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5 Best Tripods for Real Estate Photography (2021 Reviews)

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Best Tripods for Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Bees’ editorial team asked a few industry leading real estate photographers to share their expertise on the best tripods for real estate photography to help our readers make a more educated purchase decision when shopping for a tripod.

With the help of the experts, we ranked the most popular tripod models used for real estate photography from best to worst and described their features, pros and cons. Visiting retailers of the listed products by clicking links within our content may earn us commissions from your purchases but we never receive any compensation for the inclusion of products and/or services in our consumer guides. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about our review and rating process.

— Kimberly Anderson, Senior Creative Editor at Real Estate Bees
Tripod Model Reviews
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Experts' Choice Breakdown for Real Estate Photography Tripods

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#1 Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 XTRA

MANFROTTO MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 XTRA Photo Tripod

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tripod Highlights

  • Aluminum-made
  • Flip locks
  • Rubber grip and feet
  • Height extends up to 63”
  • Quick release clamp
  • Weighs 3.9 lbs

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Daytime photography
  • Twilight photography
  • Headshot photography
  • High dynamic range photography
  • Aerial drone photography
  • Elevated photos
  • Weddings
  • Portraits

 

Pros

  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Quick power lock allows legs to be extended quicker
  • Ability to shoot rooms with tall ceilings as height can be extended up to 63”
  • At an ultra-low position setting of 3.5”, can still shoot rooms with better detail
  • Can hold up to 11 lbs of gear
  • Flip locks allow each height of legs to be adjusted
  • Flip locks are tension-adjustable
  • Rubber grip makes it easier to be carried anywhere
  • Rubber feet help keep the tripod stable
  • Good ball head with quick release

What makes the Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra a great choice for any real estate photographer is its ability to extend its height from 12” to at least 63”, providing flexibility in shooting any room of any size.

The ability to shoot rooms with tall ceilings is no problem with the height of this tripod that can reach up to 63”. You can even shoot better detailed shots for BnB shoots with an ultra-low position setting at 3.5”.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President

Despite being a medium-duty tripod, the Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra is a heavyweight one when it comes to holding up gear.

With a weight of 3.9 lbs, this tripod can hold up to 11 lbs of gear.

— Jim Johnson, Jim Johnson Photography, Owner

On top of providing flexibility in height and weight, this tripod offers top notch features that make it ideal for any real estate shoots. It gets any shoot done faster, thanks to its flip lock feature.

We like the fact that with the quick power lock, we can extend the legs in a quicker time, while being more effective at every shoot.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President

Below are examples of photos taken using MANFROTTO MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 by Ryan Hansen.

MANFROTTO MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 - Ryan Hansen 2

MANFROTTO MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 - Ryan Hansen 3

MANFROTTO MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 - Ryan Hansen 4

You have 3-section legs with flip locks that change the height of each leg. The locks are tension-adjustable.

— Jim Johnson, Jim Johnson Photography, Owner

This flip lock feature is complemented by a quick release clamp that makes any shot or angle possible.

The quick release clamp is a must. Having the camera on a free rolling ball makes it a lot easier getting the exact position and angle for each shot.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President

It is sturdy and offers good ball head with quick release.

— Lenny Rosen, Lenny Rosen Photography, Photographer

As this tripod features rubberized grip and feet, it offers stability in every shot.

With its rubber grip, it is easier to carry the tripod anywhere. The rubber feet, meanwhile, allows for stability when you’re shooting on slippery surfaces.

— Jim Johnson, Jim Johnson Photography, Owner

Cons

  • Can only carry up to 8 lbs+ of weight
  • General maintenance must be done at all times to ensure efficiency

Despite performing impressively as far as holding up weight is concerned, some users may feel this doesn’t reach their expectations when carrying heavier gear is in order.

It only holds 8 plus pounds of weight.

— Jim Johnson, Jim Johnson Photography, Owner

Moreover, users will need to make sure that this tripod works effectively each and every time.

Just like every tripod, you want to make sure after 20 shoots, you tighten the screws of the tripod and do general maintenance to keep everything lubricated.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President
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#2 Benro Mach3 TMA28CV2

BENRO MACH3 Photo Tripod

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tripod Highlights

  • Carbon-fiber made
  • Adjustable head

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Daytime photography
  • Headshot photography
  • Twilight photography

 

Pros

  • Stable build
  • Head gives good movement and is easily adjustable

With the great features that come with this tripod, the Benro Mach3 TMA28CV2 offers good value for the money. For one, it offers superb stability and a sturdy build that complements its fluid performance.

