The Best Tripod For Real Estate Photography

One of the commonly overlooked tools in real estate photography is the tripod. When you’re shooting thousands of homes a year, you’ll find yourself in many different lighting scenarios. Some bright, and others, not so much. To ensure you always get a sharp and high-quality photo, you need to have a tripod ready to use. So what is the best tripod for real estate photography?

Here you’ll learn exactly why a tripod plays such an important role in real estate images. You’ll see the important functions of a tripod in this industry and the types of things you should look for before purchasing. Let’s get started!

Why Are Tripods Useful For Real Estate Photographers?

The truth is, not all homes are well lit. Just think of a windowless laundry room or the lack of light on a cloudy day. You’ll inevitably run into situations where you’re forced to change your camera settings because of light.

With a tripod, that’s not the case.

Rather than having to adjust your settings, a tripod gives you the freedom to use a slower shutter speed. That way, you’re never sacrificing depth of field or ISO to get the shot.

Beyond that, it’s almost impossible to shoot these images handheld when it comes to HDR photos and panoramas.

At least not well.

The reason for this is both HDR’s and panoramas require the images to align. If there’s any type of camera movement, it creates a technical nightmare later on.

With the help of a tripod, you can guarantee perfect alignment in any photo you take. Regardless of the time of day!

The Advantage To Using A Tripod For Real Estate

There are three main advantages to using a tripod for real estate.

– A Tripod Eliminates Camera Shake

The first advantage is that a tripod eliminates the camera shake caused by you holding the camera. No matter how still you think you are, the camera will always be moving a little bit.

The issue here is that these subtle movements can translate into blurry images. If your shutter speed is slightly too slow, you’ll notice a bit of motion blur in all your handheld photos.

Using a tripod, you don’t need to worry about motion blur since your camera will remain perfectly still.

– A Tripod Helps With Consistency

A big part of real estate photography is consistency. Making sure that all your images match in composition and height from room to room.

While you’re shooting handheld, it’s impossible to gauge if you’re maintaining the same camera positions. Whether that be in height or tilt, it’s challenging to know.

With a tripod, you can guarantee consistent photos since the height and angle are locked in place. This makes it much easier to keep a consistent look throughout an entire room.

– A Tripod Helps To Maintain Straight Lines

When you’re shooting the interior of a building, there are a lot of lines you need to be aware ofβ€”the lines of a countertop, the ceiling, floor, doorways, and more.

To capture a great real estate image, you need to make sure all of these lines are straight. The goal is to have as little lens distortion as possible.

By using a tripod, you can easily fine-tune the angle of these lines with the tripod head. Once you’ve found the best angle, you can lock it in place and guarantee perfect lines in ever photo.

Although it is possible to do the same while shooting handheld, it’s more tedious and can have more varied results.

What To Look For When Buying A Tripod For Real Estate Photography

There are literally thousands of tripods on the market.

Some cost $30 while others cost $3000.

So where in the world are you supposed to start?

At the end of the day, you only need to look for a few main tripod characteristics as a real estate photographer.

    • Type Of Head
    • Twist Or Lever Lock Legs
    • The Max Height

But let’s discuss why each of those is important to you.

Tripod Heads

When you break it all down, there are only two types of tripod heads best for real estate photography.

A ball head and a pan and tilt head.

A ball head is the simplest version of a tripod head. Your camera is mounted to a ball the sits inside your tripod head. When the ball is loose, you’re free to move your camera horizontally or vertically. Once you have a position, you just twist a dial, lock the ball into place, and you’re ready to take photos!

With a pan and tilt head, you have two separate arms to control the camera’s positioning. By rotating the tilt handle, you’ll loosen the tilt axis to adjust your camera’s tilt (up and down). If you rotate the pan handle, you’ll loosen the pan axis to rotate the camera. When you use each of these handles together, you can get your camera into any position you need.

Ultimately, the head you choose comes down to personal preference. With a ball head, you have more versatility with how and where your camera is positioned. The downside is it’s harder only to reposition a certain axis since the ball can rotate in any direction.

With a pan and tilt head, you have the advantage of adjusting a specific axis without worrying about moving the other. The downside is that you might find it annoying to use two separate handles to reposition your camera angle.

Whichever type of tripod head you prefer, this list of the best tripods for real estate photography has some great versions of each!

Twist-Lock Vs. Lever Lock Tripod Legs

No matter how expensive a tripod is, there are only two types of tripod legs: the twist lock and the lever lock.

Although both serve the same purpose, they have a slightly different approach when adjusting your tripod’s height.

A twist-lock does exactly as the name suggests. You rotate these locks to loosen your tripod legs and adjust the height. The advantage is that they’re slightly easier to undo and tighten, but they take slightly more time.

A lever lock uses a latch instead to lock or loosen the tripod legs. It’s easier to adjust your tripod with lever locks quickly and less cumbersome to make small height adjustments. The downside is that these locks are either fully on or fully off. It’s hard to adjust the amount of resistance felt when you adjust a tripod leg.

You can’t go wrong with either option, but it’s important to consider this in your purchase!

