Five of the best tripods for under $450

Long exposures, low light, macro work, landscapes, product photography - just a few  of the typical situations where having your camera as stable as possible is vital if you're going to avoid camera shake. Some photographers shy away from using a tripod, citing the need to avoid adding extra bulk and weight to their kit as key reasons for their decision. Obviously, tripods do have their drawbacks, but modern models are increasingly lightweight, fold down very small and - as such - are very portable. Sure, you could rely on your surroundings to give you some form of support in certain situations - benches, rocks, tables, the ground - but if sharpness and detail is your utmost priority when it comes to taking photographs, then you really can't beat a good tripod for stability.

There are a huge range of options available on the market, all of which have their own unique properties, pros and cons. The most expensive models tend to be manufactured from incredibly lightweight materials like carbon or basalt fiber for example, while cheaper models are usually constructed using heavier materials (albeit only marginally in some cases) like aluminum. Some tripods also boast additional features, like the ability to swing out the center column (ideal for low-level shooting) or remove it completely to use as a monopod. 

Some tripods are offered in combination with heads, while others will require the latter to be purchased separately, giving you a bit more freedom over the choice of product you need for your favored type of photography. Generally, ball heads are best suited to photographers who like to do a bit of everything - they're quick to reposition but it's difficult to make precise adjustments with them - while the two-way pan-and-tilt variety tends to be the head of choice for action and wildlife photographers, as it allows for smooth panning. A three-way head can be slower to use but allows for separate control of each axis, making it a good all-rounder. Finally - for genres like macro and architectural photography where precision is key - a geared three-way head allows for the greatest level of precision, at the expense of added weight and bulk.

Another thing to consider is the working height you need for your favored type of photography - this will affect the number of leg sections your ideal tripod will need to have. As well as the weight of the product itself, be sure to pay attention to the maximum load your tripod/head combination can bear and check it can support your heaviest camera gear. Finally, the locking mechanism used to secure the legs will be down to personal preference: you can usually either opt for a tripod with twist locks or a 'quick-locking' system that basically snaps open/closed.

Here, we've gathered five of the best tripods on the market that are available for less than $450, with something to suit every budget: read on to discover which of our best buys is the perfect partner for your camera gear.

Benro Transfunctional Travel Angel Aluminium Tripod Kit

Small but perfectly formed, the new Transfunctional Travel Angel series from Benro is designed to meet the demands of photographers who prefer to travel light.  The most compact tripod in this round-up, our test model - the A0691TB00 - folds down to 16.1 inches and weighs in at just 2.9 lbs, making it very light and portable. An ideal solution for globetrotting enthusiasts, or photographers who like to hike long distances with their kit, this little tripod won't weigh you down and its small size when folded makes it easy to attach to the outside of your camera bag - otherwise you can stow it in the included carry case.

The innovative design of this tripod incorporates legs that can be inverted and folded back through 180 degrees, while the 'Transfunctional' part of its name refers to its very useful ability to be converted to a monopod, without the need for any tools: one of the legs can be quickly removed and coupled with the top plate, adding another dimension to this tripod's level of flexibility.

The versatile nature of the Transfunctional Travel Angel series is further enhanced by the two different angles at which the legs can be locked to allow for ground-level shooting. Even though the center column is fixed, the minimum working height is still a respectable 16.1 inches. The 5-section legs are secured with dust and water resistant rubberized twist locks that are comfortable and quick to operate and the tripod comes paired with the smooth-action Benro B00 Dual Action ball head.  All in all, this is an impressive package that's worth considering if you want to avoid adding too much bulk to your existing kit bag - just take note of the load capacity and check your camera gear is compatible first.

The Benro B00 Dual Action ball head that’s supplied with this tripod is simple and smooth to
operate and adds value to the overall package.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg)
  • Load capacity (legs): 13.2 lbs (6 kg)
  • Max height (with center column down) 51.2 in (130 cm)
  • Min height: 16.1 in (40.9 cm)
  • Closed length: 16.1 in (40.9 cm)
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Head included: Yes - ball and socket
  • Load capacity (head): 13.2 lbs (6 kg)
  • Leg sections: 5
  • Leg lock type: Twist-locks

Score: 

Induro Alloy AT213 Tripod

With a maximum load capacity of 22 lbs, the Induro AT213 is a real workhorse that's capable of supporting everything up to a pro DSLR body with a long telephoto lens attached, making it an ideal choice for sports and action photographers in particular.