I’ve found Benro tripods very good value for the money. Carbon fiber really cuts down on size and gives rigidity. The head gives good movement and is very easy to adjust.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

Cons

  • Ball head may only work for cameras with “level” function

While its ball head is easily adjustable, the Benro Mach3 TMA28CV2 may not work for all kinds of cameras.

The ball head may not work for those without a ‘level’ function in their camera. I use this function on the D750 for most real estate images.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner
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#3 Slik 700DX PRO

SLIK 700DX PROBENRO MACH3 Photo Tripod

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tripod Highlights

  • Height extends up to 70”
  • Supports load weight of up to 15 lbs

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Elevated photos

 

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Can hold up to 15 lbs of gear
  • Height can extend up to 70”
  • Doesn’t come with a head
  • Affordable

The Slik 700DX Pro is a good choice for real estate photographers on the lookout for a tripod that can carry heavy gear, while having the ability to shoot any angles at extended height.

This a very solidly built tripod. It supports a pretty decent load weight of 15 lbs, and is one of the taller tripods being able to extend up to 70 inches, which can come in handy mainly in exterior shots.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

What’s noticeable about this tripod is that it doesn’t come with a head, which may be ideal for photographers that don’t want a ball or pan/tilt head.

It does not come with a head, but that’s OK because a ball or pan/tilt head is really not the best choice for real estate photography anyhow.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Real estate photographers looking for value for money will not be disappointed as this tripod offers good quality at a friendly price.

This tripod is pretty affordable, costing around $100.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Overall, this tripod has it all: well built and can shoot any angle at any height without putting a dent in your wallet.

I chose this tripod because of three things: price, construction, and maximum height.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Below are examples of photos taken using SLIK 700DX PRO by Ian Lipsky.

Slik 700DX pro - Ian Lipsky 2

Slik 700DX pro - Ian Lipsky 3

Slik 700DX pro - Ian Lipsky

Cons

  • A bit heavy at 6 lbs
  • Doesn’t come with a head

While offering great quality at a good price, the Slik 700DX Pro may not be a smart choice for those who are looking for a tripod that can be carried anywhere, easily.

The weight of this tripod is somewhat heavy, at least compared to the carbon-fiber tripods. It weighs almost 6 lbs.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

As it doesn’t come with a head, this may be a con for those who want their tripod to be flexible when taking shots.

It doesn’t come with a head, although since most of the tripods that include a head are giving you a ball pan/tilt head, not including a head isn’t much of a negative since those heads are not really ideal for real estate photography.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner
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#4 Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3

MANFROTTO MT055CXPRO3SLIK 700DX PROBENRO MACH3 Photo Tripod

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Tripod Highlights

  • Carbon-fiber made
  • Lightweight

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Daytime photography
  • Twilight photography
  • Elevated photos

 

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Carbon fiber construction makes this tripod lightweight
  • Good height

The Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 is a keeper for those looking for a tripod that is lightweight yet solidly built.

This tripod has carbon fiber construction, lightweight, sturdy, and has very good height. I’ve purchased 3 so far, and they’ve been reliable for us! They take a beating doing 15-20 houses a day and keep working hard.

— Matt Harmon, Harmon Property Solutions, Owner

Cons

  • Legs loosen over time

Legs loosen over time — I have to tighten and adjust them pretty often.

— Matt Harmon, Harmon Property Solutions, Owner
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#5 Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100

VANGUARD ALTA PRO 263AB 100MANFROTTO MT055CXPRO3SLIK 700DX PROBENRO MACH3 Photo Tripod

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tripod Highlights

  • Adjustable height

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography

 

Pros

  • Functional
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable height

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 offers the best of both worlds: Good price and excellent functionality.

I chose this model because of its price and incredible functionality. The functionality of this tripod is phenomenal. It does everything I need it to do. The adjustable height is the best part.

— Ron Smith, Indiana Sky Pics LLC, Owner/Photographer

Cons

  • Legs loosen over time

Legs tend to loosen over time but can be easily tightened.

