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Forget Manfrotto: This do-it-all tripod is so good I wound up buying two

Geekoto is a lesser-known brand, but its tripod is flexible and solid enough to meet just about any production need.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Geekoto tripod in 90 degree mode.

This is one flexible tripod.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I do a lot of video work. From filming how-to videos, to writing advice explainers, to more artistic endeavors, you name it and I've done it. Over the years, I've collected a good amount of equipment. Within that collection are a number of tripods that I've purchased, most of which now go unused because I happened upon a real winner that has served me well. In fact, I like this tripod so much, I bought one for my in-house studio and one to take with me on the go. 

Now, before you get too excited, this isn't a costly Manfrotto tripod (which I've considered purchasing, but the cost is a bit out of my budget). That particular brand can creep into the near-$1,000 mark and my budget is nowhere near that level.

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Since I typically look for equipment that's more budget-friendly, I spent a good amount of time researching the tripod that would best suit my needs and landed on one made by a company called Geekoto. This tripod has a very handy trick up its sleeve, which I've used on a number of occasions and cannot imagine having to work without now.

That magical feature allows you to work with the tripod straight up or to flip the main post 90 degrees, so you have more options. This feature alone makes the tripod worth the cost of entry. I've used the 90-degree feature on a number of occasions when the traditional upright position wouldn't work.

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The specs

Of course, you want the specs. You're a camera geek -- and here they are:

  • Center column can be used vertically (0° / 22.5° / 45° / 67.5° / 90°) or horizontally.
  • Working height ranges from 24in/60 cm to 75in/191cm
  • Can be converted into a monopod or cane
  • Bubble level makes it easy to find the balance point
  • Ball head is equipped with a 360-degree panoramic view that moves smoothly and can also be locked down
  • 25mm large diameter magnesium-aluminum alloy tube, with a load capacity of up to 22.04lbs
  • Anti-slip feet
  • Leg angles can be easily adjusted for use on uneven ground
  • Center hook allows you to attach sandbags for increased stability
  • 1/4-inch screw hole allows for the attachment of more equipment (such as magic arms, monitors, and LED lights)
  • Weighs 4.38lbs
  • Includes a quick release plate and carrying case


This tripod is effortless to use. The ball head moves so smoothly to allow outstanding pans. And with all-aluminum construction, the Geekoto is rock solid and should last quite a long time. 

You won't find cheap plastic pieces on this tripod, so every adjustment can be made reliably and securely. Even with the tripod in the 90-degree configuration, I've found it can easily support a DSLR camera. The only challenge comes when I attach my cinema camera to the tripod. Then, especially in the 90-degree configuration, I always attach something on the center hook for added stability. You certainly don't want a multi-thousand dollar camera to come crashing to the ground.

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One very cool trick with this tripod is you can invert the center column for low-angle photography. Yeah…it's that cool.

The makers of the Geekoto tripod seem to have thought of everything. You'll find position markings on the ball head, so you can make your pans more accurate and the plate is incredibly easy to work with.

The Geekoto ball head.

The Geekoto ball head is an impressive unit.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Although the Geekoto tripod might not be as light as a carbon fiber unit, the 4.3-pound weight is light enough to easily pack around while still giving you the security of a beefier unit. Given this device can serve as your all-in-one tripod, you will probably only have to pack this one piece of equipment. And if you're not filming on the go, the Geekoto will do a masterful job of helping you create brilliant video content in your home, office, or studio.

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A year or so ago when I was looking for the ideal tripod, I seriously considered buying a Manfrotto. Instead, I wound up purchasing two Geekoto units and I haven't regretted the decision. These babies have served me well (even better than I expected), and I'm certain they will help you get better results with your video efforts.

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