- 4 Reasons To Use Tripods for Vlogging
- 5 Key Features of a Vlogging Tripod
- Top 6 Vlog Tripods in 2020
- Moving or Stationary Recording: Choose a Vlogging Tripod Based on Your Needs
To record a video, all you need is a camera, but if you’re going to record an exceptional video, you’re going to need a little more than that.
There are plenty of accessories that go hand-in-hand with cameras to improve the quality of vlogging, and one of the most crucial is a vlogging tripod.
Stabilization has always been a necessity, and a tripod is one of the most efficient ways to keep your camera stable.
Finding the best tripod for your needs can often be a challenge, especially if you are unable to try out the product that you’re looking at in the first place.
That’s why we reviewed 6 best tripods for vlogging (vlogging sticks).
4 Reasons To Use Tripods for Vlogging
The first thing you may be wondering is why you should use a vlog tripod in the first place, and there are a few reasons for this:
- Tripods allow you to position your camera directly in front of you, making it easier to record yourself without having to place your camera on top of a stack of books.
- If you have a camera person for your vlogs, a tripod will make their life easier as it will allow them to pan and tilt the camera smoothly.
- However, in the vast majority of cases, vloggers record their own material, and a tripod simply provides you with a way to keep your camera stable and facing you while you record.
- If you record at your desk, you’ll be able to adjust the height and angle of your camera so that you have a conversational angle in your videos.
5 Key Features of a Vlogging Tripod
The best tripods for vlogging will often excel in a few aspects, and in this part of our guide, we’ll briefly go over them so that you have a better idea of what to look for.
When choosing the best tripod for vlogging, one of the most critical things to consider is whether or not the tripod is stable in the long term.
If you’re going to be sitting down for hours doing multiple takes of a scene, the last thing you’ll want is for your tripod to gradually sag or change position.
If you have someone behind the camera, they should be able to pan and adjust the tripod without it losing its position along the other axes.
First off, you’ll have to consider the size of your tripod, as models of various heights are useful for different applications.
Smaller vlogging tripods can be used indoors, and the smallest models will be able to fit on top of a table or a desk, allowing you to film yourself with ease for your vlogs.
Keep in mind that you should also account for the overall size of your tripod, as you won’t want one that is unnecessarily bulky.
Tripods which are too large will tend to get heavy, and lugging around a tripod that weighs 15 pounds can tire you out, especially if you are vlogging outdoors.
Some tripods will have to be larger so that they can remain balanced when heavier cameras are attached to them.
High-quality setups and their lenses can often get rather hefty, and you’ll want to be sure that your tripod won’t end up toppling over with your beloved camera still attached to it.
The smallest tripods will often be more versatile, and they can feature legs which fold up so that you can use them as a grip.
Some of these tiny tripods will be able to fit into your pocket, ensuring that you’ll always have a way to record stable video, even if you’re caught off guard.
The way you mount your camera to your tripod is another thing you’re going to want to consider, as there are a few different ways of doing so.
The most common method is using a ¼” photography screw to attach the tripod’s head directly to your camera, though it takes time to mount and dismount the device.
Quick-change plates are growing more common in vlogging tripods, and they are essentially a detachable plate with a mounting point for a photography screw.
When you slide the plate onto the tripod’s head, it will lock into place, and when you want to remove your camera, you simply unlock it and slide it back out.
The type of legs that your vlogging tripod uses will determine where it can be placed and the angles that you can record from.
Traditional tripods feature stiff legs which are often collapsible so that you can adjust the height from which you are recording.
However, tripods with flexible legs are growing somewhat popular.
A tripod with flexible legs will be able to wrap around anything around you so that you have the perfect angle to record from.
If you see a tree branch nearby, you can just wrap your tripod around it and record from there.
Keep in mind that due to their very nature, flexible tripods are often less reliable than rigid ones.
Some tripods will also come with clamps that will allow you to attach your phone.
