A video with crystal-clear quality is what you deserve after all the effort you put into shooting a film. For a video without any appearance of camera shake, you cannot rely merely on the image stabilisation your camera offers. For additional stability, you need to consider investing in quality video tripods.
With a tripod, you get just as much support and comfort you require to shoot a video effortlessly. The video quality it delivers is top-notch, and this will also save you a lot of time when it comes to editing. So if you’re looking to invest in a tripod, here are a few things you need to know. Read to find out more about the best video tripods of 2021.
Understanding The Different Tripod Heads
An essential part of any given tripod is its head. The tripod head connects the camera to the tripod legs. While it is entirely your choice to decide upon the type of tripod head you require for your shooting, zeroing into one specific style can be confusing, especially when there are so many kinds out there. The most popular tripod head types are:
Ball head tripods are a preferred and popular choice among videographers across the world. This head comes in various sizes and of course, range from entry-level to high-end pro. It would help if you looked out for a compact ball head, which fits your requirements perfectly while offering the best features. Manfrotto’s XPro ball head checks both these aspects, making it well-suited for photography as well as videography.
Ideal for wildlife and bird photography, gimbal heads give you the perfect balance and stability to your camera and lens combination. With this style of support, you can capture subjects in motion with utmost precision.
These tripod heads offer excellent flexibility for videography but easily suit still photography, as well. They are smooth, giving you complete control to adjust the friction and fluidity of movement. For vlogging, it’s best to pick a fluid ball head from a reputed brand. Joby has a range of fluid head tripods ideal for vlogging.
Motorised Tripod Head
Apt for panoramic photography as well as time-lapse videos, a motorised head uses a battery-powered motor for precise movement. Operate it remotely and rely on its sturdy build to support the weight of the camera and lens combo.
If you’re looking for precise, swift movement, a three-way head is just what you require. It is similar to the ball head but allows you to position your camera in all three axes.
Panoramic heads are another type of tripod head, known for the precision they offer. From simple layouts to complex structures, superbly engineered panoramic heads offer seamless panorama.
Breaking Down The Types of Tripods
Just like the multiple types of tripod heads, you have a whole variety in tripods, too. From compact tripods to professional tripods, every tripod offers different features, making them suitable for various photographic applications.
For example, compact tripods are sleek and lightweight with a sturdy build, making them suitable for smaller cameras. The layout and functionality of these compact tripods make them perfect for beginners.
You also have travel tripods crafted specifically for those who aren’t fond of lugging around heavy kits. The lightness, portability and rigidity offered by these tripods make them well-suited for landscape photography.
To meet the advanced requirements for professional photographers, you have a professional tripod. A versatile companion for all your photography experiments (both indoors and outdoors), professional tripods offer increased rigidity. These also provide high levels of flexibility, allowing you to adjust the height and angles as you wish.
If you are more into videography, it makes complete sense to invest in a video tripod. These tripods suit use with DSLR and mirrorless cameras to provide you with the required stability you need for seamless videography. With high-performance variable fluidity and a counterbalance setting, video tripods match the weight of the most popular cameras as well as their accessories.
Studio tripods are a lot heavier than their counterparts and feature a centre brace system, allowing you to operate them in a symmetric and asymmetric pattern. These tripods are flexible and offer professional features, giving you the stability you require for different photographic applications.
Manfrotto Video Kits - Which Tripod and Video Head are Ideal?
Now that we’ve discussed tripod heads and tripods let’s get to the kits. Manfrotto is a reputed brand, popular for its exceptional tripod kits. Manfrotto has products to cater to the requirements of different photographic as well as video applications.
When you choose tripods for video production, you need to ensure you pick a lightweight model. Preferably opt for a tripod that has a carbon body, which makes the tripod extraordinarily agile and light. These flexible, compact tripods are just what you require, especially when capturing subjects in motion. The Manfrotto 504X Kit checks all the right boxes, making it perfect for shooting videos as well as documentaries.
Every shooting situation demands different photographic equipment. Take, for example, the heavier tripods crafted for studio production. Moving around a large tripod might hinder effortless movement during studio photography, which is why you need to opt for a tripod with wheels. On similar lines, if you’re filming interviews, you would require an adjustable tripod – one that offers a fair height adjustment to film at a given person’s eye-line for standing interviews. In such scenarios, the Manfrotto 608 Kit works like magic. Designed to keep these very shooting circumstances in mind, this kit offers flexibility, without compromising on stability during photography.
For videography, the Manfrotto 504X Kit is hands-down the best set up. As compared to the Manfrotto 608 Kit, the former provides an entirely stable platform that is perfectly capable of supporting video equipment. The securely mounted fluid video head glides as required, providing smooth camera movement to the operator. The Manfrotto 504X kit has an unmatchable counterbalanced activity, thanks to its piston mechanism. Every feature of this kit makes it suitable to meet the requirements of professional videographers.