— Ron Smith, Indiana Sky Pics LLC, Owner/Photographer
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What Is the Best Tripod for Real Estate Photography?

Best Overall: Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra

For the real estate photographers surveyed, the Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra is light years ahead of its competitors when it comes to quality and reliability.

We have tested and used many tripods. Majority of them failed after 3 months. We found the Manfrotto tripod had no comparison in quality and durability to others.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President

Those who have chosen this brand swear by its name alone, which has become an institution in camera tripods.

I prefer this model as I am already familiar with the Manfrotto brand and have used these tripods for the past 30 years.

— Jim Johnson, Jim Johnson Photography, Owner

This tripod stands out for having the most features in one package. The Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra offers:

  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Quick power lock allows legs to be extend quicker
  • Ability to shoot rooms with tall ceilings as height can be extended up to 63”
  • At an ultra-low position setting of 3.5”, can still shoot rooms with better detail
  • Can hold up to 11 lbs of gear
  • Flip locks allow each height of legs to be adjusted
  • Flip locks are tension-adjustable
  • Rubber grip makes it easier to be carried anywhere
  • Rubber feet help keep the tripod stable
  • Good ball head with quick release

 

Best for Newbies

Slik 700DX PRO

I’d still suggest the Slik 700DX Pro. It’s affordable and very durable.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Any Benro Model

I’d really consider any of the Benro models. They seem to have a good balance of price, function, and quality.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

Geekoto

Geekoto makes a solid entry tripod.

— Ron Smith, Indiana Sky Pics LLC, Owner/Photographer
Additional Resources
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5 Expert Tips on Choosing the Best Tripod for Real Estate Photography

#1 Pick from One of the More Established Brands

Getting a tripod from a trusted brand makes all the difference when you’re talking about quality and reliability. Most models from established manufacturers offer features that are innovative and get the job done faster.

Pick a name brand such as Manfrotto, Benro, etc. Choose one with Flip Locks and that is very stable but not too heavy. Medium duty is a good choice. A 4-section tripod is good.

I recommend a Manfrotto ball head with Manfrotto quick release. Rubber Feet is the best for indoor stability. You can use rubber feet outside as well. I don’t like spiked feet outdoors because they can bring dirt into the listing.

— Lenny Rosen, Lenny Rosen Photography, Photographer

 

#2 Choose a Tripod that Offers Height Flexibility

Height matters when shooting real estate photography, which is why it is important that your tripod can extend to whatever height you desire to cover the best angles.

You want a tripod that will extend as high as you can comfortably work with the camera.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Make sure the speed and range of adjustment is as high as possible. This will give you more shooting flexibility and safe time.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

 

#3 Use One that Is Lightweight

When shooting real estate photography, it is ideal to use a tripod that can be carried easily. For this reason alone, choose a tripod that is made of carbon fiber.

Keep the weight as low as possible – carbon fiber is great.

Compact works well, but make sure you aren’t sacrificing too much stability for the size reduction.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

This type of tripod, however, doesn’t come cheap, so for those on a budget, carbon fiber tripods may not be the best choice.

When it comes to tripods, you obviously want one in your price range. If you don’t mind the extra weight, avoid the carbon fiber tripods. They are lighter but they’ll cost you 3-4x as much (or more) than an aluminum tripod.

If you don’t mind spending the extra money, then go check out the carbon fiber tripods.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

#4 Tripods with a Geared Head Are Preferable

Look for a tripod that includes a geared head rather than a ball pan or tilt head. This type of tripod will serve you well in the long run.

Don’t bother looking for a tripod with an included head since they are almost always ball pan/tilt heads. A geared head will be much more useful. It’ll cost you a little more in the end, but it’s definitely worth it. You’ll get cleaner lines and it’ll take you less time to line up a perfect shot.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

#5 Make Sure You’re Investing in the Best Tripod

Tripods, just like cameras, are meaningful investments. When choosing one, make sure it fits your shooting style best and has all the important qualities that get the job done fast and on point.

Keep this tip in mind, especially if you’re new in the business and in the process of building up your gear. Just because you’re new doesn’t mean you have to invest cheap.

For real estate photography, you don’t really need anything fancy in terms of a tripod. It needs to be able to support the weight of whatever camera/lens you are going to use. I would suggest getting one that supports a few pounds over that in case your camera/lens changes.