This can provide additional versatility to vloggers with dedicated cameras, or it can allow vloggers who are just getting started to record their first videos using their smartphone.
Even if your vlogging tripod doesn’t come included with one of these clamps, there are plenty which can be purchased separately and then threaded onto the ¼” screw on the mounting plate.
Top 6 Vlog Tripods in 2020
Tripods will even allow you to do more while recording, such as positioning your camera in an unusual location.
Other models will simply be designed for the highest build quality possible, as is the case with many professional tripods.
Be sure to take a look at all of your options before making a choice.
#1 Joby Gorilla Pod
Why I Like It
- Flexible legs allow versatile positioning
- Legs feature rubberized rings for additional grip
- Lightweight and durable
- Features a quick-release clip
Used By YouTubers: Casey Neistat, Cameron Dallas and Sam Kolder
Joby has a size for all types of cameras. Make sure to choose size that’s made for your type of camera.
The Joby Gorilla Pod revolutionized tripods when it first came out thanks to its articulated design.
Unlike a traditional tripod, this model doesn’t have to be placed on solid ground so that it can stabilize your camera; you can instead wrap the legs around a nearby object and film from there.
Being able to film from any surface you can attach your tripod to has the benefit of improving the creativity of your productions.
While other tripods may be easier to use or more affordable, the Gorilla Pod has the advantage of expanding your creative capabilities, which is an invaluable advantage.
Of course, the tripod itself does have a few nifty features that we appreciated.
There are rubberized rings around each ball joint that makes up this tripod’s legs.
Each of these rings provides grip so that the legs can stay in place around the object that they’re wrapped around, such as a tree branch.
Another benefit is that the collapsible legs are compact enough to be folded up, and they can fit in a small bag or a large pocket.
The vlogging tripod is also lightweight enough to go anywhere with you, and the quick-release clip makes mounting it and dismounting it from your camera relatively simple.
While it features excellent build quality, that combined with the innovative design means that this is one of the more expensive tripods in its size range. Another issue is that the entire tripod relies on a locking switch, and if that breaks, your tripod will end up limp and useless.
Overall, this is still an excellent vlog camera tripod, and one of our favorites, however.
What can be improved: Too much reliance on locking switch
2. Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN-BK
Why I Like It
- Scroll-wheel locking mechanism
- Ergonomic joystick design
- Comes with a quick-release plate
- Regulating dial enhances precision
This compact tripod from Manfrotto may not have the revolutionary design of the Gorilla Pod, but it benefits from exceptional build quality and a range of professional features.
This vlogging tripod features a versatile design so that you can use it to take photos right after you’re down recording your vlogs.
For example, this tripod is equipped with a switch that lets you switch between movie and photo mode instantly, allowing you to take still images during the filming process without any trouble.
This is a joystick-style tripod, and it is designed to be as ergonomic as possible to make those long shoots more comfortable.
The quick-release plate that this tripod comes with ensures that you’ll be able to attach and detach your camera with ease, and you can avoid having to thread it on every time.
The high degree of quality is evident in nearly every aspect of this tripod’s construction when you take a closer look.
For example, the locking latches at the bottom of the legs move smoothly and lock into place with a satisfying click, so you can rest assured that they’ll last for a long time. The tripod itself is mainly made out of aluminum, which provides you with the added durability of metal while retaining a light net weight.
This vlogging tripod even comes equipped with an adaptor that’s designed for use with more advanced cameras using heavier lenses. The adaptor is larger and ensures that the tripod remains balanced, even with a heavier camera on top of it.
Overall, this tripod is meant for customers who are willing to spend more money for superior quality, and we would argue that the improved construction is worth it.
What can be improved: Rather pricey
3. Magnus VT-4000
Why I Like It
- Supports cameras up to 8.8 lbs
- Fluid head is extremely smooth
- Bubble leveler
- Counter-balance spring
- Includes ground spikes and rubber feet
If you have even more of a budget, and you want the best possible vlogging camera stand, the Magnus VT-4000 is an excellent contender.
