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The Best Time Lapse Tripods in 2024 (For Time Lapse Photos)

Last updated: January 19, 2024 - 15 min read
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The best time-lapse tripod is essential for any photographer interested in time-lapse photography. There are plenty of excellent tripods on the market. But which tripod is best for time-lapse photography?

Do you need a light tripod for traveling? Do you want a heavy-duty tripod for your heavy camera? Or are you looking for something small for a compact camera? Thankfully, we’ve got all these bases covered in our article.

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 is the best for time-lapse photographers. It’s a strong aluminum tripod with a good deal of flexibility. It has a smooth-motion ball head. And it provides a sturdy base for your camera on any terrain. It offers excellent value for time-lapse photographers.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Time-Lapse Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
 

What Is the Best Time Lapse Tripod?

The best time-lapse tripod must hold your camera for long periods. And the slightest movement of your camera can ruin a time-lapse video. So that’s why you need to avoid cheap, flimsy tripods.

We’ve researched the best tripods to help you produce fantastic time-lapse videos. And we’ve found that the build material is a good indicator of strength and quality. Aluminum and carbon fiber are your best options, while you should avoid plastic.

You also need to consider the maximum load capacity. This tells you if the tripod can support the weight of your camera and lens.

You should also think about the size and weight of the tripod. You might have to hike some distance to get the best views for your time-lapse. And that means you need a lightweight and compact tripod.

The tripod head is less important with time-lapse than in other disciplines. But having a ball or fluid head can make composition easier. It allows you to get the perfect angle without much trouble.

You can see all the best time-lapse tripods in the table below. We look at each tripod in more detail in the section after. And there’s an FAQ section at the end if you want more information.

You can also check out our Total Time-Lapse video course. It’s a full and comprehensive course on time-lapse video making. And it’s the perfect place to start if you’re new to it. Even experienced time-lapsers will learn something new.

Our Top Choice
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
  • Unmatched flexibility and stability for wide-angle shots
  • Multi Angle Center Column (MACC) system for more angle possibilities
  • Instant Swivel Stop'n'Lock (ISS) system for secure and fast repositioning of central column
  • 25, 50 and 80° angles, quick-flip leg locks, and anti-shock ring
Best Travel Tripod
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
  • Three 5-section legs with adjustable angles adapt well to terrain
  • Telescopic column increases maximum height
  • Aluminum ball head features independent 360° pan lock
  • Compact size, fits in backpacks and suitcases
Best Mini Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
  • Upgraded design with 5-section, adjustable-height leg tubes
  • Panoramic panning with 360° swivel ball head and quick-release plate
  • Max load weight 11 lb / 5 kg and non-slip feet design
  • Solidly constructed with durable aluminum alloy
Best-Value Tripod
K&F Concept Lightweight Aluminum Tripod
K&F Concept Lightweight Aluminum Tripod
K&F Concept Lightweight Aluminum Tripod
  • High-quality, versatile, ball-head tripod at a good price
  • Quick-release camera plate, leg flip locks and angle adjustments
  • Large height range and extendable column
  • Lightweight and foldable with rubber feet
Best Flexible-Leg Tripod
Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit
Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit
Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit
  • Levelheaded, versatile, and lightweight tripod kit
  • 360° panning head and 90° tilt for precision
  • Supports accessories up to 6.6 lb / 3 kg for versatile use
  • Flexible rubberized rings and foot grips for stability
Best Heavy-Duty Tripod
3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0
3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0
3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0
  • Supports up to 88.2 lb / 40 kg
  • Very sturdy carbon fiber tripod system with a 5-year warranty
  • Converts into a mini tripod and monopod
  • Counterfold legs fold down to 24" / 61 cm and have rubber, replaceable feet
Best Fluid-Head Tripod
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Camera Tripod Kit
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Camera Tripod Kit
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Camera Tripod Kit
  • High-performance photo and video tripod kit in an ultracompact size
  • Fluid head for smooth pan and tilt movements
  • Compatible with Arca-Swiss and Manfrotto 501PL video plate
  • Optimal combination of portability, solidity, and easy set up

7 Best Tripods for Time-Lapse Photography

Finding the best time-lapse tripod is about pinpointing the one that meets your needs. We’ve compiled a good selection of tripods, so photographers of all types can find the perfect tripod.

We list different constructions and strengths. And we show tripods of various sizes. We also suggest a tripod for all budgets.

1. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Material
Material
Aluminum
Folded Size
Folded Size
28 inches / 71 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
68 c / 1.72 m
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
5.3 lb / 2.4 kg
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
15.4 lb / 7 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Multi-angle central column, 3 section legs and 3 angle options, flip locks, rubber feet with retractable spikes
Best For
Best For
Photographers at all levels

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 tripod is the perfect blend of build quality and value. It’s a strong aluminum tripod. It has a unique design that allows for various shooting setups. And you won’t have to break the bank to buy it.

The three legs are each made up of three leg sections. These can be adjusted to get the perfect height.

It has a maximum height of 68 inches (1.72 m), which is enough for most photographers. And the legs are easily adjusted with the quick-release flip locks.

The legs have three different spread angles. There are 25, 50, and 80-degree positions. And the 80-degree option spreads the legs wide, giving you a low shooting position.

You can remove the central column. And you can then position it horizontally or at an angle. This is perfect if you want a low-angle shot for your time-lapse. It also helps you find a sturdy position on uneven ground.

This tripod can carry anything up to 15.4 lb (7 kg). That’s more than enough for even a full frame DSLR camera. And it can hold your camera even with telephoto lenses attached. That gives you incredible freedom with equipment.

The tripod comes with a lovely ball head. It gives you 360 degrees of smooth rotation. And it has a wide range for tilting at all angles. The wide range of motion lets you get the perfect composition for your time-lapse photography.

It isn’t the most lightweight tripod at 5.3 lb (2.4 kg). But you can’t argue with the build quality. It’s strong and versatile. And it can hold any camera and lens combo. That’s why the Alta Pro 263AB 100 is the best time-lapse tripod.

 

2. Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod

Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Brand
Brand
Manfrotto
Material
Material
Aluminum
Folded Size
Folded Size
12.6 inches / 32 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
52 inches / 1.32 m
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
2.5 lb / 1.15 kg
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
8.8 lb / 4 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Ball head, 5-section legs, twist locks, carry case
Best For
Best For
Time-lapse photographers who travel

The Manfrotto Element Traveller is one of the best travel tripods on the market. It’s compact, lightweight, and comes with a carry case. Plus, It’s easy to attach it to your travel camera bag.

But Manfrotto has made no compromise in terms of quality. It’s a strong and sturdy tripod for travelers. And the aluminum body is solid yet lightweight.

Each of the three legs is made up of five sections with adjustable angles. This gives you excellent flexibility when setting up the tripod. And the simple twist locks keep each leg section in position. So you get no slippage, even over a long time.

The telescopic central column allows for extra height. It gives you a maximum height of 52 inches (1.32 m).

It’s not the tallest tripod on our list. But you can still get some creative angles for your time-lapse videos. And you get a minimum height of 14 inches (36 cm) if you need a lower angle.

With a load capacity of 8.8 lb (4 kg), it can carry all the best travel cameras. It might struggle with heavier telephoto lenses. But you won’t need a telephoto for time-lapse photography. You can use all the best travel lenses we suggest for time-lapse media.

There’s a ball head with smooth tilting and panning. And you get a quick-release plate, so attaching your camera only takes a second. All the joint locks are strong and secure. And it’s super easy to carry when folded away in its carry case.

The Manfrotto Element is the best time-lapse tripod for travel photographers who shoot time-lapses.

 

3. Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod

Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Brand
Brand
Neewer
Material
Material
Aluminum
Folded Size
Folded Size
6.9 inches / 17 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
19.7 inches / 50 cm
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
1.7 lb / 453 g
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
11 lb / 5 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Ball head, quick-release plate, bubble level, rubber feet
Best For
Best For
Time-lapse photographers wanting a small and portable tripod

The Neewer Mini DSLR tripod is perfect if you want something small. It takes up barely any space in your camera backpack. But it provides a stable base for shooting time-lapse videos. It’s also a great price for a great product.

Despite being a mini tripod, it’s actually rather strong. The aluminum build is excellent. And it has an impressive 11 lb (5 kg) load capacity.

The name says it’s a DSLR tripod. And while it can support even full frame DSLRs, it can support mirrorless cameras too. The small size also makes it ideal for GoPros and compact cameras.

All three five-section legs can be adjusted for height. And there’s a ball head for smooth 360-degree, panoramic panning and tilting. The ball head also has a lock, which allows you to fix the camera at almost any angle. 

Plus, the head has a quick-release plate attached. And this helps you attach and remove your camera quickly and easily.

The Mini DSLR tripod is a handy piece of equipment. It’s a convenient size yet strong enough for most cameras. And it has features like non-slip feet for grip on any surface. It’s the best mini tripod for time-lapse photographers.

