Product Pictures, Half 2: Deciding on Tripods

How do you create flawless product photos? It’s often as easy as finding the right tripod. A tripod allows you to level horizontal lines and keep your camera steady and steady while shooting.

This is the second post in my series aimed at helping ecommerce merchants take better product photos. “Part 1” dealt with the importance of backdrops. In this episode, I’ll explain the need for tripods and how to choose one for your business.

A stable camera ensures clear, sharp and aesthetically pleasing images. Tripods are especially useful for close-ups and lifestyle shots because you can use a much smaller aperture and shutter speed without sacrificing quality. Product details, lighting, angles, setting – all of these influence the best tripod for the job.

Let’s look at the options.

Tripods for product photography

Pocket tripods are practical for spontaneous and lifestyle shots. Imagine photographing products at a party or in a restaurant. A large studio tripod is probably not practical. An inexpensive pocket tripod with an adjustable head is more suitable. It can support the weight of your digital camera and keep it stable.

The Manfrotto Pixi Evo is my favorite pocket tripod. It’s well made and includes handy product shooting features. The Evo is light and comes with useful leg extensions. In addition, it has a large, reliable ball head (for easy rotation of the camera), a load capacity of 5.5 lbs. and a maximum height of 7.7 inches. And at $ 60 on Amazon, the Evo is affordable.

Pocket tripods like this Manfrotto Pixi Evo are practical for spontaneous or lifestyle shots. Image: Amazon.

The Neewer Portable Desktop Mini Tripod is another great choice. It can hold up to 11 pounds. and weighs less than 2 kg. Its maximum extended height is approximately 19.7 inches. At $ 50 on Amazon, the price is similar to the Evo.

Travel tripods are best suited for location shoots due to their portability. This type of tripod can support the weight of a digital camera while generally collapsing to about 24 inches or less to easily fit in hand luggage.

The Benro Travel Angel 9X CF Series 2 is my first choice for a travel tripod. It has a carrying capacity of 22 lbs. and a maximum height of 66.9 inches. It weighs only 4 kg. It’s pricey at $ 419.95. But it’s well made and made of carbon fiber, which makes it lightweight and a replacement for a heavier medium weight tripod.

Image by Benros Travel Angel 9XCF Series 2 from

Travel tripods are best suited for location shoots because of their portability. This example is Benros Travel Angel 9XCF Series 2. Image:

Manfrotto’s BeFree Compact Travel tripod is more budget friendly. For $ 179.99, you can get an amazingly compact aluminum tripod with a ball head. But be careful: this design can only hold around 10 lbs. It is not suitable for heavy lenses.

Medium weight tripods are a helpful compromise between heavy studio tripods and lighter travel and bag versions. I mainly use this type of tripod when photographing my paintings and performance art. The robustness contributes to sharper photos. Most manufacturers also offer pan head models for precise camera control.

My choice fell on the 190x 3-part tripod from Manfrotto with XPRO Fluid Head. As a rule, specialist dealers for cameras carry these. Examples are Andorama, Hunt’s Photo & Video and B&H Photo-Video-Audio. It costs around $ 365 before discounts. It is light, has good resilience, and has many professional features.

Image of the 190x 3-section tripod from Manfrotto with XPRO Fluid Head on

Medium weight tripods are a helpful compromise between heavy studio tripods and lighter travel and bag versions. Pictured here is the 190x 3-part tripod from Manfrotto with XPRO Fluid Head. Image:

Studio tripods ensure the best stability and image sharpness. These tripods are usually intended for professionals with special requirements for medium and large format cameras. Studio tripods often have special heads. Recommendations for a studio tripod are beyond the scope of this article as it is necessary to understand the unique use case.

Mobile phones. Do not buy a cell phone tripod when it is used for product photos. Instead, buy a universal cell phone adapter attachment. You can then use the same tripod that you used for your digital or video camera. Manfrotto offers a reliable smartphone clamp that works with any tripod. It only costs $ 9.99.

Image of a Manfrotto smartphone clamp from Amazon

A universal mobile phone adapter, like this smartphone clamp from Manfrotto, is attached to an existing tripod. Image: Amazon.

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