Best Camera Tripods in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 12, 2017
Are you tired of getting smeared shots with your camera? Or maybe your hands are quickly getting tired from holding a heavy DSLR camera with a huge lens all the time. We have a solution for you right here. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
WEIGHT / LOAD
Height
LEG SECTIONS
Centre COLUMN
TRIPOD HEAD
MATERIAL
USEFUL FEATURES
EXTRAS
WARRANTY
 
PROS
It's only 40 cm long when folded and weighs only 1.4 kg.
CONS
Even when fully extended, the tripod might not be suitable for tall people.
OUR VERDICT
Manfrotto Befree Travel Tripod is an ultimate choice if you need a lightweight, compact camera tripod for taking with you on a walk to the nearest park or any place of interest. Durable construction and reliable materials make it a great option for both amateurs and professionals.
detailed parameters
WEIGHT / LOAD
1.4 kg / 4 kg
Height
144 cm
LEG SECTIONS
4 with flip locks
Centre COLUMN
1-section column
TRIPOD HEAD
Ball head
MATERIAL
Aluminium
USEFUL FEATURES
Quick-release plate, Quick-release leg locks, Rubber feet with spikes, Bubble level, Rubberised grip
EXTRAS
Ball Head, Carrying bag
WARRANTY
5-year extended warranty
PROS
Multi-angle column system can be rotated all around and can change the vertical angle at up to 180°. Features an instant swivel lock for securing the column in the fixed position.
CONS
No quick-release plate in this tripod model.
OUR VERDICT
Unparalleled agility in angle adjustment makes these multipurpose tripod legs an absolute choice for any photographer. You can mount your camera right on it, use your own tripod head with the included adapter or buy a headed configuration of your own choice on Amazon.
detailed parameters
WEIGHT / LOAD
2 kg / 7 kg
Height
165 cm
LEG SECTIONS
3 with flip locks
Centre COLUMN
1-section reversible column with counterweight hook
TRIPOD HEAD
N/A
MATERIAL
Aluminium
USEFUL FEATURES
Quick-release leg locks, Soft foam grips, Rubber feet with spikes, Bubble level
EXTRAS
3/8" thread adaptor, Carrying bag, Allen wrench
WARRANTY
10-year extended warranty
PROS
Features a monopod-convertible centre column and 360° panning scale on the head for precise angle adjustment.
CONS
Legs with swivelling locks require more time to be secured, compared to the one with flip locks.
OUR VERDICT
This tripod is a real powerlifter in its weight class. It can safely support heavy camera equipment and is mostly suitable for shooting inside the studio and urban environments. With its monopod-convertible centre column, you can take dynamic panning shots at sports events.
detailed parameters
WEIGHT / LOAD
1.7 kg / 15 kg
Height
165 cm
LEG SECTIONS
4 with twist locks
Centre COLUMN
1-section reversible column with counterweight hook
TRIPOD HEAD
Ball head
MATERIAL
Aluminium
USEFUL FEATURES
Quick-release leg locks, Convertible to monopod, Quick-release plate, Rubber feet, Soft foam grips, 360° panning scale, Bubble level
EXTRAS
Ball Head, Ball head pouch, Carrying bag
WARRANTY
1-year warranty
PROS
Suitable for tall and average-height people. A pistol grip head provides smooth camera movement control.
CONS
Not too lightweight.
OUR VERDICT
AmazonBasics Tripod is a popular solution for small photo studios. It has decent build quality and boasts a pistol-grip ball head that is incredibly convenient to adjust in almost any angle position. A safe choice for both indoor and outdoor photo sessions.
detailed parameters
WEIGHT / LOAD
3.7 kg / 5 kg
Height
178 cm
LEG SECTIONS
3 with flip locks
Centre COLUMN
1-section reversible column with counterweight hook
TRIPOD HEAD
Ball head with pistol grip
MATERIAL
Aluminium
USEFUL FEATURES
Quick-release plate, Quick-release leg locks, Soft foam grips, Rubber feet with spikes, Bubble level
EXTRAS
Pistol Grip Ball Head, Carrying bag
WARRANTY
1-year warranty
PROS
The head features several secure locks for steady panning movement.
CONS
Setting the head at oblique angles may be a bit challenging.
OUR VERDICT
This Manfrotto heavy duty camera tripod has a reliable design and features a pan-tilt head, that can be used with both photo and video recording cameras for taking impressive, smooth, panning shots in a studio or on a street.
detailed parameters
WEIGHT / LOAD
1.42 kg / 3 kg
Height
165 cm
LEG SECTIONS
5 with flip locks
Centre COLUMN
1-section reversible column
TRIPOD HEAD
Pan-Tilt head
MATERIAL
Aluminium
USEFUL FEATURES
Quick-release plate, Quick-release leg locks, Rubber feet
EXTRAS
Pan-Tilt head, Carrying bag
WARRANTY
5-year extended

