Tripods are a convenient way to hold your camera or phone and get those beautiful landscape shots.
They are especially useful for solo travelers and professional photographers who are keen on getting images by themselves.
Ensure the camera tripod you get is flexible and easy to move around with. Some of the models to check out include:
1. SwitchPod DSLR Tripod
The SwitchPod Tripod is compatible with DSLR cameras and Android, Galaxy, and iPhone smartphones, which means that you do not have to buy a different model for each gadget.
This versatility will give any digital nomad a wide variety of photography options.
Transporting this tripod will be incredibly convenient since it is lightweight and compact. Its collapsible construction makes it easy to fit it in backpacks, fanny packs, or even pockets.
Despite its lightweight construction, the tripod will support heavy cameras and lenses without breaking. It is made of aluminum and not cheap plastic to ensure it lasts you a long time.
The SwitchPod Tripod is packed with traveler-friendly features. The recessed and discreet feet let users set the model quietly on any surface without slipping.
The neck is lined with finger grooves to help you grip the tripod firmly, and you can choke up and down depending on your camera’s weight. You can also be sure that your camera or phone is safely attached or detached using the tightening knob.
The model allows users to switch between vlogging and tripod modes primarily because it opens and closes quickly. When handheld, the magnets will easily keep the legs collapsed, but you can quickly engage them with a simple flick of your wrist. Digital nomads will especially be relieved to know that they do not have to take time to adjust the stand with this tripod.
You can further modify the tripod’s functionality by adding a ball head and a quick-release plate. The legs can accommodate additional accessories like a microphone, and you can attach the tripod to your backpack using a carabiner.
The SwitchPod Tripod has plenty of positive reviewers, especially from YouTube users. Most of the ratings favor its simple design and its suitability for rough trails. You get a non-clunky model that will let you focus on getting footage.
2. Manfrotto PIXI EVO Mini Tripod
The Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod is an “evolution” from the original PIXI tripod. One notable change is the new way to mount a camera.
While the previous tripod required users to spin the entire model to attach the camera, the PIXI EVO has a wheel below the ¼ thread that can be screwed into the camera’s thread.
The re-formulated ball head features a unique groove on the side that lets the camera drop to 90º Portrait orientation. The tripod is fitted with a thumbscrew to tighten the ball head.
This model also features extendable legs that can extend to five different lengths. Its flexibility is guaranteed by the two-leg angle positions as well as the two-leg sections with intermediate steps.
The subsequent larger footprint will adapt to surfaces that are not leveled and promote ground-level shooting. You can easily take architecture and landscape pictures, even in low-light conditions.
The PIXI EVO-2 can support a broader range of cameras with heavier lenses while still being traveler-friendly. Manfrotto has designed the tripod to take a 2.5kg payload, which is fairly impressive for such a compact tripod. It will be sufficient for most DSRL cameras with a normal-sized lens.
The model, however, loses points on versatility as it lacks rubber at the bottom of every leg for grip. Overall, the PIXI EVO-2 is a solid buy and will be transported easily.
3. Joilcan Aluminum Tripod
The Joilcan 80-inch tripod is styled as a travel companion for the enthusiastic traveler. It has a folded length of 18.5 inches and comes with a tripod bag for short and long-term trips. The tripod weighs 3.37 pounds and will support mirrorless, DSLR, and point-and-shoot cameras weighing up to 19 lb.
The tripod features sturdy and durable construction. The ball head has a diameter of 38mm, and it is made of aluminum alloy to ensure it is stable. The aluminum leg tube with a twist lock adds to the tripod’s stability on different surfaces.
The model’s legs come with three sections that extend it from 18.5 inches to 80 inches in seconds to give users endless possibilities. Another notable feature is the Independent Leg Spread that makes the tripod stable in uneven terrain. If your destination does not allow tripods, you can convert one leg to a monopod for convenience.
4. ZOMEi Lightweight Travel Tripod
The ZOMEi Camera Tripod is made for the outdoors thanks to its compact storage size. Its legs can be extended to three levels to offer stability in uneven terrain and varying incline levels. You will find it easy to shoot in the outdoors with this model.
The tripod also rates impressively on flexibility. The ball head is capable of rotating 360º to achieve free angles, and you can expect fantastic panorama every time.
The model’s adjustment ranges from 16.14 inches to 55 inches, and the quick-release flip-locks on the legs allow users to switch between the various heights in seconds.
You can easily convert the tripod to a monopod using the central axis screw. The model has a folded height of 13.78 inches and a weight of 2.73lbs, and it can accommodate a maximum load weight of 17.6lbs.