Constructed from aluminum alloy, this tripod has a reassuring weight to it that ensures the utmost stability: an asset that's enhanced further by the wide stance of the legs when the tripod is set up. The large footprint created gives the AT213 a very stable base, but if you find yourself caught in particularly harsh conditions, there's a spring-loaded hook at the base of the center column for adding extra weight.

Other impressive features include generous padded grips on each of the legs providing comfortable handling in all weathers, adjustable leg angles - great for shooting on uneven surfaces - an integral bubble level and reversible locking center column for low-angle photography. The legs are in three sections, secured by dust and moisture-resistant half-twist leg locks that feel very secure and are easy to operate. The interchangeable rubber feet and stainless steel spikes - plus a tool kit and durable carry case for easy portability - added to the fact that this tripod can be snapped up online for around $140 - makes the AT213 a very appealing low-priced option.

Interchangeable non-slip rubber feet and heavy-duty spikes increase the
versatility of this heavy-duty tripod.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.4 lbs (2 kg)
  • Load capacity (legs): 22 lbs (10 kg)
  • Max height (with center column down) 56.7 in (144 cm)
  • Min height: 23.4 in (59.4 cm)
  • Closed length: 25.6 in (65 cm)
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Head included: No
  • Load capacity (head): N/A
  • Leg sections: 3
  • Leg lock type: Twist-locks

Score: 

Manfrotto 294 Aluminium Kit (MK294A3-A0RC2)

Body text: An excellent all-rounder at an affordable price, the 294 Aluminium kit is the larger of the tripods featured in the recently launched 290 Series. Inspired by the popular original 190 Series, the new range is cast from aluminum alloy and sports a range of features that make them an appealing prospective buy - particularly if you shop around online for the best price.

The MK294A3 comes with the basic, yet superbly engineered detachable A0RC2 ball head (also aluminum), adding to the value-for-money of this comprehensive kit. The tripod itself features 3 leg sections, secured with flick-locks that are quick, smooth and simple to operate, while the center column benefits from an anti-shock collar and anti-rotation system: all traits that add to the robust feel of this tripod.

In spite of its low price point, the MK294A3 doesn't feel like a 'budget' option. In our field tests, the tripod performed reliably, being quick to set up and maintaining its stability in windy coastal conditions.  The legs also offer angle adjustment for low-level shooting - an added bonus in this price bracket - as well as a removable center column that can be inverted to allow for shooting even closer to the ground. If you need a weightier kit to support your camera, this is solid, well-made tripod that impresses - both in terms of features and performance.

The bundled ball head and innovative multi-angle legs add further
appeal to this competitively-priced tripod.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.2 lbs (1.9 kg)
  • Load capacity (legs): 11 lbs (5 kg)
  • Max height (with center column down) 58.06 in (147.5 cm)
  • Min height: 19.57 in (49.7 cm)
  • Closed length: 27.56 in (70 cm)
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Head included: Yes - ball and socket
  • Load capacity (head): 11.02 lbs (5 kg)
  • Leg sections: 3
  • Leg lock type: Lever-locks

Score: 

Vanguard Auctus Plus 283AT

If rock-solid stability is your priority, then look no further. This behemoth of a tripod offers a colossal 30.9 lbs maximum load capacity - perfect for sport and wildlife enthusiasts with big lenses - while its geared center column makes it just as useful for macro and studio work, where precision is key.

Don't be put off by the list price - the Auctus Plus 283AT is available online for over $100 less - improving its appeal in terms of value-for-money. You will need to purchase a head separately, of which there's a vast range of options to choose from - this of course ups the cost of the overall package, but it does mean that you can select the head that's the most compatible with the type of photography that you tend to favor, as well as allowing you the flexibility of simply using your existing head if you already own one.

This tripod is no go-anywhere travel companion: weighing in at 7.32 lbs you'll need plenty of muscle if you want to lug the Vanguard around all day, although it does fold down into a relatively neat package that could still potentially be clipped onto a large camera bag. Alternatively, you do get a carry case with a shoulder strap in the box. Looking at the features the 283AT boasts, it's clear that this is a tripod that's designed to withstand the rigors of daily life - both in the studio and out on more rugged terrain. The adjustable-angle aluminum legs are secured with easy-to-operate dust and moisture-resistant twist leg locks, with a useful scale on each leg so you can ensure they are the same height - a bubble level also helps to keep horizons straight. It's fitted with all-terrain feet as standard, which spread the weight of each leg over a larger surface area to reduce the risk of it sinking in soft ground or snow, however these can be removed to reveal metal spikes for added grip.

If your photography requires precision when it comes to composition and stability to ensure pin-sharp images whatever the conditions, then this could be the tripod for you.