The Max Height Of Your Tripod

Especially with real estate, the max height of your tripod matters. You don’t want to be setting up for a high angle just to realize your tripod doesn’t have enough length.

Before you purchase a tripod for real estate photography, consider how high you want to shoot from. The answer will change from photographer to photographer.

As a general rule of thumb, I like to have the option to set up at my eye level, at least. Even though this is a rarely used angle, it’s nice to have the option. For real estate photography, you’ll typically stay within the shoulder to hip height range.

What About Weight And Build Material?

When you ask anyone about what tripod you should buy, the topic of weight and material is bound to come up. The thing is, real estate photographers have a more unique niche than other photographers.

Since you usually stay in one area and you aren’t forced to carry your bag on your back all day, you won’t notice the aluminum vs. carbon fiber. Unlike those who carry their bags all day shooting outdoors, real estate photographers can put their bags down.

So for the slight weight advantage of carbon fiber over an aluminum tripod, it may not be worth the money.

With that said, if you find yourself shooting other styles of photography, then the weight advantage could be important to you.

Top Picks:

Here are a few of the top tripods for real estate photography from the list. You can find more information on each of these tripods in the following section!

GEEKOTO 75″ Camera Tripod (Most Popular)

  • Max Height: 75″ / 191cm
  • Type: Aluminum
  • Built-In Monopod: Yes
  • Max Weight Capacity: 22lbs
  • Tripod Weight: 4.4lbs
  • Lock Type: Twist Lock
  • Head Type: Ball

Check Price Online

Promaster XC-M 525K 70″ Professional Tripod (Editors Choice)

  • Max Height: 70″ / 177cm
  • Type: Aluminum
  • Built-In Monopod: Yes
  • Max Weight Capacity: 17lbs
  • Tripod Weight: 2.1lbs
  • Lock Type: Twist Lock
  • Head Type: Ball

Check Price Online

 

ZOMEi 62″ Camera Tripod (Best Value)

  • Max Height: 62″ / 157cm
  • Type: Aluminum
  • Built-In Monopod: Yes
  • Max Weight Capacity: 17.3lbs
  • Tripod Weight: 3.3lbs
  • Lock Type: Twist Lock
  • Head Type: Ball

Check Price Online

The Best Tripod For Real Estate Photography

To help you narrow down your decision to find the best tripod for real estate photography, here are 10 great options to consider.

10. Victiv 72″ Aluminum Tripod

Coming in at number ten on the list is this 72″ Aluminum Tripod by Victiv. If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, this is a viable option to get going with. It has a pan and tilt head that sits on a sturdy aluminum frame that can easily hold any DSLR or mirrorless camera. This tripod sits on the heavier side at 3.97lbs, so it’s by no means a light and hiking friendly tripod. Fortunately for real estate photographers, weight isn’t of paramount importance. One aspect that makes this tripod unique is it can be converted into a monopod as well. Lastly, it has a convenient carrying handle attached to the tripod and comes in a unique orange color.

    • Max Height: 72″ / 182cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 9.2lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 3.97lbs
    • Lock Type: Lever Lock
    • Head Type: Pan & Tilt

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9. K&F Concept S210 78″ Aluminum Tripod

The K&F Concept S210 Tripod is a great beginner-friendly tripod in both price and functionality. It comes equipped with a ball head with two locking knobs for independent pan and tilt locks. It can hold up to 17.6lbs on the tripod itself, making it extremely robust. Even your biggest lenses won’t be a match for this tripod! It has convenient lever-lock legs for easy adjustability up to a maximum of 78 inches and can be quickly converted into a monopod by unscrewing one of the legs. If you want an affordable and highly capable tripod for real estate photography, this is a great starting point!

    • Max Height: 78″ / 198cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 17.6lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 3.17lbs
    • Lock Type: Lever Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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8. TYCKA Rangers 56” Compact Tripod

If an extremely tall tripod isn’t high on your must-have list, the Tycka Rangers 56″ Tripod is a solid option. What this tripod lacks in height, it makes up for in weight capacity and price. Being able to support a hefty 26.5 lbs, there aren’t many tripods as strong as this in the low price range. This tripod comes with lever locks and a ball head for easy adjustability anywhere you go. Like the others so far on this list, it also comes with a detachable monopod for increased usability. If you aren’t concerned with a max height of 56 inches, you’ll love this tripod.

    • Max Height: 56″ / 142cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 26.5lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 2.9lbs
    • Lock Type: Lever Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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7. ZOMEi 62″ Camera Tripod

As another affordable tripod for real estate photography, check out the ZOMEi 62″ Tripod. With a max height of 62″ and twist-lock legs, this is a great (and cheap) option if you prefer twist locks. It can hold a maximum weight of 17.3lbs and has many unique mounting options compared to other tripods. There’s almost no orientation this tripod can’t get you into! This tripod uses a ball head with two-axis locks for better pan control. For the price, you won’t find a more capable tripod!