What is a Camera Tripod

Any photo enthusiast knows that frustrating feeling when a handheld photo just doesn't come out right because of the slightest vibration that smears the picture and totally ruins the effort. Therefore, photographers often use a special pole with 3 adjustable legs, called tripod, to put their camera in a stable position and get a perfectly sharp shot, unaffected by trembling hands or vibrations from other sources. Any high-quality architecture masterpiece, nature, macro, and panoramic photographs are done with a tripod support.
Furthermore, tripods are often used in photo studios for getting clear, crisp portraits of a sitter. However, you can also see them used for shooting news reports, documentaries, concerts, and movies. Usually, a tripod comes with a special camera head that mounts on top of the centre column. It provides better control of the camera movement flow and can be fixed in certain positions. But more of that below.
So, if you want to gear up your photo studio or you plan to set off for a long journey with a scenic route, you might also be interested in our review of the best camera backpacks with a strap for a tripod fixing. But that's not all. You might also want to check out our pick of the best portrait lenses. And for those, who want to know the latest tendencies in the photo industry, we can recommend our fresh selection of the best mirrorless cameras.

What Features to Compare

Let's start with a few words about Compatibility. Most of the tripods come with a column that has a 3/8" screw for mounting the head. The head has, in turn, a standard 1/4" screw that matches the threaded hole in the bottom of the most DSLR and compact cameras. Therefore, you can readily use your DSLR, GoPro or TV camera with any tripod from this review.
So, the first serious parameter to check out is the Maximum Load a tripod can support. If you don't know the weight of your camera with a lens, just google them separately and sum their weight. If you are worrying that a huge telephoto lens might disrupt the balance, look for a tripod with the counterweight hook at the bottom of the centre column. Also, some models come with a leg spreader that has bracket arms for some additional stability.
Weight and Material. The most common materials are carbon fibre and aluminium. The first one is lighter and somewhat better at vibration dampening, though they cost more than the metal ones. A bit heavier aluminium model can be helpful for shooting outdoors where lighter models can be simply kicked over by the wind gust. But carrying a heavy model for several hours can be tiresome.
As a rule, tripod legs have from 2 up to 5 telescopic Sections. The bigger their number is, the more compact it will be when folded. Still, a large number of parts may affect the overall stability of the stand. The centre column may also have 1 or 2 sections. There are lots of models with telescopic legs and adjustable centre column.
Note, there are several Head Types that define the camera position and movement patterns.

  • Ball head can be rotated all around and has a very smooth running, yet be careful not to bump it accidentally.
  • 3-way Pan-Tilt heads are usually cheaper and allow a more precise adjusting. The downside is that they have large handles that always get in the way and also many levers that you have to tighten up or loosen almost every time to move and fix it in a certain position.
  • Gimbal heads are very specific and designed for holding large and heavy cameras.
There are several Features that can improve the usage of a tripod. For example, if the legs have pointy spikes on their ends, they will stand more securely on the soft ground. For shooting in a photo studio, you might need a taller tripod to take photos at the eye-level. The quick-release mount plate comes handy when you want to quickly change the cameras or when you need to take several handheld shots. By the way, some tripods can be transformed into a monopod that can provide some support for taking stable shots where you just can't unfold a tripod. Additionally, the package may also include some Extra Items like a pouch for the head or a carrying bag for the tripod itself.

