Smartphone photography has come a long way in the last decade. Nowadays, almost every flagship has a camera with multiple lenses, with which you can take creative and impressive photos. But even if you don't have the latest and greatest smartphone, you can use your photography game with a telephone tripod.
In this article we explain what they are, how they should be used and which are the best, depending on your needs.
- 1 What are telephone stands?
- 2 Why should you use a smartphone tripod?
- 3 Which smartphone stand is best for you?
What are telephone stands?
Tripods are stands with three folding legs that are designed to hold your photography equipment. They are reinforced around a center post for maximum stability and are equipped with a smartphone or camera mount on top, as well as various connections that allow you to turn and tilt your device. The biggest difference between smartphone and DSLR tripods is that the latter are usually larger and more robust, because the weight of the camera and extra lenses is usually much higher than that of a smartphone. However, the main functions they perform remain the same: stabilize your device and allow you to take well-framed images from different angles.
There are different types of telephone stands:
- The most common and versatile is the traditional tripod with a smartphone holder. It has folding legs and can be made from a variety of materials including wood, plastic, carbon fiber or aluminum. This smartphone stand is also the most versatile but is often the most expensive and toughest of the bunch.
- The second type are smartphone stands with flexible / folding legs. They are smaller, lighter and easier to carry. We will discuss in which shots they can best be used in a later part of the article.
- Finally we have table models, also called table pods. They are the smallest smartphone tripods – they often don't even have legs because they have to be placed on a flat surface as their name suggests. Tablet stand stand models for tablets, however, can be great for vlogging and certain photos, which we will discuss later.
Why should you use a smartphone tripod?
If you are just starting to take pictures of smartphones, you might ask yourself how a tripod for a smartphone can help you. Maybe you have a steady hand and the stabilization alone does not seem worth it. Yet the truth is that a tripod can take your photography game to the next level with beautiful photos and video that you could never take in your hand. Let us bring down the main reasons.
We have all seen these beautiful pictures in which the lights of passing cars are transformed into currents of light flowing across the street. This is achieved with the help of long-term exposure. Making such recordings is possible via your smartphone & # 39; s Manual or pro mode, but for really great results you need a smartphone stand. Why is that? Most photos are taken with a shutter speed of 1 / 600th of a second and 1 / 4000th of a second, but with photos in low light this can be around 1/200. Long exposure times, on the other hand, require the shutter to stay open for at least a few seconds, while the phone is completely stable. This is usually not possible when you hold your smartphone in your hand. Even the quietest hands move slightly, which in turn can result in a blurry shot. With a tripod and a bit of practice, you can also surprise your friends with beautiful pictures with long exposure times.
Night shots or low-light shooting
As with long exposure photos, using slower shutter speeds is one of the best ways to take great photos in low light or at night. Even if you do not use manual mode for night shots, but rather for night mode, which you can find on most devices in your manufacturer's camera app, this is definitely not perfect. That is why again a tripod for smartphones is your best partner if you want to take breathtaking night photos & # 39; s outside the bright lights of the city. It helps in reducing noise and blurring. Even a Pixel 3 or 3 XL with its amazing Night Sight, which uses powerful built-in software and mixed lighting, can benefit from using a telephone tripod. Moving objects are one of the few things (if not the only one) that Night Sight has difficulty with, but with a telephone tripod you can elevate your Pixel night photos from large to great.
Zoomed photo & # 39; s or video & # 39; s
If there has been an area in the last few years that has improved enormously in smartphone photography, then zooming is. We now have great technology such as OPPO & # 39; s 10x hybrid zoom and the stunning 50x digital zoom lens of the Huawei P30 Pro. However, in videos that show the awesome potential of such a technology, you can clearly see that even with the slightest movement the framed photo is flying at great distances. To prevent this, for example, if you want to photograph every gargoyle on a Gothic cathedral, a smartphone stand with a swivel ball head is a must.
For better framing and panorama & # 39; s
Panoramas also benefit enormously from being shot on a smartphone with tripod – your shots will be much more stable with fewer cropped areas. However, a tripod for your smartphone can also make you more creative. This allows you to take photos from a large number of different angles, which would be impossible or impractical if you have your device under control. Some let you take photos at ground level without having to roll around in the dirt, for example. Setting the tripod also gives you time to think about your recording and what you want to frame, so that you can capture the right mood and mood you want.
With a smartphone stand you can think more creatively and you can take better pictures with a framed photo.