 

4. K&F Concept 64 Tripod

K&F Concept Lightweight Aluminum Tripod
Brand
Brand
K&F Concept
Material
Material
Aluminum and magnesium alloy
Folded Size
Folded Size
18.5 inches / 47 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
63.8 inches / 1.6 m
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
2.4 lb / 1.27 kg
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
22 lb / 10 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Ball head, quick-release flip locks, quick-release plate
Best For
Best For
Photographers with a tight budget

The K&F Concept 64 is a fantastic tripod for a great price. And while it offers excellent value, it can’t be described as poor quality.

It has a robust build. The adjustment features make it a versatile tripod. And it’s strong enough for any time-lapse camera.

It has a big height range. The lowest mounting option is 18.5 inches (47 cm). And with the legs and central column extended, you get a max height of 63.8 inches (1.6 m). That gives you good shot versatility.

The flip locks on the legs make adjustment quick and painless. And with a max capacity of 22 lb (10 kg), it’s one of the strongest time-lapse tripods. It can hold full frame cameras with large lenses. And it can even hold specialist videography cameras.

The quick-release camera plate makes mounting easy. And the ball head joint gives you an excellent range of movement. It’s easy to get the perfect composition for your time-lapse.

The rubber feet give you a good grip on any surface. And it’s small enough to be strapped to your camera bag when folded down. The Concept 64 Tripod is the best value tripod for time-lapse photographers.

 

5. Joby GorillaPod 3K

Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit
Brand
Brand
Joby
Material
Material
Stainless steel, ABS plastic
Folded Size
Folded Size
12 inches / 30 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
12 inches / 30 cm
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
0.86 lb / 400 g
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
6.6 lb / 3 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Ball head, flexible rubberized legs, bubble level
Best For
Best For
Photographers wanting a variety of mounting options

The Joby GorillaPod 3K is one of the most original tripods on the market. There’s nothing else quite like it. And you still get a stable platform to shoot your time-lapse videos from. It’s also a reasonably priced piece of camera equipment.

The unique selling point is the tripod legs. They have an incredibly flexible design. And each leg has 10 joints. This allows you to position the tripod however you like.

You can stand it up straight. It can be adjusted for uneven ground. And you can even wrap the legs around poles or tree branches.

It doesn’t have the strongest weight capacity. You’re limited to cameras weighing up to 6.6 lb (3 kg). That means APS-C DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and compact cameras. It’s also good for GoPros and GoPro alternatives

The height is also limited to 12 inches (30 cm). That doesn’t come up past your knee. But the flexible legs give you more mounting options. You also get a ball head with a lock. That means you can shoot from pretty much any angle. 

The GorillaPod 3K is a lightweight tripod. It’s a fantastic piece of kit to have in your bag. And the versatility makes it one of the best time-lapse tripods for small cameras.

 

6. 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0

3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0
Brand
Brand
3 Legged Thing
Material
Material
Carbon fiber
Folded Size
Folded Size
24 inches / 61 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
73 inches / 1.85 m
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
6.15 lb / 2.8 kg
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
88 lb / 40 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Converts to a mini tripod, monopod functionality, replaceable, rubber feet
Best For
Best For
Large and heavy cameras

You won’t find many tripods stronger than Winston 2.0 by 3 Legged Thing. It’s one of the best heavy-duty tripods on the market. And it can hold any time-lapse camera with all the accessories you need.

It isn’t the cheapest tripod. But it’s worth the cost if you want pure strength. The build quality is incredibly reassuring. It’s made of solid carbon fiber. So it’s strong without being too heavy.

It has a weight capacity of 88 lb (40 kg), more than you could ever need. And it can hold the heaviest high-resolution cameras without breaking a sweat.

The legs are made up of three sections. Each can be adjusted individually. And you can even detach them completely.

You can also detach the legs and add the feet to the tripod head. This gives you a mini tripod setup. And you can attach legs to the central column to create a camera monopod.

3 Legged Thing’s Winston 2.0 gives you the most sturdy platform to work from. It won’t budge an inch, even in tough conditions. And it can hold anything you mount on it. It’s worth every penny if you need a heavy-duty tripod for your time-lapse videos.

