November 27, 2015 at 5:16PM

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Video Tripods

Are there any good quality video tripods for about $150? I have heard Manfrotto is the best, but most of their stuff is really expensive. I am wanting something that is good all around and can hold a good amount of weight. But I don't want to have to upgrade a few months later either.
Thanks!

12 Comments

A real video tripod uses a "fluid" video head that allows you to make very smooth camera moves, and there really is nothing that is any good under $500.

Given your budget I would invest in a good quality video mono-pod that will help you make smoother shots and it is very portable so you can use it indoors or outside. Here's the mono-pod I would suggest that you take a look at...

Benro Series 3 Monopod with S2 Video Head
http://goo.gl/e5wwGS

November 27, 2015 at 8:42PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32910

Thanks!

Stephen Crawford

November 28, 2015 at 10:34AM

What would you recommend to buy once anywhere under $1000 can be put towards a tripod?

Israel Ben-Asher

November 29, 2015 at 3:50AM

Hi Stephen,

I just went through a search process looking for something in the 150 - 200 range.

We settled on the Benro Aero 2. It's right at $200.

Pro: Lightweight, smooth, mono-pod option

Cons: the nob that tightens base plate hits the dslr (we have a GH4). Although the video head is a fluid head if you are going to do a lot of panning and tilting (we don't) I would recommend you test it out at B & H or Adorama before you purchase it (or any other tripod). I would also make sure you check the weight of your camera. The max weight is around 5lbs.

Full review here:
http://www.nycfilmcoop.org/2015/11/benro-professional-tripod-review-aero-2/

November 27, 2015 at 8:42PM, Edited November 27, 9:41PM

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Zoe Burns
AD
98

"Cons: the nob that tightens base plate hits the dslr "

Trying to find a good closeup shot of the Aero 2, but it looks a lot like the S4 head I have, and that one has a ratcheting knob on the plate lock. You just pull the plastic part of the lock away from the body, and you can rotate it freely, and decide where the 'locked' position should be.

Landon Friesen

November 30, 2015 at 10:39AM, Edited November 30, 10:39AM

I had that knob problem with my tripod as well. My dad helped me modify it so that its basically a round knob now. I wonder if the same thing could be done with the Benro. Anywho, most tripods have that knob problem. The only ones I've seen that don't are Manfrotto tripods.

Alexandra

November 30, 2015 at 1:32PM

Thank you!

November 28, 2015 at 10:35AM

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>>>Benro Aero 2

Does the head on this tripod have any counter-balance ?

With a proper video head you can pan or tilt and simply let go and the camera will stay pointing in the direction where you let go of the panning handle without having to lock anything.

Most of the low cost video heads require you to lock the head in order to hold any position because they don't have a proper adjustable camera counter-balance.

I went through 5 different Manfrotto video heads trying to find one that would properly counter-balance, then I bought a Benro S6 video head and tripod which was good but the counter-balance ability of the head was weak, and finally I bought a Sachtler ACE M tripod which has a proper counter-balance mechanism. ( today I shoot with two video tripods: Sachtler and Miller Solo with Sachtler fluid heads that are extremely smooth and will balance at any position without having to lock anything )

November 28, 2015 at 11:41AM, Edited November 28, 11:44AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32910

>>>What would you recommend to buy once anywhere under $1000 can be put towards a tripod?

It depends on how heavy your camera set-up is. The main tripod I use for my GH4 camera is a Sachtler FSB-4 video head on one of the cheaper Sachtler tripods. I bought it as a "demo" from a local store here in Toronto for about $1,000 Canadian. It was in "like new" condition so this was a good deal for me. You can find similar deals on eBay if you dig around.

The Sachtler FSB-4 head is good for cameras weighing between 1- 9 lbs and will hold position ( without locking anything ) at any angle when you let go. The fluid movement is also very smooth.

For bigger cameras you can take a look at the FSB-6 and FSB-8 video heads, or the Sachtler DV SB heads that can properly balance cameras weighing between 2-30 lbs. I am a big fan of the Sachtler video heads. ( the Libec and Vinten heads are also very good, but they may not work with light weight cameras )

The Miller Solo legs are great when working outside and the Manfrotto carbon-fiber legs are also very good. But the main thing is to get a good head that can properly balance your camera.

November 30, 2015 at 11:40AM, Edited November 30, 11:42AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32910

At the $500 price point the Sachtler ACE M tripod is a bargain. It's not a bad tripod and the video head will properly balance a camera in the same range as their more expensive FSB-4 head. ( 1-9 lb camera package )

Sachtler ACE M tripod and video head : $489
http://goo.gl/NK0s12

I am also interested in checking out the $700 Cartoni Focus 8 tripod which is has a continuously variable camera counter-balance mechanism from 0 - 18 lbs, but it's not on the market yet. ( should be out soon ) Cartoni has a long history of making good tripods and heads, so this one might be a good deal.

Cartoni FOCUS 8 : $700
http://goo.gl/qwqDZV

November 30, 2015 at 2:52PM, Edited November 30, 2:53PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32910

If you're looking for something on a budget, look for the Sanford & Davis with the FM18 head. There are a couple of head/tripod combos that run right around the 140-175 price mark. Decent piece of gear. They are built pretty well and usually have a 5 or 10 year warranty.

December 1, 2015 at 8:56AM

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Jay Kilburn
Production Manager
116

This is my favorite tripod for video sub $150. It's not too tall though, but has a decent ball-like head for the price.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UOMWOK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_...

December 2, 2015 at 9:54PM, Edited December 2, 9:54PM

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