This workhorse of a tripod features a geared center column, allowing for very precise adjustments to be made to your composition while shooting.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.32 lbs (3.3 kg)
  • Load capacity (legs): 30.9 lbs (14 kg)
  • Max height (with center column down) 53.5 in (135.9 cm)
  • Min height: 5.13 in (13.5 cm)
  • Closed length: 26.75 in (67.9)
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Head included: No
  • Load capacity (head): N/A
  • Leg sections: 3
  • Leg lock type: Twist-locks

Score: 

Velbon GEO E-530

The lightest tripod in our round-up, the GEO E-530 is manufactured from a carbon fiber and basalt composite material, engineered to create a lightweight yet strong product. An ideal choice for avid travelers, this tripod folds down small and won't add a great deal of bulk to your kit bag.

First impressions are excellent: the build quality of this tripod is superb, with its spiral-etched legs and quick-release lever locks for smooth, fast leg height adjustment, while the markings on the legs prove useful when ensuring all of the legs are the same height - the only thing that's missing is a spirit level, (as well as a head, which you'll need to choose separately).

The downside to having such a light tripod of course is stability in high winds and other inclement weather conditions. To help tackle the problem, Velbon includes a handy pouch that can be attached to all three legs and suspended between them, into which you can place heavy items (your camera bag / rocks / anything you have to hand) in order to provide additional  solidity.

We particularly like the quick-release center column, which makes it very quick and simple to set up the tripod for low-level shooting and macro photography - simply release the catch, remove and invert the column then lock. The legs can also be splayed out independently of one another - a good feature when shooting on uneven terrain - while retractable spikes offer a firm grip.

As always, it's possible to shave a bit off the manufacturer's list price: pick the GEO E-530 up online for around the $300 mark, a very reasonable cost for a carbon fiber model of this caliber.

The lower section on the legs of this lightweight travel tripod feature a useful scale that helps to
ensure everything stays level.

Specification:

  • Weight: 2.8 lbs (1.3 kg)
  • Load capacity (legs): 13.23 lbs (6 kg)
  • Max height (with center column down) 46.50 in (118.2 cm)
  • Min height: 5.50 in (14 cm)
  • Closed length: 16 in (40.6)
  • Material: Carbon Fiber and Basalt composite
  • Head included: No
  • Load capacity (head): N/A
  • Leg sections: 3
  • Leg lock type: Lever-locks

Score: 


Josie Reavely is a freelance writer and photographer based in the UK. Before launching her freelance career, Josie was the Reviews Editor for Digital Photographer magazine; she continues to review the latest camera models and write features for a range of publications and websites, as well as taking on a range of exciting photography projects. For more details or to get in touch, visit www.jreavely.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 82
12
jimneotech
By jimneotech (8 months ago)

Is anyone out there aware of a standard to use in judging the rigidity of a tripod?

0 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (Dec 16, 2012)

I don't know why I insist on reading comment sections. It's like exposing yourself to every brand of idiot on the planet.
LOOK all you cry babies out there: READ the title of this page! It says, "Five of the best tripods for under $450". It does NOT say, "The five very best" or All of the very best" nor does it say, "Our comprehensive analysis and evaluation of available tripods, carried out in our clean-room robotic test center"
Got It? Now go find something else to sit there in your underpants and b i t c h about. I suggest you take the time to make a doctor appointment, and have your apertures un-torqued. Some of you sound like you're running 120 foot pounds.

To everyone else: — Happy Days!

To dpreview: Thanks for the fabulous website. The work you put in here will never be appreciated enough. Your camera reviews are incredible. Every bit of info that I can come here to snatch up makes my photography life better and easier. Even a short blurb on tripods.
Here's to ya.

13 upvotes
Sern
By Sern (11 months ago)

That was AWESOME!

1 upvote
BJames777
By BJames777 (Dec 4, 2012)

I have a huge ol' Gitzo carbon fiber tripod that I love. However, being primarily a nature photographer it really is impractical on many shoots and for travel. I looked around and I settled on a Vanguard Tracker 4. It is very stable, tough, and light weight enough not to be a pain in the butt when traveling and hiking. It is the biggest tripod I like to carry and I am a 6ft 200 lb man. My wife is 5'1" and about 105 pounds and she doesn't have a problem hiking all day with her Tracker 4 either, most recently in the mountains of Colombia. For under $179 it has performed better than I expected and is rock solid stable even in 17-24 knot winds with my A77 and A99 with a 70-400 lens on it. Other than seeing the trees blowing around in the pics, there was no signs of camera shake. Damn good tripod.

