Tripods are a necessity for anyone who takes photography seriously. They’re a must for great long-exposure shots, panoramas, videos and lots more. But, they also tend to be really expensive – the best tripods on the market have four-digit price tags.
At A Glance: Our Top Tripods Under $100
Since not many of us can afford to spend a couple thousand dollars on a camera stand, I decided to find the best affordable tripods that exist. Yes, all the tripods that you see in this review are under $100, and they’re all high quality. So, scroll down to find the best affordable tripod for you!
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SIRUI Carbon Fiber Travel 5C Tripod is a good choice if you’re on a very tight budget. And it’s carbon fiber too, so lightweight is its middle name at 1.87 lbs! There is a slightly heavier Aluminum version if you want to save a little more, but if you hate hauling heavy gear, carbon is the way to go.
It has a quick release plate with a standard 1/4″ screw that makes switching between cameras easy and effortless, as well as a three-way head that really lets you choose the angle you want for shooting. Additionally, the head of the tripod can be rotated 360-degrees horizontally and 270-degrees vertically, allowing for all sorts of shots.
The central column has a hook that lets you add extra weight to the tripod, making it more stable and less prone to vibrations. This is really useful for long exposure shots, where you need your camera to stay entirely motionless.
And it’s going to come in handy if you’re shooting with a really heavy camera since the load capacity of this tripod is only 8.8 lbs. Sure, that’s enough to handle most DSLRs with heavy lenses, but the heavier your camera the less stable the tripod gets.
However, I would not recommend it for shooting on windy days given how light it is. It also has a rather lacking ball head that you may need to replace at some point, especially if you like to lock your shots in at odd angles. Give it a shot though, and if the head does not hold up to your expectations, they are easily replaced.
The Neewer tripod is a really great option for professionals. It is made from carbon fiber, so it is a very sturdy tripod. And it has an insane load capacity; it can handle 26.5 lbs easily, which should be enough for your preferred shooting setup.
And it just gets better. This tripod is actually very portable, since it weighs only 3.4 lbs. It folds down to a total length of 19.3”, so will easily fit into your favorite backpack. You can carry it wherever you go, and it won’t weigh you down or cause any pain in your back.
It extends to a maximum height of 66.5”, which is pretty great for eye-level shooting. You can also convert this tripod into a monopod, which will have a total height of 56.3”. And the center column can be inverted, allowing for easy low angle and macro photography.
The Neweer carbon fiber tripod features a universal ball head with two locks. There’s also a 360-degree dial that lets you adjust which angle you want, in order to get the perfect shot every time. And of course, this has a quick-release plate, which lets you switch cameras quickly and easily.
There are twist lock legs on the tripod, so it’s going to be really easy to set up and use. You can adjust their individual heights and angles, and really find the best position for your tripod in almost every situation. I also really like that it features anti-skidding feet – they will help keep the camera stable when you’re shooting on uneven terrain.
If you’re looking for the best portable tripod under $100, I have the recommend the Aoka Compact tripod. It is made from carbon fiber, so you know it’s a very durable and sturdy product. And it weighs only 1.1 lbs, which is insane! You can easily carry this thing everywhere, and you won’t even feel it!
The Aoka tripod is only 14.6” long when folded, so it’s super convenient for travel. It will fit into the side pocket of any backpack, and you can carry it for hours and totally forget about it. However, this incredibly lightweight tripod can’t handle really heavy cameras without getting wobbly.
In fact, this tripod has a load capacity of only 5.5 lbs, so it’s definitely not going to be suitable for everyone. If you normally shoot with compact cameras or very lightweight DSLRs, this could be a good fit for you. But if you go all out with your professional equipment, then this is not the right tripod for you.
It extends to a maximum height of 53.6”, which doesn’t really allow for eye-level shooting. But you can get some awesome panorama shots, since the head of the tripod can easily be rotated 360-degrees. In addition to that, the ball head comes with a quick-release plate that lets you switch from one camera to another in a matter of seconds.
Overall, if you are looking for something premium and portable, this is a good option. But if you want a professional tripod that you can use on a daily basis, I would not recommend this one.