 

7. Manfrotto BeFree Advanced Camera Tripod Kit

Manfrotto Befree Advanced Camera Tripod Kit
Brand
Brand
Manfrotto
Material
Material
Aluminum
Folded Size
Folded Size
15.7 inches / 40 cm
Maximum Height
Maximum Height
59.4 inches / 1.5 m
Tripod Weight
Tripod Weight
5 lb / 2.3 kg
Max Load Capacity
Max Load Capacity
13.2 lb / 6 kg
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Fluid head with dual handles, quick-release flip locks, ARCA Swiss video plate
Best For
Best For
Time-lapse photographers who want a fluid head tripod

The Manfrotto BeFree advanced camera tripod kit is the best fluid-head tripod. It’s a fantastic option with an excellent build quality. And it’s topped with a fluid head, making it one of the best video tripods.

The fluid head gives you smooth motion on both panning and tilting. And the two handles give you excellent control, so you can move while filming. That isn’t much use for time-lapse videos. But it does help you get the perfect composition.

The main tripod body has an aluminum construction. And it also has a built-in bubble level, so you can always keep it level.

Plus, each leg has three adjustable sections. The flip locks make it easy to adjust the legs for the perfect setup. And the central column can be raised to reach the max height of 59.4 inches (1.5 m).

The head is fitted with a pro-level ARCA Swiss video plate. This keeps your camera securely attached. But you can remove it quickly when you need to. The tripod also has rubber feet for extra stability.

The BeFree advanced camera tripod kit is the best choice for videographers. It’s exactly what you need, whether making films, music videos, or time-lapse videos.

 

FAQs About the Best Time-Lapse Tripods

We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions on time-lapse photography. This extra information will help you find the best tripod for time-lapse photography.

Do I Need a Tripod for Time-Lapse Photography?

Yes. It’s practically impossible to make a time-lapse without a tripod. Shooting a time-lapse video can take minutes or even hours. The camera mustt be in the same position for the entire duration. And the tiniest movement can ruin your time-lapse video.

That’s why you need a strong tripod for time-lapse videos. You need a tripod that holds the camera in the exact position over a long period. And it has to hold its position in poor weather like wind and rain.

Camera monopods are not good for time-lapse. They provide good stability when taking single pictures. But you can’t keep them in position long enough for time-lapse photography.

Camera gimbals are another gadget time-lapse photographers should avoid. They give you steady footage when filming. But time-lapse videos require rock-solid stability for long periods.

A time-lapse shot of car light streaking across a desert road with silhouettes of cactuses
© Frankie Lopez (Unsplash.com)

What Is the Best Frame Rate for Time-Lapse Videos?

Picking the best frame rate depends on the subject of your time-lapse video. If you’re shooting something that happens quickly, you need a faster frame rate. If you shoot something over a long time, you need a slower frame rate.

Using an intervalometer is the best way to get perfect time-lapse results. Many cameras have them built-in, so you don’t need any additional equipment.

But you can also buy them as a separate photography gadget. The JJC TC-80N3 is the best shutter remote with an intervalometer.

You can also use the time-lapse calculator on Photopills. It’s free to use. You can use it remotely on your smartphone. And it does all the difficult calculations for you.

 

Which Camera Is Best for Time-Lapse Videos?

There are plenty of time-lapse cameras to choose from. The Panasonic Lumix S5 II has some of the best time-lapse features built-in. And that includes an intervalometer for intervals of up to 99 minutes. And the results are 6K time-lapse videos.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is another top time-lapse camera. It’s more compact than the S5 II. But it still has high-quality time-lapse features as standard. There’s a built-in intervalometer. And it produces 4K time-lapse videos in-camera.

Check out our full list of the best time-lapse cameras.

What Is the Best Software for Editing Time-Lapse Videos?

Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing software right now. And it has the best features for editing and creating time-lapse videos. You can try a free 7-day trial.

We also recommend Adobe Photoshop. This program might offer more if you want to edit stills and other media. But it still has great options for time-lapse.

There are plenty of choices when selecting the best photo editing software. But it’s hard to look past Adobe software as being the best for editing time-lapse videos.

 

Conclusion: The Best Time Lapse Tripod

The best time-lapse tripod is essential for creating breathtaking time-lapse videos. Time-lapse is a tricky art form to master. But having a great tripod that keeps your camera in position gives you a big advantage. The camera can’t move an inch. So you need a strong and stable time-lapse tripod.

The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 is our top choice as the best time-lapse tripod. It’s a durable piece of equipment. And it gives you a wide range of mounting options. So you can create time-lapse videos in any environment. The price tag is more than reasonable. And it’s a must-have for time-lapse photographers.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Time-Lapse Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod Kit w/Ball Head
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod
Neewer Mini DSLR Tripod