1 upvote
MCSweg
By MCSweg (Nov 27, 2012)

Anyone try Really Right Stuff gear...is it worth it? It is double in price compared to Gitzo. Could there be that much more put into quality.

0 upvotes
Burbclaver
By Burbclaver (Aug 24, 2012)

There's only one consideration that matters to me in a tripod - does it hold my camera and lens rock solid still. It doesn't matter how inexpensive a tripod is if it lets the camera move, because it is a waste of money. It doesn't matter if a tripod is light if it doesn't work, because I may as well have left it at home and saved carrying the extra weight. Rigidity is everything in a tripod.

0 upvotes
aqi
By aqi (Jul 5, 2012)

I just bought Benro A2681 TB1,maybe coz its made in China,and im a chinese?its only 900 RMB,a good quailty/price ration....in china,the price of Benro A0691 TB00 is not more than 1000RMB...Manfrotto,Gitzo very expensive here....lol,at least for me........

0 upvotes
StefanieH
By StefanieH (Apr 20, 2012)

Very sad ! I came here to learn which tripod to buy. It is supposed to be and all around light weight to be taken anywhere I go with my canon 60D and an average zoom lens.

0 upvotes
gradoo
By gradoo (Mar 29, 2012)

Manfrotto is my favorite tripod, high quality and light weight. I love to take this tripod away with my camera. highly suggest people to buy this brand.

0 upvotes
kryznic
By kryznic (Dec 10, 2011)

I just bought a Manfrotta 055CXPRO3, with a 322RC2 Joystick head. That's the carbon fiber tripod btw, I couldn't be happier with the combo. Even with this head the setup is still pretty darn light. Sturdy as hell too, The tripod was 297 and the ball head was 124, plus buy now and Manfrotto has rebates going until Jan 15th or something. 40 bux on tripods and 10 on heads.

0 upvotes
GKC
By GKC (Oct 26, 2011)

Manfrotto 190xpro B. Excellent build quality, decent weight and I love the drop down center column. I can shoot at 6 feet high or just off the ground. Fantastic product.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Oct 17, 2011)

OK...this place looks more and more like a payed advertisement.
Look..(I am a stills photographer shooting with Canon full-frame gear and lenses up to 70-200 Zoom with extenders). That being said this tripod and head combination :
Feisol CT-3441S and the Photoclam PC-33NS
.....blows ALL of the tripods mentioned in this article,s away from a standpoint of value-for-the-money, sturdiness & max-height, AND precision machining. It is also VERY lightweight with a great shoulder bag, wrenches etc. OH..the tripod folds down to a very compact size for what it offers. You can also buy a cheaper head for it if you really need to save some money, too.
This combo comes in at $478 so it is $28 more than the $450 mentioned here..but the $28 gives you a ride on a Lear Jet instead of a Piper Cub...all the way around.
I am just an experienced photographer speaking my mind here and have no financial interest in Feisol or Photo Clam...
Just my Opinion.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
_Tripod_9
By _Tripod_9 (Jan 2, 2012)

Like Dude - where'd you get that combo for just $478 or was that 5 years ago?

0 upvotes
Anshul Aabhas
By Anshul Aabhas (Sep 15, 2011)

I wonder why nobody knows about sirui tripods (www.siruiusa.com). They are lightweight, sturdy and you can get max weight support of 30Lbs for under $350.
In looks they are quite similar to Benro but lighter, rigid and with better load capacity than them.

1 upvote
Cyril Catt
By Cyril Catt (Sep 11, 2011)

I don't bother to read many articles about Maseratis and Lamborghinis because I am never going to buy one. My Honda hatch goes where, and carries what, I need it to.

Same with tripods. I travel light. My cameras are small. They suit my needs, and would look silly on the top of a 1500 mm tripod - which wouldn't fit in my pocket anyhow.

There are other ways to steady a camera in low light or at long tele settings. A small (rigid - not bendy) tabletop tripod with a swivel head can be held with one hand firmly against any rigid surface (fence, wall, tree, post, etc) and operated with the other hand. At a pinch, it can be held against the sternum and upper rib cage. Or if several shots are needed from the same point, it can be tied with string or velcro to a post or other firm object (fence, tree, post, etc.).

But if you need to carefully pan, or have a heavy camera, or rely for a living on getting a shot right the first time, your needs may dictate something more robust and complex.

0 upvotes
Barrie Davis
By Barrie Davis (Sep 9, 2011)

This wasn't a review of tripods. It was just a list of what they'd got... rehashed press releases, with no real indication of how good they were at performing the task, or how long they would likely carry on doing it.

