A tripod is an essential piece of equipment for a landscape photographer. Sure, you won’t always need to use it. But you’ll find yourself in situations where it can help you capture a high-quality image you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
But how do you choose the right tripod? There are hundreds (if not thousands) of options out there, with prices ranging from $10 to more than $1,000. How do you know which one will best suit your needs? Should you just go for the most expensive tripod you can find? It must be the best, right?
Why You Need a Tripod
Before we get into the best options for you, I want to go over a few key reasons why you need a tripod.
Tripods are essential for capturing razor-sharp images, especially in low-light situations where you want to keep your ISO low.
While increasing the ISO lets you use a quicker shutter speed, it can introduce unwanted grain/noise and reduce the overall quality of your image. But keeping the ISO low means you’ll need a longer shutter speed. (Yes, you can adjust the aperture. But I won’t be talking about that here).
Capturing a sharp image using a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second or slower with a handheld camera is almost impossible. It’s very difficult to avoid any camera movement which, with such a slow shutter speed, means you’ll introduce some blur into the image.