How Bad Is This $8.50 Photography Tripod From Amazon?

Would you use a camera tripod that costs as little as $8.50? Let's see what you get when you buy the cheapest tripod on Amazon.

Almost all photographers use stands and tripods of some kind in their practice, whether it to hold cameras, lights, backgrounds, or various other items that help in the image-making process. It's hard to think how you can manage without such an essential piece of kit. Like most products on the market, not all photography gear is made equal. Some will last you a lifetime, while other items will fall apart after a few uses. This is very true for stands, which is why photographer Adam Harig set out to test how bad the cheapest tripod on Amazon actually was, and his findings were somewhat surprising.

The video starts with Harig doing a brief unboxing of the item, where he finds that for the $8.50 he spent, he not only got the stand but also a phone holder, GoPro mount, and a Bluetooth remote for activating the shutter on both iPhones and Android phones. This is a nice little bonus that may be useful to some of us who are considering this stand for use with a smartphone. We next learn that this particular stand has a range of 20.2 inches when closed, right up to 67.1 inches when fully open. For the price, that is a decent range for various applications that photographers use day to day. Unfortunately, it's not all good news, as Harig shows us some of the limitations of the built-in tripod head as well as the general build quality. All in all, the conclusion is that this cheap stand is worth the investment as long as you don't expect too much from it in terms of movement when panning and tilting.

Having bought and used various stands and tripods over my career, I would definitely be tempted to add one of these to my camera bag. That being said, I wouldn't use it to hold anything too heavy or too valuable, as I would be worried it might fall over. I do think it would be handy to have a few of these for holding flags or cucoloris in front of my lights or for sticking in the corner of my studio when I need to capture some behind-the-scenes footage on my phone. As the old proverb goes, buy cheap, buy twice. So, be realistic about what such a stand is actually capable of before you splash the cash.

What do you make of this stand? Would you add one of these to your camera bag? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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Never ever would I install a several 1000 dollar camera/lens combo on this 8 dollar tripod

selling now of 21 bucks, wonder, I wonder

The tripod is cheap, my camera is expensive. Bad combination. Certainly!
In other news, the video is unbearably slow moving, and the presenter seems ill informed. Ugh!

You too can have your valuable camera swaying in the breeze for the low low price of $8

No one in their right mind would use this for an expensive/large camera, but it's fine for a GoPro, a simple webcam, or a small LED-light.