Marks out of 10? 4... and I think that is being generous.

4 upvotes
Lisa O
By Lisa O (Sep 6, 2011)

kind of like comparing apples to oranges too broad

0 upvotes
hiro_pro
By hiro_pro (Sep 6, 2011)

Thanks dpreview for adding tripods. they are an integral part of the photography tool bag. here are my questions when looking at any tripod:

1. i would like to see the stability of the tripods compared to an industry standard like a gitzo. i understand cheap and light might not hold up but if it is truly travel size then let me make the decision. i also may be willing to get an aluminum workhorse and accept the higher weight if i get equal stability.

2. any time i see a tripod head, my first question is will it fit all my arca swiss/kirk/RRS/etc quick release plates? i assume many of us are in the same boat and can't/wouldn't go with an incompatible system (example: i never buy manfrotto heads)

0 upvotes
rjx
By rjx (Sep 6, 2011)

If these are only 5 of the "best" tripods under $450, then what are the other tripods that are considered the best?

0 upvotes
Barbu
By Barbu (Sep 5, 2011)

A few more articles „to lose” and...
And this is truly an „article”; by no means a review. Maybe the author really used and tested these in various conditions, but surely that's a secret; no word on that. I'll take this writting as a morning coffee pastime. And then I'll forget I ever read it.

4 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Sep 4, 2011)

Chill guys. These articles are to use or lose. I enloyed reading the views of others and yes I also have what I think " Less expensive " tripodos that are very good. (never use the word cheap)

0 upvotes
RBFresno
By RBFresno (Sep 4, 2011)

I hope Dpreview takes to heart some of the comments below.

More 'reviews' of this caliber will train photographers to seek their reviews elsewhere (i.e., it won't be good for business).

This tripod review is not up the standards of DpReview for DSLR's.

5 upvotes
Jim in AZ
By Jim in AZ (Sep 4, 2011)

I'm happy with the $5 tripod my mom bought for me from a garage sale :-)

0 upvotes
rainey999
By rainey999 (Sep 2, 2011)

A good review delivering just that, a review of the products. Most useful to someone such as myself - who does not have a host of tripods standing in a corner.

Is any of the content factually incorrect?
So why all the critcisms?

Keep on writing Josie, the fact is, those who complain are the minority - the majority who appreciate something unfortunately don't put their thoughts in writing so readily :)

2 upvotes
Roman Korcek
By Roman Korcek (Sep 6, 2011)

People simply expect more from dpreview than a fleeting overview of five products. You could take the whole Olympus camera range and say yes, this one is ideal for underwater photography, this one for those with long zoom needs, this is a bridge ILC and this is a professional DSLR, just choose according to your needs. Anyone who is following dpreview knows that already, though.

0 upvotes
rainey999
By rainey999 (Sep 9, 2011)

Ever questioned what the brief was for the article??

0 upvotes
Denis of Whidbey Island
By Denis of Whidbey Island (Sep 2, 2011)

How about some searchable databases for tripods, heads, accessories? Follow that with rigorous testing as DPReview provides for cameras, perhaps comparison tests of tripods that compete with each other in categories such as compact, budget, travel, tall, long-lens capable. Give us head tests using rigorous protocols rather than using mfgr. claims. Include brands not sold by Amazon, e.g., RRS, to make it credible.

4 upvotes
marcofoto
By marcofoto (Sep 2, 2011)

Cullmann Magnesit 532, 115€ at Amazon, Max Height 180cm, loads 8Kgs.

0 upvotes
MSTR Photography
By MSTR Photography (Sep 2, 2011)

At the outset of this article, one is led to believe that this is a review which will compare products for reliablility and stability. The openning portion makes valid points about selecting a tripod. Any professional photographer knows that they will need several tripods for various uses. I own nine tripods, one of which extends to nine feet for overhead shots in my studio, however, it is way to heavy for travel or hiking. Quite often, I find myself traveling with two lightweight carbon fiber tripods for mounting of two cameras to be worked simultaneously. My point is that there are a lot of reasons to buy tripod and the units must be suited to the needs of the photographer. Four of the units I own are strictly for the use of students when I am teaching in the field. All off the manufacturers listed make differing levels of tripods for differing needs. This article fails because it is a review not a comparison of advantages and disadvantages. Keep writing Josie.

2 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Sep 2, 2011)

wow, this is really bad. There are loads of better, lighter, stronger tripods for under $450. This feels like a heavily sponsored review.

1 upvote
tgelston
By tgelston (Sep 2, 2011)

Can I throw in a plug for Dolica at $43 on Amazon it is far cheaper and just about as good in most respects.