I’ve had a good experience with AmazonBasics products in the past, so I decided to try out their tripod as well. And I did not regret it – the AmazonBasics aluminum tripod is a sturdy and durable product, which performs surprisingly well.
The thing I loved about it is that it comes with an Arca-Swiss-style quick release plate. This let me use my other Arca-Swiss plates for my other cameras and made switching between them extremely fast and easy.
You can extend this tripod to a maximum height of 63.5”, which is okay for eye-level shooting. You can also convert it into a monopod, which will have a max height of 66.7”. In addition to that, this tripod has a load capacity of 26.4 lbs, meaning that it should be able to handle even the heaviest of cameras.
However, all that sturdiness also means that this is not exactly a lightweight tripod. At 4.4 lbs, it is pretty heavy, but not so heavy that you physically won’t be able to carry it around. Also, it is only 16.5” long when folded, so it should fit into any backpack.
This tripod is also suitable for outdoor photo sessions. It has spiked feet that will dig into the ground, which is perfect for shooting in nature. And there are also non-slip rubber covers for the feet, which are best for indoor use.
Obviously, this has a 360-degree panning range, and a tilt range of -45 degrees to +90 degrees. And the AmazonBasics tripod also features a hook at the center column, which allows you to add weight to it and make it more stable.
The Magnus VT-3000 is primarily a video camera tripod, but it supports DSLRs. It has the standard 1/4” screw on the quick-release plate, which you can easily attach to your preferred camera. And it has a load capacity of 15 lbs, which is more than enough for most DSLRs and video cameras.
The quick release plate you get with this item is compatible with other tripods from Magnus. In case you already own any of them, this will be a very handy feature, which will let you switch between cameras and tripod effortlessly.
The Magnus VT-3000 can be extended to a max height of 64.3”. It has a built-in panning and tilting head, with individual locks for both pan and tilt. This lets you adjust the angle you want for shooting, and really helps you get that perfect shot.
This tripod is actually perfect for those of you that tend to shoot videos more often than photos. It is incredibly stable, thanks to the rubber feet. There’s also a bubble level on the tripod, which helps you adjust it to the right angle when you’re shooting on uneven terrain.
The legs of this tripod only have two sections, which is a little weird. I’m so used to tripods that have legs with three or four sections, that I was pretty surprised when I saw this one. This does mean that you don’t have as many options when it comes to adjusting the height of the tripod, but it also makes it quicker and easier to set up.
Overall, I would recommend the Magnus VT-3000 to anyone who is looking for something professional and durable for shooting awesome videos. However, it’s not exactly a portable tripod – its folded length is 26.5” and it weighs almost 6 lbs.
Oh, and of course this is also a tripod under $100.
Manfrotto makes some really excellent tripods, which tend to be rather expensive. So, I was thrilled to see that they have items that are under $100! The Manfrotto Compact Action tripod is an excellent choice for beginners and those with entry-level SLRs. It is made from aluminum and very lightweight, but sturdy at the same time.
This is a premium tripod at an affordable price, and I would recommend it to people that are just getting into photography. It is great for indoor photography, thanks to the rubber feet that ensure it will stay in place.
It features a quick-release plate that lets you switch between cameras easily, but which is rather small. So, it’s not going to be super stable with really heavy and bulky DSLRs.
In fact, the weight capacity of this tripod is 3.3 lbs and you can use it only if you have a lightweight camera. You could also use it with your phone – there’s even an option to get the tripod with a phone clamp.
As long as you don’t exceed the maximum load capacity of this tripod, you will find it very stable. The legs have four sections and they are really sturdy, even when fully extended.
The Manfrotto extends to 61” max, which is pretty good for eye-level photography. The joystick head tilts and pans, so you can easily get some really amazing shots using this tripod.
And I love that it is super lightweight. It weighs 2.69 lbs, and it is only 17.83” long when folded. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something really portable and travel-friendly, in addition to your main tripod.
The Zomei Z818 is a great versatile option. It is a lightweight and portable tripod, with a load capacity of 33 lbs. So, not only can you carry it absolutely everywhere without feeling a thing, but you can also mount your heaviest and bulkiest camera on it. The ball head allows for pan and tilt shots, and it comes with a quick-release plate.
