Whenever we hear the word Tripod, immediately a big three-legged stand comes up in our minds. Well, this was actually the case long back. But as we say necessity is the key to invention, photographers required more flexibility, less weight, smaller size and a versatile version of the big tripod. This led to the invention of mini tripods or tabletop tripods.
Mini tripods are comparatively new in the market and demand a greater audience owing to their features. In this post, I’ll be reviewing the best mini tripods out there in the market and how you can get your hands on them at the best price available.
Why do you need one?
Mini tripods are essentially a smaller version of a regular tripod. It too has a replaceable head, three legs, and a QR plate. Mini/Tabletop tripods, as the name suggests are meant to be used in situations where there is a shortage of workspace like while shooting food or jewelry. If you are not in your studio and there is no space for a regular tripod, these things will be your life savior.
Not only for photography, but these tripods can also serve in a variety of situations like shooting interviews or making stop motion videos, etc. Some tripods are meant to hold only mobile phones for easy mobile photography or for clicking selfies. Well, those are okay but if you have a DSLR, it’s no point spending in a mobile tripod because a small DSLR tripod will hold your phone as well. Not only they are useful they definitely improve the aesthetics of the workplace/studio.
Best Top-End – Nothing Comes Close!
Now you understand why a mini tripod needed, let’s look at some high-end models. These mini pods (as I like to call them) offer nothing less than superior quality and performance. Though small, these little tripods can hold a lot of weight and come with many options to upgrade.
This tripod is like the Gitzo of mini tripods. It is extremely small but packs a lot of power in it. Let’s look at its features.
- 360 Ball head
- Weight Capacity: 11lbs (5kgs)
- Min. Height: 6.5 inches (Expandable up to 20 inches
- 5-section legs
- Tripod Weight: 1.5lb (700gm)
- Rubber Feet
- Solid Aluminum Construction
- My Rating: 9.8/10
2. Sirui 3T-35K
Though it does not resemble any of the other Sirui models, it does not disappoint. The tripod is completely made out of metal and gives you a very premium feeling. The central column can be removed and it can be used as a monopod. The tripod comes in a nifty bag or carrying it around.
- Strong head and knobs
- Weight Capacity: 8.8lbs (4kgs)
- Height: 2 cm (Expandable up to 27 cm)
- Removable Central Column
- Tripod Weight: 0.55lb (250gm)
- Rubber Feet
- Solid Metal Construction
- Comes with a Hook
- My Rating: 9.5/10
Best Mid-Range – Perfect To Start With
Though the top end models are not that expensive if you are still unsure whether you should go in for these, have a look at the Manfrotto Pixi Smart
Manfrotto Pixi – Perfect Partner to a GoPro
The manfrotto pixi is one of the most popular mini tripods in the market. This is mainly due to its beautiful design and versatility. It can be used to mount a mobile phone to a professional camera. If you are into making short videos of people talking or interviews, I would suggest this tripod.
- Weight Capacity: 2.2lb (1kgs)
- 35-degree maximum tilt
- Min. Height: 6.5 inches (Expandable up to 20 inches)
- Tripod Weight: 0.5lb (230 gm)
- Stainless Steel Construction
- Push Button Lock
- My Rating: 8.5/10
It is a great option for vloggers and tech enthusiasts but I would not recommend it to a person who is serious about a mini tripod for professional uses.
Best in the Least Expensive Range
These tripods are ones I don’t particularly fancy but they are enough to get the concept of mini tripods across the table. Though being the least expensive, I really like their design.
The Pedco has a one of a kind design. I really like how it can be tied to rails, logs, poles, etc with its Velcro. The only downside is the durability of the Velcro. It is bound to wear off with time. Nevertheless, I like how they have made the tripod
- Unique rotating head
- Height: 7 inches
- Tripod Weight: 0.26lb (120 gm)
- High-Quality Fiber Construction (Nylon Resin)
- Versatile and Easy to Carry
- Weight Capacity 6lb (2.7kg)
- My Rating: 8.5/10
It is one of the lightest and most innovative mini tripods.
The Fotopro UFO is more of a novelty than equipment. But there are people who will like to have them in their collection. These resemble Gorillapods in many ways but don’t be fooled. A Gorillapod is a Gorillapod period! Let’s look at some of its features
- High Aesthetic Value
- Weighs only 260gm (0.57lb)
- Height 11 inches (28 cm)
- Great as a selfie stick
- Aluminum and Rubber Construction
- Bubble Level Indicator
- My Rating: 7/10
It would be a shame if I finish off this article without mentioning Joby. These gorillapods are absolute beauty and they are unmatched in terms of performance and life. Joby’s Gorillapods are not only sturdy but also reliable. The 3k and 5k versions of these are the only small tripods you will ever need. The legs have multiple joints and grip which allow them to hold on to any position at any place.
Gorillapods are expensive but in my opinion, they are worth the price. It is an excellent gadget that lets your imagination fly. Literally, anything is possible if you know how to use a gorillapod the right way. For more information on Gorillapods check out this post.
Mini Tripods if used properly have a lot of uses and gives the photographer the flexibility and potential he/she might need to work in restricted spaces. Also, it mostly depends on one’s creativity as to how to use a piece of equipment to gain the most out of it. Though the above classification is on the basis of my understanding of mini tripods, I believe I have justified each one of them
Let me know what do you think of these mini pods and how did you find this article on the best mini tripods in the comments section. Also, you are free to post any doubt or query, I’ll be more than happy to help you out.
Tripods For All
Mini Tripods! What a great idea. Ideal for shooting small close objects, and something I wouldn’t have thought of getting unless I came upon this article, as I didn’t know they existed.
I really like the look of the Neewer 50/60 portable. It looks really sturdy and I like the rubber feet which will prevent it slipping when working on smooth surfaces.
I also like that it can go from 20 inches right down to 6.5 inches, so it is versatile too.
Glad you like it!
I attend concerts of young artists often and take videos for my YouTube channel. When I first started, I was concerned about passing the inspection when entering a venue. I solved that problem by using a selfie stick as a monopod.
However, I had considered using a mini tripod because when the legs are not unfolded, they can be used as a mono pod with the feet tucked into my trouser belt. With that in mind, the Sirui 3T-35K would be a good choice for me. I like the option of using it as a tripod as well as a mono pod by removing the central column.
I liked the strong construction of all your offerings. It would take a much heftier design for a normal size tripod to equal the rigidity of these mini tripods. I have used a normal tripod before, that I still own, and when extended it is definitely not sturdy enough to be used at concerts where I cannot maintain a fixed location to take my shots. These shows are standing in the central floor so I move around to get different angles.
Thanks for sharing the options of compact mini pods that are available for those who cannot use a regular sized tripod.
You are welcome Sir!
My wife is into craftwork which she retails on her website. As part of her many activities, she has to take pictures of the items from time to time to put on the web. She has a big tripod but she doesn’t have a mini-tripod. Your article is eye-opening and pretty informative for us because it opens this world of tripods to us and it helps us to consider which one to get based on our budget.
If I wasn’t concerned about our budget, my favourite is definitely the Gorillapod. They are such a beauty.
Thank you for the interesting piece.
You are welcome.
In my opinion, balance is more important than size, we bought a telescope, with a tripod apart, and I have to say, that it isn’t big. But what matters is that it is stable, since we had a huge one, and it wasn’t stable at all. So I agree with your article, and thanks for sharing it with us.
Glad you liked it.