What Are The Best Camera Tripods For Church Video Production Ministries?

What Are The Best Camera Tripods For Church featured imageFinding The Best Camera Tripod For Your Church Video Production Ministry

Churches often need to be able to record video for their websites or for weddings and other special events. No matter how steady a person thinks that their hand is, they are not going to be able to take steady video without it rocking and wobbling if they do not use a tripod.

Because there are so many different tripod options on the market today, it can be tricky for a pastor or media specialist at a church to choose the right one for their congregation.

No matter the budget or how often the tripod will be used, choosing the right one for a church is imperative so that churches don’t waste money and so that they buy the best option for them.

Rather than feeling like they can’t find the best tripod for their use, a church needs to consider a budget option, the best overall option, and a great bang for your buck.

Having a few different options will easily help any church to find the best tripod for their use. Knowing what features to look for and which ones aren’t as important is necessary to help narrow down choices and decide upon a tripod that is durable, reliable, and easy to use.

Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 – Best Overall

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Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head,...

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What Are the Important Considerations When Buying A Tripod?

The best overall tripod is going to be one that is not only easy to use but durable. Make sure to consider the following things when shopping.

  • Feet – feet are available in a few different types, including spikes, which are great for shooting outdoors. In general, however, rubber non-slip feet are a great option as they can be used inside, as well as outside, without any problems or damage to flooring.
  • Height – the overall height of a tripod will dictate exactly how easy it is to use. Some tripods are tabletop versions that fit on a table and aren’t easily set up in outdoor locations or used by taller church members.
  • Head Type – the head of the tripod sits on the center column and can easily be raised or lowered. This is what the camera attaches to, so it’s important to choose a head that is compatible not only with the church’s current camera but with most cameras so that it can be used by many congregants and staff members.
  • Leg Locks – high-quality leg locks ensure that the legs don’t wobble when the camera is set up and will prevent the camera from falling and being damaged.

image of a camera and tripodWhy We Chose The Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 Over Others

The Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 is, hands down, the best overall tripod on this list thanks not only to its durable and quality construction, but also how easy it is to use, transport, and store the tripod.

Thanks to its high weight capacity, even incredibly large cameras and lenses can be used on the tripod without any fear of them or the tripod being damaged. Thanks to the durable head base and removable safety catch, the plate won’t ever slip out of position once a camera has been attached to the tripod.

The reverse folding legs are not only easy to use but are also incredibly sturdy and durable since they are made from carbon exact tubes. While aluminum is a great choice for some tripods, these tubes add incredible amounts of stability to the tripod.

It’s got a shoulder strap to make carrying the tripod easier and to allow users to move it from one location to another without any hassle. Finally, the legs won’t ever fail, bend, or break due to their carbon construction and impressive locking mechanisms designed to support and protect expensive cameras.

What We Like and Dislike About This Tripod

There are some great features of this tripod that make it the best overall option on this list. One thing that really sets it apart is that it has an impressive load capacity of 22 pounds, which means that it can easily handle heavy DSLR cameras and their lenses without any fear of damage.

The Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 also only weighs 3.1 pounds, which is really impressive given how much weight it can handle. This makes it great for taking on the go to various mission trip areas.

The short center column doesn’t interfere with extending the tripod, as it can easily reach a height of 58.5”, but it does make it easier to handle and extend the tripod.

Finally, the leg locking system is one of the most advanced on the market, which completely eliminates any fear over the legs rocking or folding when the tripod is set up.

One downside to the Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 is its price tag. At such a higher price than other tripods, this tripod may easily be out of budget for some churches.

Additionally, this tripod’s rubber feet tend to easily come off and can be lost.

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AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod – Best Budget

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AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

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What Are the Important Considerations When Buying This Tripod?

When shopping for a great budget tripod, you still want to make sure that the tripod is high quality and won’t fail you when you need it most. It’s important to consider the following things.

  • Telescoping Legs – some legs telescope significantly faster than other legs. Quick release grips that will flick open are much faster to use than legs that need to be threaded in order to adjust the height, ensuring that users can easily get the shot they want.
  • Weight – there’s always a trade-off between heavier tripods, as they are sturdier, and lighter ones, as they are easier to move around. Thinking about how often the tripod will be moved between shots will help churches decide on a tripod that is heavy enough to provide a great shot, but light enough to be moved when necessary.
  • Size – size matters greatly when choosing a tripod, as they not only have to be stored when not in use, but also carried from one shot location to another. Churches who want to bring a tripod on mission trips will need to make sure that it can easily fit in a bag for travel.

image of a basic camera tripodWhy We Chose This Tripod Over Others

Churches who are on a tight budget, but still need a tripod that they can count on for taking shots of their congregation will appreciate not only the low price of this budget option, but also how quickly it can be set up, taken down, and moved out of the way.

The rubber feet are designed to prevent the tripod from shifting position during use and keep it from marring the floor. They are large enough to offer plenty of support and keep the tripod from falling over when knocked.

Additionally, this AmazonBasics tripod comes with a zippered carrying case that makes moving and storing it easier than ever. Because it folds up so quickly and into such a small package, it’s perfect for taking on mission trips or simply having on hand for group shots at the church.

