How To Buy A Tripod Image Credit: Shutterbug
How To Buy A Tripod Image Credit: Shutterbug

How To Buy A Tripod


Jon Sienkiewicz

YOU NEED A TRIPOD. If you shoot video, panoramas, fireworks, time exposures, selfies, or macro work in addition to general picture taking, you may even need two tripods. Selecting a tripod that matches the way you work is important, and not at all difficult if you approach it in the right way.

The Granddaddy of all Image Stabilization (IS) systems is on the floor at your favorite camera shop right now, waiting for rediscovery. The technology has been around for centuries and has been intertwined with photography since the beginning. It’s the one tool we all should use more often, because it’s the only accessory that will improve nearly 100% of our images.

I hear ya, your camera has built-in IS. To me, the fact that image stabilization in cameras and lenses is so popular is proof positive that you need a tripod.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not putting IS down. It’s a great and tremendous aid in many and sundry situations. But not all situations.


There are many different kinds of tripods, so it’s easier to wrap our minds around them if we divide them into five basic groups: Pocket, Tabletop, Portable, Medium Duty, and Sturdy Duty/Studio. The category names suggest their primary application. Photographers who mainly shoot wildlife, for example, should consider Portable models, but shouldn’t overlook the other styles.

Pocket tr

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