. Well-armoured rubber feet ensure it’ll grip onto plenty of surfaces, and the long control arm on the head, with separate pan-and-tilt adjustments, give it the feel of a studio model, without the cost. 

(Image credit: Camlink)

The triple-braced legs are build for stability, but do increase the weight

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 138cm | Folded height: 73.4cm | Weight: 4.92kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 6kg

Great price for the spec
Grips uneven surfaces well

The standout feature of this tripod is obvious: its triple-braced legs, which are designed to provide significantly increased stability even in tricky situations on uneven surfaces, with extra grip via the rubberised feet. The head is designed for smooth panning, with dual control handles, friction-damping features and a built-in spirit level. Overall, a pro-level spec at a competitive price to boot.

(Image credit: Velbon)

5. Velbon Videomate 638 Video Tripod with PH-368 Head

Extremely affordable, with everything you need to get started

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 171cm | Folded height: 67cm | Weight: 1.98kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 4kg

Light weight
Great price
Only 4kg payload 

Perfect for lightweight mirrorless bodies or smaller DSLRs, the Velbon Videomate 638 Video Tripod with PH-368 Head is one of the most keenly priced models here. The quick lever leg locks allow for fast setup, while the quick-release plate means it’s easy to switch to handheld shooting at a second’s notice. The PH-368 fluid head also allows for smooth camera movement, and the 1.98kg weight makes the Videomate 638 perfectly portable. The 4kg payload is slightly on the low side, but for most camera and lens combinations it should be more than enough.

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

6. Manfrotto Befree Live Travel carbon fiber tripod

A lightweight tripod for smaller rigs, perfect for globetrotting filmmakers

Material: Carbon fiber | Extended height: 142cm | Folded height: 34cm | Weight: 1.1kg | Leg sections: 4 | Maximum load: 4kg

Four leg sections
Collapses to compact size
Payload could be higher

If you're part of a film crew that needs to travel fairly light, Manfrotto's Befree range of travel tripods is definitely worth looking at. This carbon fiber model is not only incredibly lightweight at 1.1kg, it also packs down well to just 34cm, making it easy to store and transport when not in use. That 4kg payload isn't going to support anything larger than a DSLR or CSC rig, but providing you aren't planning on using enormous camcorders, this tripod will more than meet your needs.

(Image credit: Benro)

7. Benro A373FBS7

A good option for those who need precise balance and control

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 160.5cm | Folded height: 29.5cm | Weight: 3.87kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 7kg

Tiny when folded
4-step counterbalance
Drag mechanism could be better

With a 4-step counterbalance system, the Benro S7 kit allows the user to precisely set the correct level of counterbalance for the weight of their rig, while continuous pan drag adjustment makes it easy to set the level of tension required. Pan and tilt locks operate independently, and there are also two 3/8in threads for attaching extra accessories like external recorders or monitors. As with some of the other options here, the rubber feet can be swapped out for spikes, making the tripod dependably versatile.

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

8. Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe Aluminum Video Tripod

Special levelling aids in this tripod allow for perfectly straight shots

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 164.9cm | Folded height: 63.5cm | Weight: 2.5kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 7kg

Useful levelling feature
Quick to deploy
Price doesn't include head

The central column of this versatile pro-video tripod features a built-in levelling ball and bubble spirit level, allowing users to quickly establish perfectly level shots every time. Its leg selectors can also be used to provide preset leg angles, allowing for quick deployment and setup. While crafted from aluminium rather than carbon fibre, it's nice and light too, and so useful for location shooting and those occasions when you need to be a little more mobile than usual.

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

9. Manfrotto 535BK 2 Stage 535B Carbon Fibre Tripod with 504HD Fluid Head

Feature-packed, but nice and light, this is a serious pro option

Material: Carbon fibre | Extended height: 184cm | Folded height: 88.4cm | Weight: 5kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 7.5kg

Great height/weight combination
Solid max payload
Somewhat long when folded

Sporting a counterbalancing system to ensure that rigs of different weights are correctly balanced, this setup is designed for professional users – and carries a price to match. Additional threads allow for attachment of monitors and recorders, the tripod offers a leg angle selector for precise adjustment, and its extended height is the greatest on this list. Also, the carbon fibre build means that all the extra functionality doesn’t come with a significant weight increase.

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

10. Manfrotto 546GBK Video Tripod with 504HD Head

Twin legs and a video bowl allow for heavy pro video rigs

Material: Aluminium | Extended height: 171cm | Folded height: 84cm | Weight: 6.3kg | Leg sections: 3 | Maximum load: 12kg

Excellent payload capacity
Useful video bowl
Not as portable as others

The braced twin legs on this tripod provide impressive torsional rigidity, making for a thoroughly decent maximum capacity of 12kg, with stability bolstered by a ground-level spreader. A 75mm bowl attachment enables use of pro-level gear, while the incorporation of the 504HD head (also in the previous featured set) gives this setup a distinctly professional feel. Stylish and practical, this setup will suit small crews, or even single-person work.

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