5. Manfrotto Compact Tripod with Hybrid Head
This 5-section tripod from Manfrotto is ideal for entry-level SLRs with standard lenses. You will find it easy to use the joystick head with its scroll-wheel locking mechanism. It has a comfortable grip to let you focus on getting amazing shots and making movies. You can easily switch between the photo and movie modes in seconds.
You do not need screwdrivers or coins to attach your camera as the tripod features a quick-release plate. The regulating dial will further ensure the camera is firmly secured to the tripod.
The tripod comes with a padded bag for safety during travel. It will fit travelers looking for an effortless way to make movies.
How to Choose a Tripod for Travelling?
They are many tripod choices marketed to travelers, and it can be overwhelming to choose one. Some factors to consider include:
You should first and foremost determine how much weight a particular model can support. Putting heavy equipment on a tripod that is designed only to handle a few pounds will only end in disaster.
The model can collapse, and your camera and lens will get damaged in the process. The tripod should support 1.5x to 2.0x the total weight of your camera and the heaviest lens. This allowance takes into account the added pressure that you will apply to the structure when shooting. You also have to accommodate future upgrades with your equipment.
Some tripods come with an extended height that is especially useful to tall people. Once they extend past 60 inches, however, travel tripods lose some stability. The model that you choose should have a thick and stable center column to keep the entire structure leveled.
If the tripod comes with an attached head, the tip of the head should align to your jaw level. The tripod should also fold to a suitable height for traveling.
You will require a sturdy tripod if you use heavy camera equipment. Determine how much weight the model can accommodate without collapsing. Keep in mind that a heavy tripod does not automatically mean it is stable, as some models with skinny legs are incredibly stable. Your chosen model should withstand elements like the wind and the occasional bumps on the road.
When using the tripod, ensure that the camera and lens are well-balanced and do not lean in one direction. Most tripods designed for travel are stable for standard-sized cameras and lenses, but travelers with heavier equipment need to check the maximum load rated for different models.
Cameras are fitted with a thread at the bottom to attach them to a tripod. You will have to rotate the tripod or the camera to link them, which can be inconvenient for users. To address this issue, manufacturers unveiled a small removable plate that can be attached to the lens or camera and secured on the tripod head.
Expensive tripods will typically feature a more durable plate when compared to the cheap plastic ones on cheaper models. Of all the quick-release systems on the market, the most popular one is the Arca-Swiss system.
It is characterized by incredibly durable aluminum, and you do not need to rotate anything to attach the camera to the tripod. The plate is permanently attached to the lens or camera, and it slides into a quick-release clamp. The system is, however, pricey, and you have to buy different plates for lenses and cameras.
Some tripods are fitted with a ball head to rotate and set your camera into position, and it advisable to get a removable head to make the system more compact for travel. More expensive models eliminate the ball head, and you will need to buy one separately. Keep in mind, however, that the ball head should hold the weight of your camera or lens.
Another common type of head is the pan-tilt head that supports vertical and horizontal movements, and it is more common in cheaper options. The gimbal head is ideal for heavier lenses and fast-action photography.
Tripods are available in numerous features that boost their functionality. Some have removable legs that can convert the model into a monopod. Metal spiked feet come in handy when hiking, while some center columns can be used horizontally.
Why You Need a Tripod as a Digital Nomad?
Tripods are particularly valuable in low-light settings. When the camera is handheld, you are likely to get grainy images in a dimly-lit space. With a tripod, however, you can use a lower ISO and a longer shutter speed to give you clean shots.
A stable camera is the key to getting non-blurry images and considering that you can only hold a camera still for a short time, you will require a tripod. Tripods will steady your pictures and get you professional shots.
Most photographers prefer to frame their shots properly and shoot at their leisure. Such photos will also appear more natural instead of using selfie sticks or asking strangers.
Tripods also allow travelers to play around with different photography styles. You can get those dreamy shots of slow-moving water or light trails of vehicles in-transit.
How do You Travel with a Tripod?
You can either carry your tripod in checked or carry-on bags, depending on your travel habits. While there are no universal rules to carrying tripods on planes, ensure that you meet the maximum weight and dimensions limits if you combine your tripod and bag.
You can strap the tripod on the outside of a backpack that falls in the maximum carry-on dimensions that are allowed. Travel tripods are generally light, and they fit the permitted height of the cabin luggage when folded.
Mini Tripod or Normal Size Tripod?
Mini tripods are generally well-suited for traveling since they are compact and lightweight. They have multiple leg sections that can fold up around the center column.
Since they do not extend to the same heights as normal-sized tripods, be prepared to do some bending. Mini tripods, however, function just like full-sized models.
If you want sharp and clean images while you travel, you could definitely use a tripod. You can easily shoot videos and create long-exposure photos that look professional. Tripods will also help you take excellent pictures of yourself. Get a good quality model that can hold the weight of your camera and lens and additional accessories like a microphone.