Because it can extend up to 60” tall, it’s fairly comfortable for most staff members and congregants to use without having to hunch over a lot to see through the camera. This means that more people will be able to use it, ensuring that someone is always available to take a photo.

What We Like and Dislike About The AmazonBasics Tripod

Finding a budget tripod that is still high quality can be a little tricky, but this AmazonBasics tripod has a lot of great features. One reason why it is such a great option for a lot of people is that it has two built-in bubble levels to ensure that the camera is completely level when shooting.

This tripod also has a quick-release mounting plate that makes it really easy to smoothly and quickly transition between shots.

Thanks to the low weight of only three pounds, this AmazonBasics tripod is perfect for taking on the go, which is great for a busy church who does a lot of service projects.

Finally, it’s compatible with most digital and still cameras, as well as video cameras and GoPros.

There are some drawbacks to using this tripod, and one is that it can’t handle very heavy cameras as its supported weight is only 6.6 pounds. This means that heavier cameras can easily damage the tripod or fall and become damaged, themselves.

Additionally, the AmazonBasics tripod legs are very slippery and can be tricky and time-consuming to adjust.

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Manfrotto 290 Xtra – Best Bang for Your Buck

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Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum 3-Section Tripod Kit with Fluid Video Head (MK290XTA3-2WUS)

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$185.12 $223.00

What Are the Important Considerations When Buying This Video Camera Tripod?

Choosing a tripod that is the perfect mix of value and quality can be really tricky, but it is possible as long as a church is willing to do a little research. It’s important to consider the following things in order to choose the best tripod.

  • Price – price plays a huge factor here, as it’s easy to go over budget when shopping for a tripod. Finding a great mix of high value with a lower cost is the goal, which is why considering the price is so important.
  • Leg Angles – tripods that offer more leg angles are not only easier to adjust, but can easily be set up on any ground. It’s important for churches to remember that they won’t always be taking photographs inside the church on a flat floor, so choosing a tripod that can easily handle an uneven surface is important.
  • Load Capacity – this refers to how much weight the tripod can handle. Cameras and their lenses that are simply too heavy will exceed the load capacity and can easily damage the tripod or cause it to break. It’s imperative to consider the weight of the church’s camera and lens and make sure that the tripod can handle that much weight.

image of multiple cameras and tripodsWhy We Chose The 290 Xtra Others

Where this tripod really shines is in its ability to produce a smooth video without any jerkiness. The fluid video head is designed specifically to allow for panning and zooming without any issues, and that’s one reason why the Manfrotto 290 Xtra is such a popular tripod for a lot of churches to consider.

Additionally, it breaks down easily and stores in a zippered shoulder bag, making it simple to take on the go or move in and out of storage.

Thanks to the easily adjustable aluminum legs, users can set this tripod up to be the perfect height for the shot that they want to capture. All of the legs can be individually spread to different angles by simply pressing a button and then adjusting the angle of the leg.

This allows the user to quickly and easily create a level tripod, no matter what type of flooring or outside location is used for the shoot. Since the legs can be so easily adjusted, this tripod is a great option for any church who is going to be shooting in a variety of locations and needs something incredibly versatile.

What We Like and Dislike About The Manfrotto 290 Xtra

The Manfrotto 290 Xtra is designed to be a great combination of value and durability, making it the best bang for your buck out of any tripods on this list. One feature that it offers is that it can easily adjust up to 67.5” inches, making it easy for most people to use.

The Manfrotto 290 Xtra is also made from aluminum, which means that it is not only exceptionally durable but also light enough to be moved from one location to another without difficulty.

Thanks to the 128 RC 2 Way head, this is an incredibly fluid tripod, which makes it perfect for taking video without any lagging, skipping, or jerkiness.

With independent tilt and pan locks, it’s easy to set the camera up at any angle without having to worry about it slipping out of position or the shot becoming skewed.

One drawback of the Manfrotto 290 Xtra is that the locking latch to keep the camera in place can easily break, rendering the tripod useless if this happens.

Additionally, the entire setup is not as sturdy as some other options, which means that some photographers have difficulty keeping the tripod from shifting position when pushing the shutter release.

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Why We Feel You Should Consider These Camera Tripods

Any church who needs a great tripod, but has a smaller budget will want to consider the AmazonBasics tripod on this list. It’s incredibly affordable, but it is still easy to use and durable enough to stand up to long photo shoots in both indoor and outdoor locations. The locking head ensures perfectly clear and sharp shots every time this tripod is used.

The Manfrotto 290 Xtra is clearly a step up from the AmazonBasics and the best bang for your buck. Even churches who have slightly larger budgets for purchasing a tripod may want to consider this option because of how smoothly the head can turn and glide. It can support slightly larger cameras than other similar options and has legs that are easily leveled and adjusted.

Finally, the Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 is perfect for churches who have higher budgets and want to spend their money on the best equipment possible. The carbon fiber legs are shockingly durable and strong, and it can hold an impressive amount of weight without fear of buckling or damage. With great locking legs and the ability to change out plates from different brands, it’s clearly the best option on the market today.

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Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.Currently he is serving as a Technology Consultant for Living Waters Fellowship In Mesquite Nv.