It extends to 65” max, which is okay for eye-level shooting. That’s even going to be above eye level for some people, so I think that’s a really good height. And you can convert it into a monopod, if you need it to be even taller.
However, there are a couple of pieces that you need to have handy in order to turn the tripod into a monopod, and you don’t get a dedicated pocket for them in the carry case. You will need to remember to pack them if you want to have the option of using a monopod, which is not ideal.
The Zomei tripod allows for four additional shooting angles, which includes inverting the center column for macro and low-angle photography. It is a very versatile item, and that’s one reason why I like it so much.
Not to mention that its load capacity is enough to handle even the heaviest of cameras and lenses. And if you ever need more stability, you can always add some extra weight to the hook at center column.
This tripod folds down to a length of 18”. It will fit into most backpacks, so it’s going to be really easy to carry it everywhere. Especially since it weighs just 3.7 lbs. It’s a tripod you can carry everywhere and use for almost any kind of shot you have in mind, and it’s under $100!
It’s not that often you come across a 70”+ tripod that’s under $50. And that’s why I had to show you the Victiv T72 – it’s absolutely perfect for eye-level photography, since it extends to a whooping 72”. It has weight capacity of 8.8 lbs, so it’s suitable for you if don’t normally use really heavy cameras.
This tripod folds down to 22.4” and it weighs around 4 lbs. It’s not the most portable tripod out of the bunch, but that’s not our main judging criterium anyway. This is a great tripod because it allows for multiple shooting angles, and it can be converted into a monopod, which gives you even more shooting freedom.
It also comes with two QR plates, which is a rarity. This is great for those of you that like to have multiple cameras around when you’re shooting since it will let you switch between them in just a few seconds. And that additional plate is a universal Arca Swiss plate, which is absolutely amazing!
Aluminum alloy is the main material of this tripod. It is durable, lightweight, and sturdy, and it features thicker legs than on most other tripods.
This means that the Victic T72 is very stable, and shouldn’t wobble when fully extended. This is especially important if you need a tripod for awesome long exposure photos.
This features a three-way swivel head, which allows for 360-degree panning, as well as vertical and horizontal tilting. The only thing the Victiv tripod isn’t good for is low-angle photography since you can’t invert the center column. But it’s amazing for everything else, and it’s a bargain!
Tarion Q550 is an aluminum tripod, made for mirrorless DSLR cameras. It has a maximum load capacity of 13 lbs, and it extends to 61”. It is okay for eye-level shooting, but it wouldn’t be my first choice if that was your main criterion for a tripod.
It folds down to 16.9” and it weighs just around 3 lbs, so it’s pretty portable. You can take it anywhere, and you can use it for virtually anything – the Tarion tripod can easily be converted into a monopod, and it allows for multiple shooting angles.
That includes low-angle shots when you invert the center column. Additionally, the height and angle of each individual leg can be adjusted, which will really let you set up the tripod however you want. And with the non-slip rubber feet, this is absolutely perfect for indoor use.
This tripod has a 360-degree ball head that allows for effortless panorama shots. There are also two bubble levels (horizontal and vertical) on the Tarion, which help you make sure that you’ve properly adjusted it. And in case you ever need extra stability, you can always add some weight to the hook at the center column.
Obviously, the Q550 tripod comes with a quick-release plate that has the standard 1/4” screw. This fits most DSLRs, and lets you switch between cameras in just a few swift moves. In addition to that, the ball head can be mounted to other tripods, with the 3/8” screw.
The Regetek tripod is another great affordable option. It’s under $50, so it’s a good choice for all of you that are on a really tight budget. You’ll be getting a tripod that’s excellent for lightweight DSLRs with some basic lenses, as it has a maximum load capacity of 8.8 lbs.
It extends to 70” max, which is pretty amazing for such an affordable tripod. This is going to allow for comfortable eye-level shooting for lots of people, and it’s even going to be above eye level for some.
You can also convert this into a monopod, but it’s going to be 5” shorter that way. That’s the only thing I don’t like too much about this tripod.
