Tripods are very important pieces of equipment for photographers or videographers. Tripods give you the chance to take pictures that are steady and free of vibration. They can be used to take photographs from different positions and angles. They’re also great if you want to take photographs of yourself with no one around to take the camera. Picking a tripod that’s right for you can be difficult. The tripod you choose should be lightweight and stable to help support your camera with little hassle.
Before you start shopping, make sure to figure out what height needs you will have from your tripod and what features you prefer. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best tripod for under $100 and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
Best Tripods Under 100 Dollars of 2018 - Review
This can be hard to find if you want a tripod under 100 dollars. To help you out, we’ve made a list of the Top Tripods to help you make your choice.
AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod with Bag - Perfect for Gopro and Smartphones
The AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod is one of the cheapest tripods out there. Nevertheless, this tripod is very versatile. This tripod has adjustable-height legs with rubber feet. It’s available in 2 different heights: 50 inches and 60 inches. Overall, it weighs about 3 pounds and comes with a carrying case for your convenience. The tripods legs lock and release very easily as well as glide out smoothly. Once the legs are fully extended, you can adjust the height of the center post to reach the height of the tripod.
The center post has a hook on the bottom that lets you attach counterweight in order to increase the stability of the tripod. It’s highly practical and very cheap.
Joby GorillaPod with Ball Head - Great for dslr cameras
The Joby GorillaPod with ball head is among the most popular tripods. This tripod has flexible, legs allow you to place your camera almost anywhere.
The legs can wrap around any object. You can wrap them around trees, fences, or even poles to help you capture the right angle for your photograph. This tripod is great for any photographer who travels a lot because it’s easy to transport; it’s small and light and can fit in any bag.
In addition, this tripod comes with a ball head with a quick release clip and a bubble level. It’s compatible with any camera that is up to 6.6 pounds.
Dolica AX620B100 62-inch Tripod - Best under $50
The Dolica AX620B100 is a durable aluminum tripod. The tripod has three legs that are height-adjustable. They can extend to up to 62 inches.
The tripod has rubber feet for hard surfaces and retractable spike rubber feet for softer material like grass. These features allow it to always stay in place both indoors and outdoors. For added stability, the tripod has a counter weight hook mount.
Each of the tripod’s legs has a comfort grip to make it easy to carry around. The tripod also has a ball head with a quick release plate and a 3/8-inch mount for cameras.
Slik Pro 340DX Tripod - Best lightweight tripod
The Slik Pro 340DX Tripod is a high-end portable tripod. The tripod has 3 height-adjustable legs and a height-adjustable center column. Fully extended, the tripod can reach up to 56.7-inches. Its legs are multi-position.
They have rubber feet with foam grips that make it easy to move and carry. The tripod also has a 3-way pan head with 2 pan and tilt handles. This allows for easy usage and fast release for mounting and dismounting. The tripod weighs about 3.5 pounds.
Finally the tripod is able to hold and handle cameras of up to 6 pounds, which it almost double the weight of the tripod itself.
AmazonBasics 52-inch Carbon Fiber - Best travel tripod under 100$
The AmazonBasics 52-inch Tripod is a carbon fiber travel tripod. Finding a good carbon fiber tripod under a 100 dollars can be very difficult, but fortunately amazon has created the AmazonBasics 52-inch Tripod which suits that category perfectly. The tripod has three carbon fiber legs with adjustable-height. The legs also have rotating leg locks and rubber feet to keep the tripod secure.
The tripod weighs 2.4 pounds and can extend to up to 52 inches. It also has an invertible center column, which is perfect for taking low-angle shots. The tripod has a ball head that enables 360 degree rotation and a 90 degree tilt.
Ravelli APLT4 – Best compact tripod
Perfect for photographers that want a versatile and lightweight tripod, the Ravelli APLT4 Tripod is extremely affordable and full of features.
The Ravelli APLT4 gives you the versatility of a pan and tilt motion to position your camera for landscape shots as well as photos requiring portrait orientation. With its quick release plate, this tripod is a breeze to set up and take down with the included level legs that lock and rubber feet.