With a price point of over 150 dollars, this is certainly an expensive vlogging tripod, but it comes with a range of features that make it ideal for use with high-quality cameras.
First off, this tripod can support cameras that weigh up to 8.8 pounds, which should be enough for the vast majority of devices, even with larger lenses attached.
Balance isn’t an issue when you have front-heavy cameras mounted on this tripod thanks to the stable design of the legs.
When it comes to moving this camera, you can pan it using the pan handle, but you can also tilt it from angles that range from +90 degrees to -60 degrees.
This model is also equipped with a 3.3 lbs counter balance spring, to ensure that movements are smooth when you adjust the tilt angle.
Equipped with a fluid head, this tripod is exceptionally smooth in its movements, allowing you to adjust the camera angle while you are still recording.
There’s also a bubble leveler that comes included on this tripod so that you can ensure that you are perfectly level while setting up to record.
When it comes to convenience, this model comes with a slide plate for quicker mounting as well as a choice between spikes or rubberized pads for the legs.
As you would expect, spikes are ideal for soft ground when shooting outdoors, and the rubberized footpads will ensure that the tripod doesn’t slide when recording indoors on polished floors.
What can be improved: Very expensive
4. Manfrotto MTPIXI-B PIXI
Why I Like It
- Can be used as a compact tripod or an ergonomic hand grip
- Push-button lock is reliable and easy to use
- Max device weight of 2.2 pounds
- Universal mounting plate
Used By YouTubers: Jim Chapman, Zoella and Jake Paul
Not all vloggers need a full-sized tripod, and if you record primarily from the comfort of your own home, then you’ll likely be better served by a compact tripod such as this model from Manfrotto.
The PIXI mini tripod is designed for use by both photographers, and videographers, making for a versatile yet simple design.
While the design of this tripod may be relatively simplistic, you’ll find that it still has a relatively high price for its size.
The higher cost of this tripod is due to the superior build quality of the PIXI compared to other models in the same size range, so if you want something that’s built to last, then you’ll love it.
The PIXI also benefits from improved versatility, as the design of its legs means that you can use it as either a tripod or a hand grip.
When you fold the legs up, they form an ergonomic grip that you can use to hold your camera, which is helpful if you plan on recording some vlogs from the first person perspective.
This model operates using a push-button system, allowing you to adjust the ball mount when the button is depressed, and then locking the head in place when it is released.
The lightweight design of this model means that you can throw it in your bag without having to worry about it slowing you down.
The maximum device weight of 2.2 pounds means that this tripod is compatible with most smaller cameras.
If you want a tripod that’s easy to use and compact yet retains excellent construction, then this model from Manfrotto should fulfill your needs.
What can be improved: Lack of additional features
5. Fotopro 12” Flexible Tripod
Why I Like It
- Flexible legs allow versatile positioning
- Compatible with both phones and cameras
- Waterproof legs can be used in all environments
- Legs are designed for superior durability
This 12” tripod from Fotopro is a flexible model that is designed to compete with the Gorilla Pod at a more affordable price.
This is a versatile model which is an ideal choice for beginner vloggers due to being compatible with both phones and cameras.
If you’re still filming vlogs with your smartphone, this is the tripod for you.
As you would expect, the most notable aspect of this camera is the inclusion of flexible legs which allow you to place it on anything from your bike’s handlebars to a nearby tree.
As with the Gorilla Pod, this expands the creative tools you have at your disposal when it comes to filming your vlogs.
Unlike other flexible tripods which feature a similar design, this model from Fotopro is equipped with legs that are designed not to crack or come out of their housings. The resilient design ensures that this tripod’s legs won’t fail on you, even after months of use, and they are also waterproof, as a bonus.
While this tripod only weighs 7.58 ounces, it can support cameras that weigh up to 2.64 pounds, so you aren’t just restricted to phones and compact point and shoots. Both the pan head and the phone clip that come included with this tripod are universal so that compatibility won’t be an issue.