0 upvotes
tgelston
By tgelston (Sep 2, 2011)

Legs adjustable independently, has the spike feet or rubber feet, center column flips and includes the hook for adding stability. Comes with its own carrying case. The head is on the cheaper side. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001D60LG8?ie=UTF8&tag=mapsdpr-20&linkCode=shr&camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B001D60LG8&ref_=sr_1_1&qid=1314970410&sr=8-1

0 upvotes
tgelston
By tgelston (Sep 2, 2011)

Wouldn't let me add a link - told me it was a swear word. . so helpful!

0 upvotes
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (Sep 2, 2011)

We sell that junk at our store or should i say try not to, the leg clips will fail good luck with your tripod they break on the plastic hinge every time there made by Digipod china...........

1 upvote
StefanieH
By StefanieH (Apr 20, 2012)

and what kind are you talking about now?? all 5 of them??

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Sep 2, 2011)

What the heck? I read this article expecting to see what was discovered, but all I remember is specs and features. I feel I could learn more reading reviews on Amazon. Are these really the best tripods under $450? Under what basis? Please amend your article.

1 upvote
Philidors shadow
By Philidors shadow (Sep 2, 2011)

The first sentence sets the tone of this fluffy article, with repetition (long exposures, low light), two spaces after "few", and a statement that keeping the camera stable reduces camera shake. It's witless.

SI units are essential. I had to convert 16.1 inches to compare the Benro to my 51 cm tripod. Later in the article — too late — I'm told 16.1 inches is 40.9 cm. This value was clearly derived from the rounded 16.1 inches, because it disagrees with the Benro USA website.

Lazy articles like this served a meagre purpose in the pre-internet era, when it was hard work to discover the names of available products. Today anyone can go to the B&H website and find everything in seconds. This article should offer critical insight, useful notes from hands-on experience, or unusual comprehensiveness: something it cannot do while missing the most important tripod brand in the world.

The transparent message is to shop online (i.e. Amazon) for the best prices. Please stop shilling for Amazon.

4 upvotes
FELIX1215
By FELIX1215 (Sep 2, 2011)

Amazon owns DPR. They bought it about 2 years ago.

1 upvote
FELIX1215
By FELIX1215 (Sep 2, 2011)

Make that 4 years ago:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0705/07051402amazonacquiresdpreview.asp

1 upvote
aris14
By aris14 (Sep 2, 2011)

An article to my opinion is a piece of text where you can read an opinion of someone who has to do with something.
It is not a presentation, it is not a test, there is no information that someone cannot find in the web and maybe a visit in a store...
Funny thing is that the author is an English woman and I say that because the free lancers from the island are considered top in any field of press especially the technical press. So where this tradition went?
I don't mean to be offensive by any terms, but that was quite a disappointing approach, rather epidermic and certainly not opinionated.
I am sure that J.Reavely can do more than that, after all she has a tradition to carry on.

1 upvote
MisterBG
By MisterBG (Sep 10, 2011)

aris14 said: "It is not a presentation, it is not a test,"
The headline for the article says "Articles in category: Product Reviews"
For me, a review should have a conclusion, even if it says "There's nothing to choose between them."
They might as well all have four (or five) stars, with no reasons for why they earn those stars.

0 upvotes
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (Sep 2, 2011)

Heres some good info for you if you travel make sure the legs fold up with in 23" or they won't go carrie on spiked feet mite be a problem to.If you do urban photography something light like the Manfrotto 190xprob and yes it will fold to 22" and a good ballhead like the 488RC2 this head has a very common release plate very important if you have more then one camera or pro lenses with collars.Cold weather grips are very nice if you have heavy camera gear like i do so it rests on your shoulders softer .If you really love photography then spend a lot on a good tripod and think of what you do and shoot and go to a good camera store tell them everything you do and the gear you use.

1 upvote
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (Sep 2, 2011)

I wouldn't buy one of these but thats just me .I sell this suff for a living at a high end camera shop you buy the tripod for you and what you do.i'm a nature photographer so i have a Manfrotto 055 xprob $249.99 can 488RC2 head $129.99
and a focus rail $59.99 all great for me but maybe not for you .the 055 legs go really high good for birds up in trees or on hill sides the ball head pivots at the bottom and ball at top this is very important if you would like to do panoramas or pan for videos the top arm goes sideways and the legs straight out very good for macro shots . No Giottos i find that funny they make a great tripod and the 190 xprob but Velbond ,benro, please were did you go to do your research Wallmart lol.........