Constructed of dense plastic and aluminum, the Ravelli APLT4 is equipped with a gear driven center that can extend an extra fourteen inches. Both the center channel and legs are made of aluminum while the section intersects and the removable head are made of plastic. It also comes equipped with a bubble level, a universal smartphone mount, and a carrying bag.
Albott Digital SLR Camera Tripod – Most Versatile Choice
With a center column that can convert to a 5-section monopod, the Albott Tripod has increased flexibility that allows you to seamlessly switch from monopod to tripod shooting. Equipped with a three-way head that can support a load up to 8.8 pounds, the Albott Tripod works well for both photo and video projects. With pan and tilt control, the head can tilt horizontally as well as work for portrait orientation.
The Albott Tripos also features an easy camera attachment with a quick-release plate for simple removal with just a regular 1/4 inch screw. Reaching a maximum height of 70 inches, the tripod has an extended center column that also offers a minimum height of 21 inches. When you remove the center column, you can use it as a monopod that can reach a height of 65 inches when fully extended. The Albott also features built-in bubble view levels and 360-degree rotation panoramas.
This tripod is perfect for pretty much any surface as the tripod legs come equipped with rubber feet that you can rotate to reveal metal spikes. Flip-locks on the legs allow for easy height adjustment, and the locking mid-level spreader gives you additional rigidity. It also includes a padded carrying case for handy storage and transport as well as foam grips on its base and a hook on the center column to hand accessories.
Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN-BK Tripod – Most Intuitive Tripod
If you like to shoot movies and tons of pictures, the Manfrotto Compact Action is a great choice, especially if you own an entry-level DSLR with standard kit lenses. This is an intuitive and easy to use tripod featuring an ergonomic joystick head that includes a locking mechanism with a scroll-wheel. The comfortable grip lets you catch even looking movies and awesome images all with very little effort.
The circular quick release plate is an innovative and easy attachment to use by hand allowing you to switch from movie to photo mode almost instantly. With increased stability, the Regulating Dial and the round quick release plate let you adjust every camera placed on the tripod perfectly. Plus, the photo-movie selector lets you have the most freedom in any situation.
The Compact Action is designed to work with any device up to 3.3 pounds. Constructed of high-quality aluminum, this tripod has a minimum height of 17.32 inches and a maximum height of 61.02 inches. It also features a panoramic rotation of 360 degrees and includes a special adapter that is made for higher-specification cameras.
Rangers Ultra Compact Tripod – Easiest to Adjust
With an easy set-up, the Rangers Ultra Compact Tripod let you adjust the working height with a quick release flip lock on the 4-section column legs from 14 to 56 inches in just seconds. It also has a leg that is removable that is easily converted into a monopod when you attach it to the included ball-adaptor. Plus, the Flip-lock is newly designed featuring a larger contact area that gives you better stability when shooting.
Featuring two independent control knobs, the Rangers Ultra Compact Tripod has a ball-head that is specially designed and can rotate 360° letting you capture the perfect shot every time. It also features a finely crafted tripod fork for better stability and a center axis that can be inverted providing more options for low shooting angles. Since it only weighs 2.89 pounds, this highly portable tripod has a 14-inch compact storage size so you can take it pretty much anywhere outside for shooing.
Plus, with a 360° panorama feature, you have two independent control knobs with a specially designed ball-head that has two levels built-in levels allowing you to get the straightest shot you possibly can. This tripod is compatible with Nikon, Leica, Nikon, Sony, Fuji-Film, Lumix, Olympus, and Pentax.
Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod – Most Durable Product
The Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod is a 2-in-1 tripod has a monopod feature when using just one of the legs. The quick release leg locks to give you more handling of the leg. Plus the universal ball head is designed with two locks and a 360-degree dial that let you make quick adjustments to your angle.
It also features a bubble level indicator, good stability with a hook on the center column, and a non-slip feet design. With a new generation of high-density carbon fiber tube, you get eight different angles of carbon fiber layered and laminated staggered with high-temperature curing, and a high pressure strengthening polymeric structure.
The Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod also features intense rigidity, high-efficiency shock absorption, and increased heat and corrosion resistance. This easy to carry tripod also comes with a portable bag.
Best tripods under $100 – Buyer’s Guide
Why Do You Need a Tripod?