Probably one of the best use cases for tripods is to photograph any type of video. There is nothing worse than vibrating recordings that prevent you from concentrating on something that is shown and said in a video. If you opt for a lighter telephone stand, it can not only be used for recording videos with timelapse, but also for vlogging while you are on the move and much more.
Which smartphone stand is best for you?
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of telephone stands that are suitable for different needs. We will review the three most common, explain what they are best at and recommend the best we have found of each type.
Stands with tabletop
These stands are the smallest of the set and, as their name suggests, are best suited for use on a flat surface. Some of them are designed for smartphones, while for others you have to buy a separate tripod connection for smartphones. They are usually light and easy to carry, but they shine best when used at home. Are you an aspiring influencer or streamer? Do you want to make great selfies without your arm in the rose? Then tabletop stands are your best choice. They can also be used for recording time lapses. If you have a great view from your window or balcony, simply place your smartphone in your tripod and film your way, or the fall leaves turning red and yellow or the winter snow slowly covering the landscape. Table tripod stands are also ideal for vlogging, so if you want to start your YouTube career with a limited budget, you can't go wrong with one.
But which table model tripod should you buy? We recommend the Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod stand. It only weighs 7.8 grams and has a maximum height of 16.5 cm or 6.4 inches. It is also supplied with a universal smartphone clamp. It is sturdy, portable and can be used as a selfie stick when it is folded. The best part? It only costs $ 24.90. And if you already have a smartphone clamp or mount, you can get it for $ 16.92.
Octopus-type tripod with flexible legs
These tripods, often called octopus tripods, get their nickname from their flexible legs. They can be folded and adjusted in various ways and used to wrap objects around. They form the middle ground between the tabletop and the more traditional tripods. They are light and portable, but usually have a lower maximum height than traditional tripods. Nevertheless, they are much more versatile than their cousins on tabletop. You can use them at home to blog or take selfies, but you can also take them on a trip. You can wrap them around tree branches, fences, poles and other objects to get the perfect group photo for your vacation and much more.
The tripod with flexible legs that we would recommend is it JOBY GorillaPod 1K set. It can be used with both cameras & smartphones, and the stand and the headset are both included (although you can only buy the stand). It is incredibly durable, but also portable with a weight of 0.43 lbs. Its loading capacity, on the other hand, is 2.2 lbs, which means that you can use it with a variety of devices, including tablets, if you want. The JOBY GorillaPod 1K set usually costs around $ 50, but at that time from writing, you can find it on sale for just $ 28.00, which is a total stable. However, it has one drawback – it does not come with a smartphone tripod mount. You will have to purchase one separately, but there are many budget versions such as the Manfrotto Universal Smartphone Clamp, which costs around $ 10.
We also recommend viewing Square Jellyfish & # 39; s Metal Smartphone Spring Tripod Mount. It is a bit more expensive than most for $ 16.95, but it is very durable and flexible – thanks to a dial on the back you can place your phone in different angles.
When it comes to photography, you can't go wrong with a traditional tripod. They offer the most stability and height and can be used to film or take photos in almost any situation. They are best for loss of time, landscape photos & group portraits. However, they are usually more expensive than their tabletop or octopus counterparts and are often not supplied with a smartphone holder or clip. That's why you don't have to spend a lot of cash if you only want to take standard holiday photos. Traditional tripods can also be heavier unless they are made from light materials such as carbon fiber, which will further increase their price. But if photography – smartphone or otherwise – is a serious hobby of yours, they are hard to beat.
This is why we recommend checking out Ravelli & # 39; s aluminum tripods. The brand offers five models, each with a different maximum height. The highest is the 72 inch video tripod, but for beginners we recommend the 61 inch Ravelli APLT4. It only costs $ 24.96 and is easy to transport. It collapses to 19 inches, weighs 2.1 kg and comes with a carrying case. It also has rubber feet and leg locks, making it easy to position. The best part, though, is that Ravelli APLT4 comes with a universal smartphone holder. It is one of the best entry models that you can buy.
Note: we must mention that there are many all-in-one tripods that can be used as a selfie stick and a tripod, but their quality and durability can be questionable. The same applies to so-called universal Bluetooth remote controls that often have problems connecting to your smartphone. This is why we have excluded them from our list.
These are our recommendations for using a smartphone tripod and some of the best that you can buy. Have we missed great products or tips? Let us know in the comments and share your experiences with a tripod with us.