Nearly every photographer has a need for a good tripod. But how do you know which one to go with? Should you go lightweight or heavy-duty? Should you get a custom ballhead? What about a gimbal?

In the video above from The Slanted Lens, Jay P. Morgan takes a look at tripods — the pros, cons and criteria he uses when deciding on a tripod.

Why do you need a tripod?

A lot of times, we photograph in low light environments. If your shutter speed is going to be longer than 1/60s, you might have a need to have a tripod.

Tripods also allow you the ability to better shoot HDR, pixel shift or panorama photographs. They’re also great when doing macro photography, allowing you to get in tight on something you would otherwise move too much with.

And finally, tripods allow you to pay close attention to your framing. You’re able to make adjustments with your subject, but keep the camera in the same position — perfect for portrait photography.

Some of Photofocus’ favorite tripods

At Photofocus, we have used some great tripods as of late! Here are some of our favorites:

Have you purchased a tripod lately? Let us know your favorites in the comments, or if you have any questions about how to best purchase your next tripod.