There are several reasons you may want to use a tripod including a support for when you have low light and when you need to use a low shutter speed. There may also be times when you want to open your aperture and get a shallow depth of field or add a stronger neutral density filter. It can also be a necessary tool when you want to use a slow shutter speed to get catch a segment of time in just one frame.
If you are using your tripod in the studio, you can also make multiple frames that register the subject at precisely the same place. You can also use a tripod for time lapses or when you want your camera to register multiple images.
Features to Look for in a Tripod
Collapsed Size – The collapsed size of a tripod is how long it measures when it is all folded up. If you need to pack your tripod in a bag or you are traveling, this is an important consideration so you’ll know what bags it will fit into.
Size – How tall the tripod is at maximum height extension is the size of your tripod. So, when every leg and the center post are raised as far as it will go.
Load Capacity – The maximum load capacity is how much weight the tripod can handle. So a combination of the heaviest lens and camera weight combination. Placing a camera that is heavier than the maximum load capacity can lead to the possibility of collapsing or breaking the tripod and possibly your camera.
Head Type – Even though almost all tripods come equipped with a head, it may not be the right one for your purposes. Heads sit in the center column on top of the tripod with a tube that can be lowered and raised either with a locking collar or a hand crank. Different heads are suited for different purposes, so do some research and find see if the head on the tripod you are considering is the best choice for you.
Feet – The feet of the tripod can come outfitted with non-slip rubber, spikes, or with a custom design that includes almost anything including ball-bearings.
Leg Locks – Available in lever, twist, and custom options, leg locks hold the tripod in place when in use.
Common Material – Tripods are usually made of plastic, aluminum, carbon fiber, and wood. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages including cost and weight.
Types of Tripods
When you are in need of a quick or impromptu picture, a pocket tripod can be easily set up so that you can also join the photo. Usually less than 5 inches, the pocket tripod is easy to carry in a travel bag or waist pack and is handy at parties or events where you don’t want to carry a large and heavy tripod. They can easily support the weight of a compact digital camera, but just be careful not to put too much weight on them.
Similar to pocket tripods, tabletop tripods are great for a group picture or for a situation when the camera can be placed on a flat surface besides the ground. These are small, compact, and lightweight tripods that are ideal for traveling and pack easily. You can place them on tables and set a timer so you can be included in the shot as well. You can also turn it sideways up against a wall to give you added stability when shooting.
Collapsing to an easy carry size, travel tripods hold your camera well off the ground and perfect for biking, hiking, or casual strolls. This type of tripod will hold a digital (or film) SLR with a kit lens, a modest zoom lens, or a compact video camera.
Make sure not to use something that is front heavy, as the tripod will tip over. Perfect for travelers, travel tripods can collapse down to 22 inches or less so they will easily fit into your carry-on.
Medium Duty Tripods
Filling in the area between a heavyweight studio tripod and the lightweight, portable tripods are the medium-duty tripods. Used to portable portraits, nature photography, and studio work, medium duty tripods are heavier, are eye level or higher, and sturdier when image sharpness is important. Many of them come with heads, but it is possible to buy one without and then configure the tripod with a head separately.
Medium duty tripods are also a perfect for video cameras since they are stable and will accept a pan head. If you need a sturdy platform that is lightweight, look into tripods that have carbon fiber legs.
Sturdy Duty/Studio Tripods
Used in studios by professional photographers who generally want tripods to fit a specific need. These are usually immovable and large that tend to come with a specialized head. Created to handle both medium- and large-format cameras, these tripods have become rare in the digital era, and they tend to be the most expensive tripods you will find on the market.
If you still don’t know which tripod to choose, here are a few things you should look for when choosing a tripod. First, consider the weight of the tripod. If you use your tripod often and need to carry it around on your back, it will be helpful to choose a light tripod. Carbon fiber tripods weigh even less but are more expensive, while aluminum tripods are heavier but more stable.
Tripod height is also important. Some tripods can extend a lot higher than others so think about the height at which you want to set your camera and pick a tripod that fits that height. These things, along with a few others will help you in the decision-making process while choosing your tripod.
You do need to consider what purpose it will be used for and how you plan on transporting it and not just base your decision on its price. But, if you do your research and figure out your needs beforehand, you shouldn’t have a hard time find the best tripod under $100 that will suit your needs.