3 upvotes
Kuppenbender
By Kuppenbender (Sep 2, 2011)

Pointless article. Tells me nothing I couldn't find out for myself by reading the the marketing blurb on manufacturers' sites.

Article could be summarized in a sentence or two: There are lots of great tripods. Benro, Induro, Manfrotto, vanguard, they're all good!

Did the alleged photographer/freelance writer actually see/touch these tripods? It's pretty obvious she didn't think to put a camera on any of them.

5 upvotes
rainey999
By rainey999 (Sep 9, 2011)

Obvious ???
Alleged??
Based on what facts???

0 upvotes
shoevarek
By shoevarek (Sep 2, 2011)

Maybe the review should include actual field tests. I wonder how well the tripods with twist locks would fare in less than clean environment. My personal experience, having clogged two tripods of two different manufacturers with sand while shooting in South-West, is not encouraging.

3 upvotes
Vortex1999
By Vortex1999 (Sep 2, 2011)

Any tripod more than $200 is over priced.

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Sep 2, 2011)

Spoken like a true amateur.

A good stable tripod is one of the most important things you can have as a photographer

5 upvotes
kimvette
By kimvette (Sep 2, 2011)

http://bythom.com/support.htm

"Thom's Maxim #2: You can spend US$1700 to buy a good tripod and head, or you can spend US$1000 and do the same thing. (Corollary: eventually you'll do one or the other.)"

3 upvotes
Tomix
By Tomix (Sep 2, 2011)

I thought this is great test, but it's only some kind of marketing .
Why would I spend $379,95 on a 118,2 cm height tripod? Come on! WAKE UP!!

1 upvote
imagenes_vivas
By imagenes_vivas (Sep 2, 2011)

The "innovative design" characteristics of the Benro the author tell us (inverse legs and conversion to monopod) had been present in Gitzo btand for many years. benro only copied it.

0 upvotes
Viann Chiwawa
By Viann Chiwawa (Sep 3, 2011)

Could you advise which Gitzo traveler model has the "conversion to monopod" feature? I could not find it but would really be interested in getting one. Thanks.

1 upvote
imagenes_vivas
By imagenes_vivas (Sep 3, 2011)

Not in the traveller line, but there are Gitzo tripods with inverse legs (the Traveller line" and with conversion to monopod (in another line, for years ago. So this characteristics are not ne anyway as the article says. Putting them in the same tripod is the only new thing?

0 upvotes
imagenes_vivas
By imagenes_vivas (Sep 2, 2011)

This is a product review? :-(

1 upvote
NineFace
By NineFace (Sep 2, 2011)

Benro and Induro are the same manufacture so get Sriui it's better with same price

0 upvotes
David J Barber
By David J Barber (Sep 3, 2011)

Sriui are not the same -I've compared them side by side here in China. Benro, I believe, were originally an (ahem) off-shoot from a joint venture with Gitzo. I love my Benro A1691T. I shoot with an Olympus E-400, so not really taxing it's weight (Though it holds the 500MM Celestron scope perfectly). However, it's been in salt-water and sand, and cleans perfectly after a quick dismantle. Of course, it's only my opinion. I searched many, many tripods and this was my best bang for buck. (USD$120 here.) It replaces my heavy mono-pod and tripod combination and is shorter and lighter packed. Beware, though, the height of the mono-pod is a bit too low for some, and requires Allen-key trickery to change it. I never seem to be in a rush when needing it, though.
My best advice, as given by others: Buy the best you can afford, take your gear to the shops and play. Don't forget the minimum height!

2 upvotes
Torkn Photo
By Torkn Photo (Sep 2, 2011)

Come on guys. You can do better than this. How about putting a long lens on each of these tripods and doing some testing. How steady are they in practice? How quick to set up and take down? How much do they weigh and how long are they WITH A HEAD ATTACHED when folded?

The manufacturer supplied weight ratings are next to meaningless. And some tripods are orders of magnitude faster to set-up and take down than others. I expect a site like this to actually test the tripods, not just reprint the marketing brochures.

2 upvotes
win39
By win39 (Sep 2, 2011)

Sorry, but I don't get it. Seems to me an article like this, especially on this site, raises unanswered questions. What is the criteria for selecting these tripods to review? What criteria are used to star rate them? What is there here that shows any contact with the reviewed tripods? The summaries appear indistinguishable what is seen in manufacturer brochures pointing out the features. The specifications are accepted as true and usefully descriptive with an added narrative explanation of the features. Is there an international body that sets standards for load weight? I doubt it. Are those really the weights? Do the features work as described? Are the specified loads an accurate indication of the stability or is it just merchandising? How did you test the stability of the tripods? And if you did not how can you rate them? Are they rated against each other or against the same type? Why is a heavy tripod rated against travel tripods?