A tripod that can give you the height that you want without spreading the tripod legs out too much would be ideal, since it’ll let you get into tighter corners. And using a tripod that lets you extend the camera up to a good height will let you get better exterior shots if the house is elevated slightly.

However, find one with good quality. If it’s made out of plastic, don’t purchase it.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Quality, durability, comfortability, ease of use, and easy functionality are the best qualities to look for in a tripod.

If you’re a newbie, just make sure your tripod has a quick release clamp and a rolling ball for the head of the tripod.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President

Cheap aluminum tripods just aren’t worth the hassle. Be careful of cheap carbon fiber tripods too, but don’t feel you have to spend thousands for a workable real estate tripod. You’re not going to be shooting in high winds on the side of a mountain (well, most of us won’t be anyway).

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner
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5 Expert Tips on Using a Tripod for Real Estate Photography

Additionally to advice on choosing the best tripod, we also asked our experts for tips on using one. If you also want to learn more about the best practices of real estate photography in general, study our other article providing real estate photography tips from industry professionals.

 

#1 Use a Tripod for Whatever Real Estate Shots You’re Taking

For some, tripods are just accessories and their usage depends solely on user preference. When shooting real estate images, however, tripods are a must-have and help immensely to achieve the perfect shot.

Tripods are essential for HDR photography and help a lot with twilight images.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

Use a tripod for all shots to be taken.

— Jim Johnson, Jim Johnson Photography, Owner

Use a tripod on absolutely every image.

— Lenny Rosen, Lenny Rosen Photography, Professional Photographer

 

#2 Keep All Shots as Level as Possible

All real estate images need to be as level as possible. When shooting with a tripod, make sure your camera’s leveling is turned on to avoid tilting.

Make sure the camera is perfectly level. I use a bubble level to help level the camera.

— Lenny Rosen, Lenny Rosen Photography, Photographer

Camera leveling works brilliantly on the D750. Turn it on and use it to get the camera perfectly level. When you get there, tighten up! Remember, keeping images as level as possible will ensure vertical lines are straight.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

 

#3 Make Use of the Camera Timer or Remote Trigger

When shooting with a tripod, using the camera timer or remote trigger is important particularly if you’re taking elevated shots.

We use the timer, with the legs (of the tripod) fully extended, to get nice elevated shots on listings when needed. A tripod that is long and sturdy enough can work for this trick.

— Matt Harmon, Harmon Property Solutions, Owner

When you are shooting, use the 2-second timer or a remote trigger for your camera, so you avoid any possible camera shake that you might get if you trigger the shutter with the shutter button on the camera.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Use a remote trigger to prevent vibration. I usually shoot at two levels: chest high and hip high.

— Lenny Rosen, Lenny Rosen Photography, Professional Photographer

 

#4 Know the Perfect Height

The right height for shooting real estate photos not only allows you to get your desired shots but also lessens the time it takes to shoot.

Know your height. Being able to quickly adjust the tripod to the optimum shooting height will reduce time in the field. If your preferred height only requires one or two of the telescopic extensions to be utilized, use the thickest first. This will give you optimum stability.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

The higher you shoot, the smaller the room looks. The lower you shoot, the larger the room looks. Try to shoot 40% from the ground to the ceiling.

— Ryan Hansen, Hapi Photography, President

 

#5 Keep Your Camera Firmly Attached

Make sure your camera is securely attached to the tripod, especially if you’re shooting bracketed photos.

Tighten up. Nothing is worse than shooting a bracketed set of images and finding out after that the camera and the tripod settings weren’t tightly secured. This creates blurry images.

Make sure everything is tightened up before taking the shots! Turn off stability control, as this is not needed and can worsen image quality when using tripods for long exposure photography.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner

It makes sense to also use your camera strap for added security.

Use your camera strap. If you’re carrying your tripod around the house with your camera attached, keep the camera strap around your neck.

— Leigh Mitchell, Leigh Mitchell Photography, Owner
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Learn More About Real Estate Photography Equipment

To help newbie real estate photographers, realtors and homeowners select the best equipment to photograph and film real estate, we at Real Estate Bees, in conjunction with a number of leading industry experts, created comprehensive consumer guides for various real estate photography equipment and accessories: