Starting as a YouTuber is an expensive endeavor. As you're likely more concerned about the right camera and lenses at first, I'd like to go over a few good tripods I've used that are not only durable but also budget-friendly.
A Sturdy Tripod for Your Phone - Under $20
My wife and I own a boutique together so she shoots a lot of Live videos through social media to engage with her followers. For YouTube, I use my phone as my camera on-the-go when I don't have time to get my DSLR ready.
And while you can certainly setup a PC and run VMIX or whatever other programs you want to use in order to use a DSLR and do this, I find you can't beat the flexibility of a cell phone.
The big problem with that is that it's difficult to hold up without shaking for an extended period of time.
To solve this problem I purchased this UBeesize adjustable camera stand holder. UBeesize guarantees your purchase with lifetime service.
This tripod makes your phone simple to set up on a surface or just hold with the tripod. The adjustable legs also give it additional flexibility.
Overall, it's well worth the $16 price tag and a perfect fit for your traveling bag.
Joby Gorillapod and Ballhead X
The Joby Gorillapod is the tripod of choice for even the most experienced of videographers on the go. You can quickly attach the Gorillapod to a wide variety of objects outside and level out your pictures with the ball head.
It's also lightweight. Weighing just 3 pounds the Gorillapod, along with the Ballhead X (that we recommend you purchase in a combo) can successfully secure equipment up to 11 pounds just about anywhere. What this gives you is unparalleled flexibility. That flexibility helps you to get better shots in places you never thought possible. Because it's so versatile, you'll likely be able to get rid of other heavier equipment as well.
Again, you'll want the ballhead with it as getting the perfect shot will be a lot harder without it.
This isn't the perfect solution for every situation as you still need to be careful with the legs and make sure you don't damage your expensive equipment. Also, it certainly won't hold some of the heavier camera setups out there. However, if you take your time to set it up, it'll minimize the chance that you have any issues with it.
The Joby Gorillapod is a must-have piece of equipment for those who find themselves in a variety of shooting situations and my pick for this cheap youtube audio video setup. The combo tripod with Ballhead X is a great value for just around $100. There's a newer 5k kit that certainly has stronger joints. However, it's quite a bit more money right now and the original still works great.
A Good Started Tripod - AmazonBasics 60-Inch
This next tripod is one I purchased a couple of years ago as a standing option in my office. I still use it today.
No, it's not a lightweight tripod. At around 6.6 pounds it might not be something you'd want to take with you. However, this tripod works great with my budget YouTube camera setup.
It has two built in bubble levels for keeping your shot straight and a mounting plate on the top. If you're doing YouTube videos and constantly going from the tripod to your computer, you'll like how easy it is to take the camera on and off the mounting plate and keep straight. I literally have done this around ten times a day for the last two years and have never had an issue.
Compared to other tripods in this price point, this option is as good as many as the $50 options. It has a crank riser, various locations for tightening and adjustment, and most importantly holds a heavy camera setup.
Because it's not made with lightweight materials, AmazonBasics has kept the cost down on this one. The weight and construction gives you what you need for simple shots.
Again, this the AmazonBasics 60-inch tripod is an option I'd recommend taking with you unless you had to. For those situations, it does come with a case. Most importantly, if you're looking for something basic for an office setup or the outdoors, this is a steal for just around $25.
Geekoto 77" Aluminum Tripod with 360 Degree Ball Head
This Geekoto 77" tripod is a somewhat newer option I just got ahold of in 2019. The price is right, at around $80 to $100, it has a ton of flexibility, looks great, and most importantly is very functional.
The Geekoto weighs in at just 3.37 pounds, folds to just 19 inches and expands to up to 77 inches. So, it's great for taking with you on the go. The legs can be set up in 3 different angles so it's convenient for taking a variety of shots.
Even though it weighs just over 3 pounds it's actually very sturdy. No, it's not sturdier than something that would weigh and cost a lot more than this tripod or even a Carbon Fiber variant but it's perfect for those who want a lightweight option that's affordable as well.
The 360 degree ball head is smooth and it also includes (a must for me) in the quick release.
It struggles a bit with heavier lenses; however, for me, I rarely take these on the go when I'm making YouTube videos. Still, if you're planning to take your 200-500mm lens with you and use it regularly, then this might not be the tripod for you.
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Overall, this tripod is affordable, flexible, and lightweight. I highly recommend it if you're on-the-go a lot. As I mentioned before it's not ideal for heavier setups but it's great for some of my favorite lightweight lenses.
ZoMei Z818 Magnesium Aluminum Travel Tripod
The ZoMei Z818 is a lightweight travel tripod that comes in at right around $100. Even though it doesn't cost as much as some of the professional tripods out there, it performs as well or better than many that cost more than twice its price.
The Zomei Z818 has a lightweight aluminum design at just around 3 and a half pounds. It looks fantastic in gold, blue, orange, silver grey, and black designs. The Z818 also folds up nicely to about 24 inches or goes up to 65 inches when fully extended.
In terms of what it'll hold, I've never had an issue and you should be good with anything up to around 35 pounds.
The included ballhead works fantastic. However, as its a standard Arca-Swiss mount you can even pick up the Arca-Swiss quick release plate that will allow you to keep a sling mount on while attached to the tripod. This is perfect if you use a shoulder sling for your camera.
The Zomei Z818 is a fantastic value for the money and gives you the feel of a professional tripod for a fraction of the cost. It's lightweight, easy-to-use and setup, has a lot of flexibility that makes it easy to get the perfect picture, and looks great too.
I use this, along with some portable shotgun microphones while I'm at expos and conventions.
That doesn't mean it's perfect. It's not. A better level and case are a few small complaints I have. Still, I'm very satisfied overall with the quality you get.
Manfrotto Mini Tripod
For gamers and those that use their webcams regularly, having a tripod for your webcam is ideal.
You can also use it to hold a DSLR and lens. Mine has no issues with the T7i and heavier L lenses. This is perfect for when I need to do a simple location shot and don't really feel like getting out another tripod.
Overall, the Manfrotto mini is perfect for that quick setup picture and easily slips into your small bag. I even take this with me to product expos simply because its lightweight and takes very little room. Use this, along with some budget LED lighting for the ultimate portable setup.
A Good and Cheap Phone Tripod
Your phone can be a fantastic camera when you're on the go. I regularly use it simply because I have it. And I don't always have my camera equipment.
One cheap tripod that I'd recommend you take with you in your car is the UBeesize Universal Tripod. Yes, the name is weird but it's actually both affordable and useful. In addition, it can be used with just about any phone.
A key feature for this tripod is that it comes with a Bluetooth Wireless remote. This allows you to control your phone from a distance. My wife does Facebook live videos for her boutique and this allows her to do them without having to worry about me being there.
Even though it's inexpensive, this tripod is more than what it seems. It has adjustable legs that make it stable on just about any surface. So, whether you're going for a bike ride, or need to take a picture from an odd location, you can do it.
For $11, this tripod seems well worth it for the flexibility you get with your phone. So, if you plan on using your phone regularly, I'd highly recommend it.
Budget Selfie Sticks
There are a lot of really good selfie sticks out there; however, I prefer the Fugetek FT-568 in terms of price, quality, and flexibility.
Like the phone tripod above, this model comes with a remote that allows you to control your phone's camera from a distance. It's rechargeable through USB. However, this only allows you to take pictures and doesn't allow you to start the camera. So, if you're using it for camera, you'll need to start your video prior to extending it.
Speaking of cameras, I've been able to attach portable cameras to this selfie stick and keep them stable. So, this particular model gives you more than just flexibility with your phone.
This unit is made of durable plastic and is easy to hold up with its rubber grips. You can extend it up to 49 inches and it's stable all the way.
Overall, this selfie stick comes in at under $20 and gives you some great options. It works with your Android or Apple phone and even some DSLR camera setups.
If you don't have a lot of money, start with one of the options I've listed and branch out from there. I started with a $10 tripod and a camera and gradually increased my equipment. In fact, I still have a lot of upgrades I need to do today after 5 years of making videos for YouTube.
Have a question? I'm happy to help you with article-related questions below. Also, if you're starting out on YouTube, be sure to take a look at my other related articles.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.