Digital Photo Magazine’s 2017 Editors’ Choice Awards
BEST ALL-AROUND TRAVEL TRIPOD
Manfrotto Befree Live Video Tripod
BEST LIMITED-EDITION TRIPOD (that costs as much as a camera)
Gitzo Anniversary Arséne Gitzhoven Traveler Tripod
Digital Photo Magazine’s 2016 Editors’ Choice Awards
Too many photographers avoid camera supports, thinking that their use isn’t worth the trouble of lugging them around. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, as they’re essential for eliminating camera shake, capturing seamless panoramas or exploring the world of astrophotography and macro photography. Without them, stable long-exposure shots would be nearly impossible. A good support is a significant investment, and there are plenty of options these days. From ultra-lightweight to large time-lapse rigs, for whatever you want to capture, there’s a support available. These are our favorite new releases in the Best Supports category.
BEST TRIPOD ENHANCEMENT
Benro SystemGo Laptop Platform
Sometimes you need to hold more than a camera; you need somewhere to put your laptop, as well, and that’s where the Benro SystemGo GoPlatform comes in handy. The GoPlatform transforms a tripod into a workstation by allowing you to have your laptop set up on the tripod at the same time as your camera. It’s perfect for tethered shoots, or for commercial jobs where you need a notebook close by to review images, communicate with the client and check your shot list. Our favorite feature is that the GoPlatform allows for mounting dual cameras simultaneously.
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT PROFESSIONAL TRIPOD
Manfrotto 055 Carbon-Fiber 3-Section Tripod
We know you don’t want to lug one more heavy piece of equipment with you when you’re wandering the world with your camera. Fortunately, Manfrotto’s 055 3-section tripods are made out of carbon fiber, one of the lightest materials on the planet. The 055 features a 90-degree center column mechanism that allows the central column to be extended vertically or horizontally, giving photographers a range of stable shooting options. We love that you can switch between vertical and horizontal while your camera is still attached to the support without any disassembly.
BEST TABLETOP TRIPOD
Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Ultra Pocket ‘Pod
Sometimes you just need a quick stabilizing element when putting your camera on a tabletop or other surface. The Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Ultra Pocket ‘Pod is designed to fit in your pocket when not in use and snaps together quickly when you need it. The TFA-01 can hold up to 100 pounds (though we question what crazy photographer puts 100 pounds of pressure on a tiny tripod). It can also be used as a monopod that can be held in your hand for more mobile shooting.
BEST TRIPOD FOR THE NIGHT SHOOTER
SLIK USA CF-422
SLIK USA’s LITE CF-422 was designed with the night and low-light photographer in mind. The SLIK LITE Travel Series features an integrated, removable LED flashlight in the center column. It also comes with a “rapid flip mechanism” that enables the tripod legs to invert 180 degrees for compact storage. While the legs can extend to a height of 70 inches when fully extended, the center column separates to convert to a short column for low-angle photography. This tripod provides a lot of options in a single unit and shouldn’t be overlooked when considering a new rig.
BEST FREQUENT-FLYER TRIPOD
Vanguard VEO 235AP Travel Tripod
The VEO 235AP tripod was made for the photographer who likes to travel a lot and shoot their trips a lot. At just over three pounds, the 235AP can fully extend to 56.7 inches high and hold up to 7.7 pounds. For travelers, it can fold down to a compact length of 14.9 inches. We like that each leg has five sections that can be individually flip-locked to the desired height for variability. The center column can be swapped out for a shorter center column that lets it reach a minimum height of 6.4 inches. The PH-25 2-way pan/ tilt head allows for a 360-degree panning motion and front-to-back tilting. This tripod is definitely worth the investment if you travel a lot—and still worth it even if you don’t.