For some, photography is a simple and uncomplicated process. For the professionals and amateur photographers, accessories are essential and tripods are amongst the first things that should be bought. Most of them are fairly identical while some do come with additional functionalities but in the end it is all about value for money. Out of all the models available on the market, 10 tripods have been chosen and deemed worthy of spending money on. With no further ado, here are the top 10 best professional DSLR tripods in 2016.
The vista explorer is a very basic tripod with an average build quality and all the standard functionalities. Its greatest asset is the weight as it has merely 3 pounds. The legs are made of aluminum and are not covered in any kind of paint which give them a raw look. It has a three way pan head that comes with a basic bubble level. Also the legs are not retractable but can be easily removed due to the quick release system. Last but not least, the tripod includes a bag and is being sold for less than $50.
The Manfrotto is a bit of overkill. It is very expensive but the price reflects in the quality of the tripod. It is mostly made of carbon fiber which makes it extremely light and easy to carry around and everyone knows how much gear a photographer needs to carry around. The fact that it is so lightweight makes it very convenient. It is almost entirely black, has retractable legs, features a one finger operation system and accessories are very easy to mount. If it wasn’t for the price the Manfrotto would have taken a spot on the podium.
The Davis & Sanford has been on a sale for quite some time now and the reduced price makes it a viable pick. The tripod features a high quality construction that ensures durability and stability, comes with a self-aligning system and has a mid-level spreader that contributes to the support of the tripod. It is completely black which adds a professional tone. The package includes some additional goodies such as the carrying bag to make it easier to store and transport.
Vanguar’s Alta Pro model is a mid-range tripod that has been selling well lately. It has a full black construction using highly durable aluminum and some plastic elements. The legs are expandable and can be adjusted to 3 different angles which enable very low angle photos. The head of the tripod was built to allow single-handed operation. As a bonus the manufacturers included a carrying bag for the tripod.
The Dolica ZX is one of the few professional grade tripods that is being sold for just under $100. Most similar products tend to cost well over 100. It is also the cheapest carbon fiber tripod. This means that it is light and weighs only 3.5 pounds. It has extendable legs that allow 60 inch operating height, it comes with a compass, bubble level and includes a convenient carrying bag that comes with a shoulder strap. For the price the Dolica is very difficult to beat and the ones that already bought it seem to agree as the model received plenty of positive reviews.
Even if the three are a few better options than the Mefoto which will be discussed below, the tripod does seem to maintain its popularity amongst its buyers. It has a durable construction and professional look with an all-black build with adjustable legs and compact form factor. It supports 360-degree panning and offers two leg positions. To compensate for supporting just two angle levels, each individual leg can be set independently from the rest giving it two more theoretical angle positions. When the legs are contracted, the tripod can easily be placed in a backpack as it needs very little storage space.
The Backpacker is one of the most compact tripods available on the market. It was specifically built for the ones that like to travel and get some professionally looking photos. It has contractible legs that feature two adjustable angle levels. As with other tripods, the angle of the legs can be adjusted individually making it more flexible in terms of position. It also has very good height range that goes from 16.5″ to 51.2″. Last but not least the weight of this tripod is quite impressive. It weighs only 2.6 pounds which makes it very convenient for travelers.
The Dolica is yet another compact tripod that was design with the ones that like to travel in mind. That does not mean that the average user cannot make the most of it. The model can satisfy the needs of almost any photographer. It weighs only 2.5 pounds which is a major plus and when it has the legs folded up it is only 12 inch high. It can fit into a regular backpack. Maximum height is 57 inches which should be enough. The build is sturdy and looks durable. Combined with its low price, the model earned its podium position especially due to the value for money ratio.
The Dracast DR-DVT is truly a professional tripod. It is one of the heist rated tripods and an extremely reliable one. It has a double extension design, useful tilt controls and extremely easy to operate. The build quality is premium and just gives an overall impression of durability. It is almost completely made of metal which is a plus but it does add to its weight. The tripod weighs 12 pounds making it a bit heavy to carry around in a backpack.
The Vanguard Alta Plus is an extremely well balanced product. It is very difficult to find anything wrong with it. It is compact, light and very flexible. When collapsed, the tripod measures only 26 inches making it portable. When expended, the maximum height can reach 65 inches. Looking at the build quality, the tripod is mainly made of aluminum and plastic elements which make it light. It feels sturdy when used and according to the manufacturers, the tripod is excellent for DSLR users.