3 upvotes
Lachie Challis
By Lachie Challis (Sep 2, 2011)

Yeah, pretty ordinary "article" 3 leg warmers on the Induro isn't really a positive feature. None of the tripods appear to have been tested? No detail on QR Plate availability, missed the Manfrotto 190 series all together which in the sub $450 bracket is hugely popular...

Better luck next time?

1 upvote
chocjellybean26
By chocjellybean26 (Sep 3, 2011)

agree, i would have expect any of the Manfrotto 190 or 055 even

1 upvote
omoise
By omoise (Sep 2, 2011)

I would add the Giottos, incredibly versatile and solid for the price.
And i would love to see some stability comments.

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Sep 2, 2011)

Nice to see a tripod round-up, but I'd agree the approach is a little fluffy compared to the usual DPR type reviews. Reads more like what I'd expect in a regular magazine. Also might want to try a different approach to categorizing. Perhaps focus just on one type at a time, like lite travel and hiking tripods, which would naturally allow a more detailed comparison.

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 2, 2011)

As others have commented, surprising that Gitzo is missing, even if I have learned that Gitzo and Manfrotto have the same owners, or something like that (some of my Gitzo gear says Made in Italy). Not that bothered by inches, as fourty inches is about a meter, but weight in pounds, ounces, and long tons, and short tons, I can do without totally! There are even more archaic measurements, like points, pica, and barrels, all still used to this day!

I only have Gitzo mono/tri pods and a single Manfrotto monopod, but the heads are mostly Manfrotto (+ the odd Arco-Swiss (heavy!), and a very worn Gitzo head (I've used for about 40 years), and a nondescript West-German videohead, with no name, whatsoever).

Lets hope Gitzo gets included next time :-)!

1 upvote
ozgoldman
By ozgoldman (Sep 1, 2011)

The entire world, well almost, changed to the metric system of measurement almost 50 yrs ago, after a push by the UN. Consequently 95% of the world now works in the easy to use metric system.
Unfortunately, the USA has been sadly lagging behind the rest of the world in changing to this system. The old Imperial measurements for those who have only ever used Metric measurements is impossible to understand and thats a lot of people who read this forum.
Perhaps it's time the the US to wake up and join the rest of the world.
Don't get me wrong. US is a great place, but in weights and measurements they are almost 50 yrs behind the rest of the world now.

3 upvotes
lamah
By lamah (Sep 2, 2011)

Amazon (and by extension, DPReview) couldn't care less. They're trying to sell tripods to Americans. They'll ship some units overseas, sure, but mostly they are spending their advertising money to ship inside the US.

1 upvote
Chris Savage
By Chris Savage (Sep 2, 2011)

The USA "went metric" in 1893 (http://1.usa.gov/mTI9hL).

Unfortunately that amounted to redefining flintstone units in terms of metric and carrying on oblivious.

1 upvote
Catallaxy
By Catallaxy (Sep 1, 2011)

Worthless article. How about actually putting a camera on the things (say a D5100 and 18-55 and heavier test such as D7000 plus 105 VR) then show us the blur graphs or even better the actual photos? Be sure to do the tripod tap test and the MUP test and the burst test so we can see how they respond under different conditions. A shiny gold star to the reviewer who actually sets a test in a wind tunnel to see what wind vibrations do to the stability!

How are we to tell if these "highly rated" tripods are even stable? And what is the basis for the star ratings?

Meh. Not much actionable information here that could not also be gleaned by a quick browse of the tech specs on the manufacturer's web site or from a retailer.

2 upvotes
DuxX
By DuxX (Sep 1, 2011)

Velbon 640 is probably best tripod in class.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Sep 1, 2011)

Get a Gitzo if you can swing it (no pun intended). They don't cut corners with plastic, which seems ok but isn't, on a tripod. What harm could a little plastic lever that sticks out, instead of a metal collar, do?

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Sep 1, 2011)

I have just added metric measurements.

2 upvotes
Andrew Mitchell
By Andrew Mitchell (Sep 2, 2011)

Surely - for all dpreview articles - it should be standard policy to list all measurements in both imperial and metric.

As an aside, I have a Benro monopod which I use will a Manfrotto #342 ball-head, and it's brilliant. I, for one, will be out looking at a Benro Transfunctional Travel Angel as soon as I can.

Not everyone (me included) is a high-tech tripod user. I found the article very useful.

1 upvote
Total comments: 82
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