Your First Tripod

Everybody needs support, including your camera. That’s why I’ll do my best to help you choose your first tripod.


Whether you are a novice photographer or a seasoned professional, you will probably run into situations that require you to place your camera on a firm, stable surface. The ones I can remember pretty distinctly are:

  • Landscape
  • Long Exposure
  • Studio Portraits

When you shoot landscapes you usually want faithfully reproduced, bright colors, so you shoot with low ISO. You also want most of the image in focus so you stop down (close) the diaphragm. This combination of low ISO and close aperture requires you to shoot with slightly low shutter speeds and, in order to prevent blur, you need a tripod.

Shooting long exposures has a very similar requirement. The shutter in your camera will be open for a long time and, if you want some elements of your image to be in focus, while some others are blurry because they were moving, you need a tripod.

If you shoot studio portraits, even if you use your flash’s sync-speed of 1/250s, you still want the sharpest image possible. You’d be surprised of how much blur you can find in a handheld image shot at 1/250, that’s why you need a tripod.

Does Any Tripod Work?

Unfortunately, not. However, you have many options to choose from so I’ll list my options from most recommended to next-best thing to what you should avoid.

Best (for a Novice)

My best recommendation for a first tripod are travel tripods. These are usually made with machined aluminum, their legs fold upwards to save space while storing and they have usually have a twist mechanism to lock the legs’ extensions.

Fotopro C5i

Fotopro C5i

Some examples of travel tripods are:

Manfrotto Befree

Fotopro C5i (this is the one I use the most)

Mefoto Roadtrip Air

Nest Traveler

Next Best

The next best thing to a travel tripod is, I think, a tabletop tripod. This may seem strange but, if you’re a novice photographer with either a bridge camera or an entry level camera and a kit lens, you don’t need a tripod that can hold 20 pounds. Table top tripods are usually less expensive than full size ones and they still get the job done. That is, they hold your camera firmly and securely.

Manfrotto Pixi Evo

Manfrotto Pixi Evo

Some great examples of tabletop tripods are:

Manfrotto Pixi Evo

Manfrotto 209 kit


What to Avoid

Please, please please! Don’t get one of those cheap tripods made with aluminum tubing, with plastic joints and locks. Those are wobbly, fragile and put your gear at risk because they can easily tip over and simply won’t last.

Cheap Tripod

Cheap Tripod

And so, I really hope I helped you choose your first tripod so you can get the sharpest images while your camera is firm and secure.

Please notice the links provided above are affiliate links, which means that if you buy your gear using those links I get a small commision at no extra cost for you.

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