Taking still photos or video with a handheld camera is good, but sometimes you need something better. This is where a tripod comes in handy. Most tripods fold down for easy storage and travel-ability. Unfortunately, the dimensions of a standard tripod do not always allow for travel by aircraft. This is when you need to look into finding a travel tripod.
Travel tripods are small, sturdy, 3-legged stands able to support the weight of most all camera types on the market today – barring the exception of commercial TV cameras and suchlike. They are usually made out of a lightweight metal such as aluminum, or a carbon fibre.
So what are some things to consider when you are looking to buy a travel tripod?
There are many good articles to be found that discuss what tripods are and what to look for. I will include one here before we get into the points to consider.
Does the tripod you are interested in purchasing come with the head mount, or is it a separate piece. If it is separate, you will need to take this into account when folding up for travel purposes. Most of the time the head mount can be detached from the body of the tripod, which will make packing much easier.
Many tripods on the market these days provide a twist and lock mechanism. These are great in that they are able to self-adjust, but they take a bit longer to set up. Another very common type has tab-locks which are much easier to be opened to the desired length. Just keep in mind that the larger the diameter of the legs, the more sturdy the tripod will be.
Center Post (Body)
All tripods are equipped with a body (also known as a center post). Though non-travel tripods are usually more bulky and made on a gear system. Tripod bodies are usually generous in length as the manufacturer and designer want the photographer/videographer to have maximum height when setting up for a photo shoot. What is imperative to keep in mind is that the higher the center post is raised, the less stability there is available. It would be better to compromise your stance, than the quality of your shoot.
These are some great points to keep in mind when looking for the best travel tripod. Just make sure to read all reviews and find the one that is going to be best suited to your needs.