Manfrotto Befree

Traveller's Choice

The Manfrotto Befree will be an excellent acquisition for all those who appreciate the portability and secure build quality above all. When folded, this model is only 40 cm long, so it doesn't take much space in or on your camera backpack. The aluminium variant that we've picked for this review, is surprisingly lightweight - only 1.4 kg. Nevertheless, the tripod can safely hold up to 4 kg load. Although this might not be enough for some of the heavy studio TV cameras, such payload capacity will fully satisfy the needs of many amateurs and professionals with the standard DSLR cameras.
Each leg here is multi-sectional and features flip locks for a quick height adjustment. When fully extended, the tripod is not too short - 144 cm from the column's tip to the ground. A tripod also comes in the set with a small aluminium ball head for smooth camera panning and angle fine-tuning. Additionally, the head comes with a quick-release plate that can be attached to the camera and swiftly removed from the tripod for taking a few handheld shots or switch between the cameras. Without a plate, the head has a standard 1/2" threaded bolt, coming out from the top.
Overall, this Manfrotto tripod boasts excellent build quality and many adjustment features for taking stunning panoramic shots, time-lapses, stable long-exposure photos, and so on.
Review of Manfrotto Befree

Additional Info

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Manfrotto Befree
Manfrotto Befree
 

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Tripod Legs

Feel the Difference

Sooner or later, any photo enthusiast comes to the conclusion that some photos just can't be taken right without a tripod. Either it is a breathtaking scenery or a stunning architecture masterpiece, a stable camera support will undeniably increase the overall image quality. So, with this Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT tripod, you can become a professional cameraman like on a movie set, capturing all the awesome moments from all possible angles. On the outlook, the centre column looks pretty much the same as everywhere. However, due to the special bracketing system, it can be freely moved around in all 3 dimensions while its 3-segmen legs firmly stay in the same place, supporting the pole along with a camera. Furthermore, each leg has a pointy spike on its end to ensure stability on the rough ground and features the non-skid rubber feet for setting it on a slick flooring in a studio or apartment. Thanks to these things, you can even position the column parallel to the ground - and the tripod will not turn over. This makes it a perfect choice if you want to take macro photos or need a stable support for directing the camera directly upwards to shoot the skyscape. In other words, you can safely rotate the camera with this tripod almost any way that you like in order to find the ideal position and take the perfect photo.
Review of Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Tripod Legs

Headless Possibilities

This tripod is so flexible in terms of functionality, that we've decided to tell you more about it and about what it has to offer.
First of all, it's made of aluminium but you may find a bit more lightweight carbon fibre model as well. The joints seem to be pretty durable. After tightening the column clamp, it securely holds the camera in place.
Also, the tripod is designed to hold up to 7 kg load and you can also hang a counterweight on the hook, that comes out from the other side of the column. Each leg has a release lock button at the top that allows you to change the leg's angle to one of the fixed positions - at 25°, 50°, and 80°. Other adjustments are straightforward, too. Each leg is telescopic and features 2 flip locks for the quick realignment. The soft foam grips on them also come in handy when you need to carry your tripod from one place to another. Since it's made of aluminium, it's a great choice if you love winter photography, as you can safely grab it with a bare hand.
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Tripod Legs in the use

Don't Lose Your Right Head

Note, this Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT model comes without a head. That way, you can mount your camera on its round shock-absorbing rubber plate with a standard 1/4" screw right away or use the head of your own choice thanks to the included 3/8" adapter. Another option is to check out the product's page on Amazon and find the headed configuration that suits you better.
Concluding, at 2 kg, the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT might lose the weight contest to some of its carbon fibre competitors. And yet, it's one of the lightest models made of aluminium with such flexible functionality. Although it comes without a head, you might not even need it in most cases due to the unique multi-angle column system. Therefore, we readily recommend this heavy-duty camera tripod to any photo enthusiasts - beginners and pros alike.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Tripod Review
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Tripod Legs
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Aluminum Tripod Legs
 

ZOMEi Z818

Turn the World Around You

The Zomei Z818 tripod is made of a high-grade aluminium alloy for its improved stability on the rough ground and can safely support some really heavy cameras. At only 1.7 kg net weight, this tripod can safely hold up to 15 kg of camera equipment. The maximum height is comparatively long too - up to 168 cm, with the ball head included. Therefore, we can recommend it right away for taking beautiful portraits both indoors and outdoors.
The included ball head comes with the Arca-Swiss style quick-release plate, compatible with most of the video and photo cameras. What's more, the head has a 360° scale that may come in handy when taking panoramic or cityscape shots. If you are a big nature fan or just love experimenting, you might also like that the centre column can be set upside down on the tripod legs for the low angle, close-to-the-ground shots.
The key feature, though, is that the centre column can be detached from the legs and then used as a 4-section monopod with the operational height from 42 cm to 183 cm. This function allows you to take skilful panning photos of quickly moving objects.
The only notable downside is that the legs end with the pointy non-slide rubber feet only and have no retractable spikes. Therefore, they might become weary over time if you use it on the rough ground. In other regards, the firm and reliable design, multi-degree angular and height adjustments make this tripod an ultimate choice for professional and semi-professional in-studio and outdoor use.
Review of ZOMEi Z818

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ZOMEi Z818
ZOMEi Z818
 

AmazonBasics Adjustable Pistol Grip Head Tripod

Steady Shooter

AmazonBasics is the Amazon-owned label for assorted products in various categories for everyday and professional use. Thus, this tripod can boast great build quality and an attractive price on Amazon store.
Each leg and the centre column are made of a durable aluminium alloy. Every leg has a telescopic, 3-section construction design with 2 flip locks and also features a leg release lock for the quick height and leg angle adjustment. The tripod can be extended from 81 cm to 177 cm, that makes it one of the tallest models in its price range. Also, the tripod can safely support up to 5 kg load.
The tripod is geared with a pistol grip ball head, that is considered one of the most easy-to-use head types for portrait photography as you can simply pull the trigger and instantaneously adjust the head tilt position, and then release the trigger to keep the camera in a specific position. The head also features a couple of bubble levels for precise horizontal and vertical orientation. And with its quick-release plate, it's possible to take the camera off the tripod without a fuzz for taking handheld shots or camera switch.
What's more, the tripod is safe to use both indoors and outdoors. The rubber feet can be screwed further up to expose the metal spikes that will provide additional stability on the soft ground like sand or soil.
Review of AmazonBasics Adjustable Pistol Grip Head Tripod

Additional Info

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AmazonBasics Adjustable Pistol Grip Head Tripod
AmazonBasics Adjustable Pistol Grip Head Tripod
 

Manfrotto Compact

View From Different Angles

When choosing a tripod, a photographer should consider its functionality as well as his own height if he wants to use it for taking photos in various genres. Therefore, this Manfrotto camera tripod can be an excellent choice for the average height people that require a quality and easy-to-set tripod for taking steady shots at long exposure or recording video of different events. It's made of a durable aluminium alloy and weighs only 1.4 kg. What's more, the tripod can be folded and put inside the included carrying pouch that will be only 45 cm long, allowing you to strap it to your camera backpack and take along with you in order to take the beautifully sharp photos in any scenic location that you might stumble upon your travels.
The pan-tilt heads are used mostly in TV filming industry where its axis-lock mechanism and 2 handles can provide 3-way smooth panning movement. In photography, such heads are used for shooting panoramas and for taking portraits as they allow photographers to swiftly change the camera position at 90° from landscape to portrait orientation. What's more, you can set the centre column upside down for a low camera angle in this model as well.
This tripod can be extended from 44.5 cm to 165 cm and can hold up to 3 kg load. This is enough for most of the compact video cameras and many DSLR cameras with the standard lenses. Therefore, we can recommend this Manfrotto Compact Tripod to any photo enthusiast or video camera owner who requires an inexpensive yet durable tripod for shooting videos or photos both indoors and outdoors.
Review of Manfrotto Compact

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Manfrotto Compact
Manfrotto Compact
 

Sources:

1. Simon Ringsmuth Tips for Choosing a Tripod Head, Digital Photography School.

2. Harry Guinness Everything You Need to Know About Choosing the Perfect Tripod, MakeUseOf. July 7, 2016.

3. Camera Tripods, Cambridge in Colour.

4. How to Choose a Tripod, MediaCollege.

5. Nigel Atherton Choosing a Tripod, What Digital Camera. June 19, 2016.

6. How to Attach a Camera to a Tripod, wikiHow. August 2016.

7. Nasim Mansurov How to Use a Tripod, Photography Life. January 10, 2015.

8. Jason Row When and How to Use a Monopod Instead of a Tripod, Light Stalking Photography. July 17, 2013.

9. Long Exposure Photography Tips, ExposureGuide.

10. Mark Myerson How to Photograph the Starry Night Sky: 7 Expert Tips, Shutterstock. July 9, 2015.

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