The Manfrotto 608 Kit is also exceptional in terms of its performance, flexibility and stability. However, when it comes to video applications, the Manfrotto 504X Kit wins brownie points over the 608 Kit, courtesy of its video-specific features.
Don’t Overlook Manfrotto’s Befree Range
Capturing action is no easy task, but it can be simplified to a greater extent if you have the right equipment. When it comes to travel photography, you should consider the Manfrotto Befree range. It is simple, sophisticated and sleek – It's the tripod you need, when on the go. While the Befree series has a fabulous range of products, the 496 Ball Head and the Befree GT XPro Carbon Tripod are the best of the lot.
The 496 Ball Head offers intuitive control for fast, precise adjustments. Whereas the Befree GT XPro Carbon Tripod gives you the agility, flexibility and stability, you need to capture subjects on the move. The carbon body of the tripod makes it extremely lightweight, as compared to its aluminium counterparts. This combination of the ball head and tripod in totality is foldable and portable and barely occupies any space in your travel photography kit.
Get Something Versatile - Consider The MVK500190XV Kit
If you’re looking to capture stunning videos and documentaries, you need to get equipment that will help you take the quality of your work a notch higher. When you need to deliver excellence, you need to opt for unique, versatile equipment, and this is precisely where the MVK500190XV kit comes into the picture.
This video system features a fluid video head and a 190X video aluminium tripod, offering the utmost carrying convenience. The single-leg, the three-section tripod features a levelling column, which facilitates quick and easy setup. It is also easily extendable and adjustable, with QPL (Quick Power Lock) levers that can rapidly block or unblock each leg section. Thanks to the fluid cartridges on both pan and tilt axes, the camera movement is seamless and smooth. As a videographer, if you’re looking to add value to your equipment, the MVK500190XV kit is what you need to invest in right away!
Vlogging? You’ll Want a Joby Tripod.
With the right gear, vlogging is all fun and relaxed. As a vlogger, you want your vlogging gear to be as easy-breezy as your vlog is – after all, you don’t want to bother yourself with a whole lot of heavy equipment. Large and heavy gear will only take the ‘fun’ out of vlogging and leave you fretting over how to focus on your shoot while lugging a hefty kit around.
Joby has understood all these issues and come up with a range of products, especially for vloggers. The small and flexible tripods will help you enhance your vlogging experience and add value to the overall video quality, too. Let’s have a look at Joby’s vlogger-specific equipment. You can even check out some of the great Joby GorillaPods valued at under $100 here.
The fluid video head along with the multi-function mini tripod effortlessly supports up to 3.62kg payload. The fluid head features a pan-bar, a quick-release camera plate, bubble level and multiple points of adjustment, giving you all the flexibility you require and deserve while vlogging. The legs of the mini tripod are independently adjustable and settle well on uneven grounds. It gives you the freedom to capture those tricky angled shots exceptionally, without compromising on the video quality.
With an approximate payload capacity of 3kg, the GorillaPod 3K allows you to mount a wide variety of camera setups courtesy of the mini tripod’s articulating capabilities. Quite a lot of people doubt the payload capacity of the 3K model because of its compact, sleek and lightweight structure. However, the GorillaPod’s legs easily support the weight. The legs adjust and fix to any height as required. The fluid head level and the sturdy legs ensure the quality of your vlog, irrespective of your shooting conditions.
Want Something Unique That’s The Best?
It’s time to experiment with something new yet reliable. If you’re looking for something out of the box, we’ve curated two products from another reputed brand – Sachtler. Let’s have a look at these products that perform equally well as their popular counterparts:
Sachtler aktiv6 flowtech75 MS
The Sachtler aktiv6 Flowtech75 MS weighs merely 6.2kg but offers a payload capacity of up to 8kg. Perfect for professional medium-sized camcorders and digital cine camera setups, this system is lightweight and durable. Designed to be a long-serving and high-performing part of your kit, the active6 flowtech75 features fifteen counterbalance stops for fast and precise balancing of your camera. The three drags offer smooth and quick options to adjust the drag performance without jolts or vibrations. It helps maintain consistent quality throughout the video.
Sachtler System Ace XL GS AL
The Sachtler System Ace XL GS AL helps you work quickly and efficiently while maintaining the quality of your video. Featuring the patented Sachtler drag, this model offers the subtle and smooth movement of your camera during video recording. The three horizontal and vertical grades of drag provide intuitive control. The whole idea of this product from Sachtler is to give you the flexibility to work in a way that gets you the best results. If your shooting locations are almost always ‘uneven’, this is the perfect model to ensure you have a hassle-free video shooting experience.
Whenever you invest in any equipment, your prime focus should be on the value addition. Is this equipment making my job easier? Does it fit nicely in my kit as well as in my budget? Will the quality of my work improve significantly with this product? These are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself.
The equipment we have listed checks all the right boxes – right from functionality to performance to overall value addition, these products offer it all. If you’re looking to step up and take the quality of your videos a notch higher, these tools are just what you need to invest in.