    • Max Height: 62″ / 157cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 17.3lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 3.3lbs
    • Lock Type: Twist Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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6. Neewer 77″ Aluminum Tripod

Neewer is one of the brands that always surprises people with their quality to price ratio. They offer some of the most affordable options on the market but don’t lapse in quality like other competitors. The Neewer 77″ Aluminum Tripod is no exception to this. Coming with easily adjustable lever locks and a sturdy ball head, you won’t have any issues setting up the perfect shot. Going up to a max height of 77 inches, you won’t be limited by height when you’re shooting. This tripod can hold up to 17.6lbs and has a built-in monopod making it more versatile.

    • Max Height: 77″ / 195cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 17.6lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 3.5lbs
    • Lock Type: Lever Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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5. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 68″ Aluminum Tripod

If you want a bombproof and robust tripod at a great price, the Vanguard Alta Pro Tripod is the choice for you. Unlike some of the compact tripods on this list, this tripod has thicker leg tubes making it look and feel more secure. It comes with a ball head boasting a pan lock for better control of your camera orientation. It can extend up to 68″ tall and hold up to 15.4lbs. This tripod also has lever locks with optional spiked feet for guaranteed security when shooting outside on the loose ground. Just make sure to put them away once you go back inside to shoot the interiors ;).

    • Max Height: 68″ / 172cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: No
    • Max Weight Capacity: 15.4lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 5.5lbs
    • Lock Type: Lever Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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4. GEEKOTO 75″ Camera Tripod

Unlike your regular tripod, the GEEKOTO 75″ Camera Tripod has a rotatable center post, meaning you can use it vertically or horizontally. Couple this with a 360-degree ball head, and there isn’t a single angle you won’t be able to capture with this tripod. For the money, this could be the best tripod for real estate photography since it’s so versatile. It can extend up to 75″ with ease using the handy twist-lock legs and hold a max load of 22lbs. This tripod gives you the best of both worlds with flawless functionality and staying compact enough to take anywhere.

    • Max Height: 75″ / 191cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 22lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 4.4lbs
    • Lock Type: Twist Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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3. Manfrotto Befree Advanced 59″ Tripod

If you’re looking for a well-known camera brand, Manfrotto has been a mogul in the tripod market for decades. The Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod just happens to be fantastic for real estate photography too! This tripod has a max height of 59 inches, so it’s not the tallest on this list. With that said, it will serve you well enough for the types of angles you need as a real estate photographer. Holding up to 17.6lbs safely, there’s nothing in your camera bag this tripod can’t manage. Best of all, this tripod is available in both level and twist-lock models depending on your style. You can also get the Befree Tripod with a pan and tilt head if you prefer!

    • Max Height: 59″ / 149cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: No
    • Max Weight Capacity: 17.6lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 3.5lbs
    • Lock Type: Twist Lock or Level Lock
    • Head Type: Ball or Pan & Tilt

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2. Promaster XC-M 525K 70″ Professional Tripod

If you want a professional-grade tripod that gets things done, then look no further than the Promaster XC-M 525K Tripod. Compared to other tripods on this list, this one has more leg locks making it far easier to fine-tune its height. Rather than just two or three leg locks, this one boasts four for the ultimate control. Additionally, this tripod doesn’t cheap out on weight capacity to physical size. Weighing only 2.1lbs, the Promaster 525K can hold up to 17lbs. This makes it one of the most compact and sturdy tripods on this entire list. It has a ball head for the easy positioning and twist locks for fast extending. There is also a built-in monopod to sweeten the deal!

    • Max Height: 70″ / 177cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: Yes
    • Max Weight Capacity: 17lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 2.1lbs
    • Lock Type: Twist Lock
    • Head Type: Ball

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1. Manfrotto 290 Xtra 65″ Aluminum Tripod 

If you want the best tripod for real estate photography, then the Manfrotto 260 Xtra Tripod is what you should choose. This is a perfect combo for real estate with a max working height of 65.2 inches and a pan and tilt head. It’s easier to make fine adjustments with a pan and tilt head and get those lines looking straight, faster. This tripod has lever locks for quick adjustability and is lightweight enough to hold any DSLR or mirrorless camera with a lens. Although this tripod does sit as the heaviest on the list, it’s not the end of the world for real estate photographers. Like the other Manfrotto tripods in this list, you can get this tripod with either a ball or pan and tilt head depending on your style. Ultimately you’re getting one of the sturdiest and robust tripod legs for the money. If you need a heavier weight capacity, you can always upgrade your tripod head in the future.

    • Max Height: 65.2″ / 165cm
    • Type: Aluminum
    • Built-In Monopod: No
    • Max Weight Capacity: 5.5lbs
    • Tripod Weight: 11lbs
    • Lock Type: Twist Lock or Level Lock
    • Head Type: Ball or Pan & Tilt

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Conclusion

So if you’re looking for the best tripod for real estate photography, the ones on this list are perfect for you. With a wide variety of price ranges, types, features, and styles, you’ll find the perfect tripod for you. If you’ve just gotten your hands on a tripod and want to make the most of it, be sure to check out how to use a tripod like a professional!

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– Brendan πŸ™‚