Oct 10, 2021

Best Tripods for Vlogging


Using a tripod for your vlog is one of the best things you can do to improve its production value. However, picking out your first vlog tripod can be a daunting endeavor. We've listed our favorite tripods below, which should help you find one that fits the unique needs of your vlog.

Our picks for the best vlogging tripods are broken down into four categories:

  • Photo: Lightweight tripods that are best for static shots.
  • Video: Fluid-head tripods meant for smooth tilts and pans.
  • Mini: Small tripods with a low-profile and high portability.
  • Video Monopod: Fluid-head monopods with a small footprint, best used for run-and-gun shooting.

What Kind of Tripod Is Best For You?

A vlogging tripod can help improve your video quality by making the picture more stable and less shaky. You typically need to consider five things when choosing a vlogging tripod: motion, camera weight, durability, height, and portability.

  1. Static or Motion: Photo tripods are designed to keep the camera still, and therefore they do not produce smooth tilts and pans. Video tripods have "fluid" heads, which balance a tripod's head and create smooth movements. Most vlogs are static, but more cinematic vlogs may need a fluid head video tripod.
  2. Weight of Camera: Tripods have weight limitations. Luckily, most vlogging cameras are not heavy. However, large cameras or robust setups with monitors, audio recorders, large lenses, and microphones may need a more robust tripod.
  3. Durability: More affordable tripods are typically made of plastic and have weaker clamps and joints. These do not hold up well to a lot of transport and may require replacement over time. More expensive tripods are designed to withstand this wear and tear. Most studio-based vlogs will not need an expensive tripod.
  4. Height: The height of a tripod can limit its functionality. Consider whether you'll film sitting down, at a table or desk, standing up, or on-the-go. Specialty vlogs, like DIY or cooking, may require taller tripods to assist with a top-down view.
  5. Portability: The style of your vlog will determine how often you'll need to move your tripod and how small it must be. A talking head vlog doesn't need portability, but travel, sports, or action style vlogs may need to mount a camera in a unique situation. Keep in mind that expensive fluid-head tripods are typically heavier than a photo and mini tripods, making them harder to transport.

With that in mind, here is our list of the best vlogging tripods:

1. Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible ($45)

joby gorilla pod

Type: Mini
Head Type: Ball
Max Height: 4.7'
Weight Capacity: 6.6 lbs
Best Use: Static, Vlogging, On-The-Go, Outdoors, Table Top, Documentary

What We Like: Highly portable. Flexible legs. Low profile. Excellent weight capacity for size.
What We Don't Like: Short. Joints can become less sturdy over time.

What You Need to Know:

This unique tripod is a top-rated solution for many vloggers due to its versatility and portability, making it the best handheld tripod for vlogging. It can work well as a static tripod, sitting on a table and desk. Many also use it as a short selfie-stick for on-the-go vlogging. It packs up well in a backpack or small bag, so it's great for travel. Lastly, the flexible legs can be wrapped around things, allowing you to put a camera where a tripod cannot fit.

However, the height of this tripod is limiting, because it depends on a table or an object to which you can attach it. Its height makes it a more niche tripod, but it is still one of the best-in-class tripods in the mini category.

I have one of these sitting on my desk to support a vlogging camera next to my computer.

>> See the Joby Gorillapod Tripod

2. Manfrotto MTPIXI-B PIXI Mini ($16)

manfrotto mini

Type: Mini
Head Type: Ball
Max Height: 5.1"
Weight Capacity: 2.2 lbs
Best Use: Static, Talking Head, Table Top, Documentary, Cinematic

What We Like: Affordable. Portable. Low-profile.
What We Don't Like: Low weight capacity.

What You Need to Know:

This mini-tripod is an excellent alternative to the Joby Gorillapod. It's more affordable, but comes with static legs, meaning it's more dependent on a tabletop or floor. However, this eliminates some issues the Jolby has, which is that the ball joints in the legs can loosen over time.

If you're shooting from a desk or table, this is an excellent and affordable option.

>> See the Magnus Mini Tripod

3. Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod ($70)

manfrotto action tripod

Type: Photo
Head Type: Pistol Grip
Max Height: 61"
Weight Capacity: 3.3 lbs
Best Use: Static, Talking Head, Motion

What We Like: Great build quality. Lightweight. Unique pistol grip. Tall.
What We Don't Like: Not an actual video tripod head.

What You Need to Know:

This tripod is a solid combo video + photo tripod. The tripod's pistol grip is unique. While it's not a real fluid video tripod head, it does give you better control over movement. This pistol grip won't compete with a fluid head tripod but allows for some necessary movement in a pinch, which you don't get with simple photo tripod.

As a Manfrotto tripod, it has an excellent build quality. It is a mid-to-high tier static tripod that works well for static studio and on-the-go videos, such as talking head, outdoor shots, and time-lapses.

>> See the Manfrotto Compact Tripod

4. Magnus VT-4000 ($130)

magnus vt 4000

Type: Video
Head Type: Fluid
Max Height: 59"
Weight Capacity: 8.8 lbs
Best Use: Cinematic, Motion, Static, Talking Head

What We Like: Fluid head tripod. Affordable for its category. Useful height. High weight capacity.
What We Don't Like: Build quality could be better. Over time, with a lot of wear and tear, the leg clamps can become loose.

What You Need to Know:

While not cheap, this is an affordable tripod for what you get. It's a decent intro level video tripod with a fluid head. This tripod was my first video tripod and served me well on many projects. However, it's build quality is not a good as a comparable Manfrotto tripod.

This was my first video tripod.

>> See the Magnus Video Tripod

5. Amazon Basics Lightweight Tripod ($28)

Type: Photo
Head Type: Tilt
Max Height: 60'
Weight Capacity: 6.6 lbs
Best Use: Static, Talking Head

What We Like: Affordable. Decent height. Lightweight.
What We Don't Like: Lower quality build. No fluid head. Poor movement.

What You Need to Know:

This budget entry-level photo tripod is meant for mostly static videos shot on a small camera. It is a decent solution for most beginner vloggers shooting talking head videos.

Without a fluid head, it will not have smooth movements, like tilts and pans, so once a shot is composed, expect to keep it static. It does move if you need it to, but it's a bit jerky.

This lightweight plastic tripod may not hold up well to heavy transport or wear and tear. If you're going to leave it in place in your bedroom or office studio, you'll get solid use out of this. It'll work best for phones, point-and-shoot, and small DSLR camera.

I do own this tripod. I needed a quick spare tripod for a project once, so I ordered this off Amazon. It does its job and holds the camera, but you get what you pay for here. It's a baseline budget tripod, but sometimes that's exactly what you need.

>> See the Amazon Lightweight Tripod

6. Manfrotto MVH500A Head with MVT502AM Tripod ($350)

manfrotto mvk500am mvh500a

Type: Video
Head Type: Fluid
Max Height: 56.5"
Weight Capacity: 11 lbs
Best Use: Cinematic, Motion, Static, Talking Head

What We Like: Excellent build quality. Top-notch fluid head. Durable.
What We Don't Like: Heavy. Large.

What You Need to Know:

This tripod is a true video tripod designed for more substantial video and indie film productions. It's a bit overkill for day-to-day vlogging, but more professional videographers and indie filmmakers will love this tripod. The fluid head allows for smooth tilts and pans.

For the price, you get a tripod with an outstanding build quality meant for on-location productions. It can hold larger, more professional camera setups as well. However, this comes at the cost of bulk and weight, making it considerably less portable than other tripods. It's a much more intentional tripod for vloggers doing more advanced videos and filmmaking.

I use this tripod as my main commercial and indie film project tripod.

>> See the Manfrotto Fluid Head Tripod

7. Manfrotto MVMXPRO500US XPRO ($270)

manfrotto mvmxpro500us xpro

Type: Video Monopod
Head Type: Fluid Tilt
Max Height: 79.9"
Weight Capacity: 11 lbs
Best Use: Run-and-Gun, Events, Documentary

What We Like: Excellent build quality. Low profile. Durable. Can be used for creative shots.
What We Don't Like: No fluid pan in the head.

What You Need to Know:

This model is a top-notch Manfrotto monopod that is best used for on-the-go videos, such as run-and-gun documentary work and events. The small base allows you to take up little space and move quickly. If you ever need to change locations in a dynamic environment, but also have stability, then this is an excellent choice.

It has a fluid tilt in the head, but the pan is dependent on a ball joint in the foot of the monopod, which also has a set of small tripod legs for support. While this makes pans less fluid, it can be used for creative arcs around the bottom ball joint.

Additionally, creative filmmakers can use it to raise a camera above a crowd or as a makeshift jib or crane arm.

I use this monopod for run-and-gun work.

>> See the Manfrotto Monopod

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