One of the only downsides to this tripod is that it can be a challenge to keep it balanced when an attached phone is in portrait mode. Overall, this is an excellent alternative to the Gorilla Pod, especially if you don’t have a dedicated camera for your vlogs yet.
What can be improved: Phones are challenging to use in portrait mode
6. CamRah iPhone Tripod
Why I Like It
- Flexible legs allow you to position it anywhere
- Griptight technology holds onto any kind of phone
- Comes included with a Bluetooth remote shutter
- More rigid legs than other flexible tripods
The CamRah is a flexible tripod which is designed to be used with mobile phones, so this is going to be another option for beginner vloggers who haven’t purchased a camera yet.
As you’d expect, the flexible legs are the standout feature of this tripod, as they allow you to place it nearly anywhere.
The legs on this model are coated in foam which will help keep it in place, and the footpads are made out of rubber so that it can stay in place on polished surfaces.
Unlike other flexible tripods, this model features legs which are a little stiffer, making it easier to use as a traditional tripod, should the need arise.
This tripod also uses Griptight technology to keep your phone in place, and it will lock so that your phone can’t fall out of the cradle, providing you with peace of mind.
There is a relatively wide range of motion that allows you to pan, tilt, or rotate the phone so that you can record at nearly any angle.
The Griptight clamp is also compatible with the vast majority of phones, provided they’re able to fit between the sides.
One of our criticisms is that this vlogging tripod can’t tilt very far up or down, so steep and shallow shots are going to be more of a challenge unless you angle the tripod using the legs as well.
Repeated use can also result in wear and tear on the legs, and while failure isn’t common, it is a possibility.
Despite these flaws, this tripod is one of the best choices for vloggers who need an affordable phone tripod.
What can be improved: Durability
Moving or Stationary Recording: Choose a Vlogging Tripod Based on Your Needs
When looking for the best vlogging tripod around, you’re going to have to consider what you want out of it, as that will ensure that you get one which fulfills your needs.
Every vlogger is different, and there are all sorts of vlog formats that you can use, with each having its own type of ideal tripod.
For example, a vlogger who records themselves at their desk for their viewers won’t need a full-size tripod, as that would simply be overkill (if there were even room for it in the first place).
Compact tripods are ideal for desktop use, as their shorter legs will be able to fit with ease.
On the other hand, vloggers shooting outdoors will want taller tripods, as the camera will have to be positioned near eye level.
Recording your vlogs outdoors also means that your tripod will have to put up with harsher conditions, so you may want to invest in a model which is waterproof.
An additional concern is the design of your tripod’s feet, as vloggers who film outdoors may not want to use the typical rubber footpads you’ll find on most full-size tripods.
If you are recording on soft dirt or similar terrain, you’ll be better off with a tripod that comes equipped with leg spikes.
Of course, there are more things to account for beyond the terrain on which you’ll be recording, as the style of vlogs that you’re going to film will also determine which tripod is right for you.
If you’re going to be shooting while you’re on the move, you may want a compact tripod which can also be used as a hand grip.
Stationary vloggers should instead opt for high-quality tripods that feature pan handles and other precise controls which make it easier to get the perfect angle.
Tripods such as these are often equipped with bubble levelers so that you can ensure they are positioned in the right place.
If you’re looking for the best tripod for vlogging, you’re going to have to take a look at your needs.
If you’re willing to spend more on a high-quality, flexible tripod, the Gorilla Pod is an excellent choice.
On the other hand, the Magnus VT-4000 is a high-end model designed for stationary recording.
For customers who prioritize versatility, the Fotopro 12″ model can be used with both cameras and smartphones, while the CamRah is meant only to be used with phones.
Finally, the first of our Manfrotto models is an excellent all-around compact tripod while the Manfrotto PIXI is a great choice of desktop tripod.
A vlogging tripod is one of the most critical pieces of vlogging gear and ensuring that you have the right vlogging equipment to support your camera is recommended.