The 10 Best Mini Tripods
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* Last update of prices was on 2019-01-18 09:25:12 via PA API. Prices or conditions may have changed in the meantime.
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Mini Tripod Buying Guide
In order to avoid blurry photographs, you'll want to invest in a mini-tripod. But there are literally hundreds of types of tripods on the market, and knowing what to look for can be confusing and overwhelming. The following guide was formulated to help you choose the proper mini tripod to best suit your individual needs, so let's get started breaking them down.
Seven Important Attributes of Mini Tripods
Whether you're looking for a tripod for a standard camera or for your cell phone, all tripods have seven basic attributes you need to know about. Knowing these attributes and the significance of each is fundamental in narrowing your search for the right one.
These 7 attributes are as follows:
The overall size is referring to how big the tripod is when fully extended and ready for use. Mini tripods can vary quite a bit in height when fully extended, and don't forget the center post that the camera sits on can also add significantly to the overall height when in use. If you have size constraints when your tripod is in use, you'll want to pay close attention to the size of the tripod you purchase to ensure it will fit in the space you intend to use it in.
Size When Fully Collapsed
This is fairly self-explanatory, and is referring to the size of the tripod when it is fully folded up and ready to be stored. Again, the degree to which each tripod can fold down compactly varies to some degree between models and types. There are tripods that become extremely small when fully folded up, and this will be a very important feature to you if you plan to travel with your tripod frequently.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that the load capacity refers to the weight of the tripod itself, but this is not so. Load capacity is referring to how much weight the tripod is capable of holding. DSLR cameras and video recorders are much heavier than the average cell phone, so you will need to make sure the tripod you are purchasing can support the device you're intending to use it with without coming tumbling down and damaging your equipment.
Type of Head
Tripods almost always come with a head, but it may not be the right one to fit or support your device. Heads are also sold separately and can usually be mixed and matched, but you need to be aware that you may have to make an additional purchase of an appropriate head if the one that comes with your tripod doesn't fit your device.
Type of Feet
Feet come in various styles and can be made of different types of material, but many are non-slip so they can be used on a wide variety of surfaces. Some feet are equipped with spikes that can actually be firmly rooted into the ground, which is of course perfect for outdoor use. Others feature ball bearings or customized types of feet. Be aware of what types of surfaces you plan to use your device on so you can choose a model with the right kind of feet.
This is referring to the mechanism by which the user is able to lock the legs in place, stabilizing the tripod prior to placing the camera on it. Many legs lock with a twisting motion, and some use a lever that pulls the legs out and then locks them in place.
Tripods are typically made of plastic, aluminum, carbon fiber, or wood. Plastic and aluminum are the most common materials used and are also the most cost effective, but slightly less durable. Still, when well cared for, a plastic or aluminum mini tripod will typically last years.
Types of Mini-Tripods - Narrowing Your Search
Now that we've covered the basic characteristics to consider, let's briefly discuss the different types of tripods and what each is best suited for.
Pocket Mini Tripods
Typically 5 inches or smaller, pocket mini tripods are perfectly suited for impromptu uses, such as a spur of the moment family photo that you as the photographer also want to included in. These are best designed for very small and lightweight cameras or phones, and work best for self-portraits or small group photos.
Tabletop Mini Tripods
Tabletop mini tripods are best suited for small cameras, but are perfect for unique situations where you need to position your device on a flat surface other than the ground. They make it easy to angle your camera in unique ways also, allowing you to get close-up shots at various angles. For example, they're perfect for taking close-up shots in nature, and work very well for group photos as well as selfies.
Travel Mini Tripods
Even more compact than the previous two types, travel mini tripods are very lightweight and fold up to very small sizes, making them a cinch to pack along with you even in the smallest bag. They are a fantastic choice for sporting events or nature trails, and are ideally suited for very compact cameras.
If you love creating memories by taking a lot of photographs of those special moments, the crisp clarity of those photos is of utmost importance. Buying the proper mini tripod best suited for your needs will help you avoid blurry shots and achieve the high quality photos you're after, year after year.
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