Top 10 professional tripods for DSLR cameras.

I came up with this list of best professional tripods for DSLR cameras by compiling posts from the top photography blogs on the internet. I then cross referenced them again the actual ratings by hundreds of everyday photographers like me and you. 

"You can't base your choice of the best professional tripod on the opinions of just one tripod reviewer. It makes sense to get a collection of opinions and then adopt them to your own situation." -BRL

Okay, I admit it. It's time for a confession. Although I currently own a total of 7 tripods right now, I can tell you that only one of them would qualify as a true professional tripod-and I've had that one since 1982. We're going to keep this post on only the best and highest priced tripods in the photography market.

Don't forget that this article is about the high-end pro tripods and their ball heads that require a significantly higher investment. We've covered a lot on other medium and budget tripods in an extensive collection of tripod articles elsewhere on this blog.

So, what about the various professional brands of tripods made by companies that focus on more sophisticated designs, stricter standards, and higher performance? Let's have a look.


What's The Best Tripod Brand For Professional Photographers?

What brand of tripods are for professional DSLR camera photographers? That's a tough question to answer because the line between professionals and advanced enthusiasts has all but disappeared. Not only has every soccer mom been empowered to take great photos, but so has Uncle Harry. You know him. He's the guy that you can count on to show up at every family event and shoot all those photos.  

With all that said, there are companies that stand above all the others in terms of quality and durability. These brands are associated with professional photographers who demand the absolute best performance with their tripods. Here are 5 brands of professional tripods to consider. 

Gitzo Logo
Induro Logo
Feisol Logo
Really Right Stuff Logo
3 Legged Thing Logo

This is a selective group of high-end tripod brands, but there are other companies that sell professional tripods, like Vanguard, Sirui, and Benro, where you don't have to spend so much and still get a great tripod.


Q and A for professional DSLR tripods

tripod legs with no center pole

DO PROFESSIONAL TRIPODS HAVE A CENTER COLUMN? Many of them don't, particularly with landscape photographers. Landscape photographers often do long exposures and shoot at ground level, which is often impossible when you have a center pole extending downward below the tripod head.

Some tripods have center columns that can swing out of the way horizontally. You'll love this feature if you like to shoot outdoor macro photography.

CAN PRO TRIPODS BE FOLDED DOWN COMPACTLY? Transportation can be a big hassle if you are traveling, particularly by plane. Usually pro tripods are too long to pack into a camera case. The best and sturdiest tripods do not have a bunch of  shorter leg sections, enabling them to compact down to a compact length. Long section tripods are sturdier and have less moving parts to break down.

tripod leg locks

WHAT KIND OF TRIPOD LEG LOCKS ARE THE BEST QUALITY? I like twist locks the best in terms of performance and durability. Some photographers prefer the quickness of flip locks. I think the time savings are minimal when using  flip locks versus twist lock when adjusting the leg length.

I try not to be in a hurry when composing anything other than a hand held snapshot. When I'm taking the time to compose a photograph and I'm using a tripod, I take my time and choose stability and versatility over speed. 

CAN I GET A PROFESSIONAL TRIPOD FOR MY DSLR THAT'S UNDER $200? If you really can't afford to go with one of the high end pro models, there are a few compromises that might work for you. These might not be classified as professional, but they are definitely high quality and without question more affordable.


tripod legs on a scale

HOW MUCH DO DSLR TRIPODS WEIGH? You guessed it. The heavier it is usually mean the more stable it is and also the more expensive it is. Professional tripods with professional quality tripod heads attached generally weigh 4 lbs. or more.

Those that are made with carbon fiber are a little lighter. You can also save a little in weight by going with a smaller ball head, but you sacrifice at least some performance by doing that.



Best Professional Tripods Under $300

I narrowed down to these 4 pro tripods under $300. You're probably wondering why under $300. For the most part, for under $300 you're not blowing out your piggy bank and you're still getting a helluva tripod.

Manfrotto 055X 

Vanguard Alta Pro 

Sirui T2205X TX Series

Induro Alloy AT-114

 

  • With the Manfrotto 055X you can get a number of different heads for. The link below just shows you one with with a 3-way that has nice short handles for adjusting your camera's angle.
  • The Vanguard Alta pro comes in several different models, along with some variation in price. I first heard about the Alta Pro from my friend, Mike Moats.
  • The Sirui T2205X TX Series isn't the tallest of pro photographers, its legs coming in at a short 49 inches maximum height.
  • Oddly enough, my favorite feature of the Induro Alloy 8M Tripod AT-114 is its half-turn quick twist leg locks. It's also well equipped to handle adverse weather conditions.





I hope this guide helped you with learning more about professional tripods for DSLR cameras. Keep on shooting!



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