It’s kind of portable; the Regetek tripod weighs 3.63 lbs and it folds down to a length of 18”. This is not too heavy and it will fit into your favorite backpack easily.
The feet of the tripod have non-slip rubber caps, which ensure that it stays put. It’s actually a really stable aluminum tripod, but there’s also a hook at the center column that lets you add more weight. This is great if you’re shooting with some heavier cameras since it will keep the tripod even more stable.
It comes with a three-way pan and tilt head, which has three locking knobs and a 360-degree rotation handle. The only thing you can’t do with the Regetek tripod is taken low-angle and macro shots since you cannot invert the center column. But it is a really good entry-level option for less than $50!
The basics of every tripod determine how good it’s going to be. You should first check the materials a tripod is made from; aluminum is very durable and sturdy, but lightweight. Tripods made from aluminum are generally portable since they usually weigh very little and are easy and convenient to carry around.
But they are not as sturdy as carbon fiber tripods. In fact, carbon fiber is the absolute best material out there, and tripods that are made from it normally cost several hundred dollars. I’ve managed to find a few that were just under $100, so definitely grab one of those if you’re looking for premium quality.
And carbon fiber actually weighs less than aluminum, so these tripods are even more portable. But there’s not a lot of them for less than $100.
It is very important that you get a tripod that can actually hold the weight of your camera. So, you should always check that the load capacity of a tripod is enough for your preferred gear. You can see the load capacity of each tripod in this review in the product infoboxes.
If you usually use a heavy camera body and an even heavier lens, you should look for a tripod that has a really high load capacity. Definitely something larger than 15 lbs – even though your setup might be lighter than that, it’s helpful to have that extra stability.
This is especially important for people who use heavy DSLRs. If you prefer to shoot with an action camera, a smartphone, or a compact camera, you can go with a smaller load capacity.
A tripod is one of those accessories that you have to carry around everywhere. So, it really helps when you get one that’s lightweight and very portable.
But here’s the thing; in this review, I wanted to focus on the absolute best tripods you can buy for less than $100. Not all of them are portable – some are rather heavy and bulky, which is actually great for working with heavy cameras.
However, there are a few tripods that are lightweight and that can easily fit into the pocket of your favorite backpack. If you want to make sure you’re grabbing one of those, check the pros boxes for “portable”.
In addition to that, if your main priority is getting a lightweight and travel-friendly tripod, be sure to check my other reviews. I already found the best tripods for backpacking, as well as best travel tripods, so perhaps you will find the perfect one for yourself there.
Having a hard time choosing just one of these affordable tripods? That’s okay because I will help you narrow down the options. Pick one of our top three tripods and you will have zero regrets!
The Victiv T72 is a great option for those of you that want excellent performance at an attractive price tag. It is under $50, and it is one of the cheapest tripods featured in this review. It’s made from aluminum alloy, it converts into a monopod and it comes with two quick-release plates. The maximum height of the Victiv T72 is 72”, which makes it an absolute winner for eye-level photography.
If you frequently shoot videos, then Magnus VT-300 is the best option for you. It’s a mid-range tripod, with some really excellent features.
Its carbon fiber body is sturdy enough to support large camcorders that weigh up to 15 lbs, as well as most DSLRs. It has a fluid head with independent pan and tilt locks, which will help you get the perfect shot every time. And it’s perfect for indoor use, thanks to anti-slip rubber feet!
The Neweer Carbon Fiber tripod is my favorite tripod that’s at the top of our budget. It is made from carbon fiber, which is the premium material for any tripod. And it can be converted into a monopod, it allows for shooting at multiple angles, and it comes with a 360-degree ball head.
Yes, it’s a pricey tripod, but it is still under $100. And if you really want the best for your money, then this is definitely the tripod you should buy.
Those are the top three tripods under $100 that I recommend. Obviously, you can go for any one of the ten I showed you in this review; all of the items featured here are rated very highly by hundreds and thousands of happy photographers!
Head over to Amazon to see the prices of the tripods featured in this review. And check out our related posts, for ideas on other must-have gear for photographers!