In this article, we will be taking a look at what we feel are the best Manfrotto tripods for Sony a6000 cameras currently available on the market right now. With the Sony A6000 being a very popular camera, it is no surprise that we often see people reaching out for advice on what accessories, particularly tripods that they should be using with it.
With Manfrotto being one of, if not the leading tripod brand in the world right now we thought that we would focus on tripods from their range that are compatible with the Sony a6000. We have tried to choose tripods that both span a range of budgets as well as have an excellent reputation within the photography community.
We know that the Manfrotto range can be a little pricey due to their high build quality so we would like to bring our Zomei Q555 Review and Zomei Z699C Tripod Review to our reader’s attention. The Zomei range is quickly gaining in popularity due to a large amount of functionality offered by the tripods as well as their budget-friendly price tags.
The Manfrotto 290 Xtra 3-Way Head Kit
First up on our list of Manfrotto tripods for Sony a6000 cameras is the Manfrotto 290 Xtra 3-Way Head Kit (Click here to check for product prices and availability). A large amount of functionality, easy to use system, and lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber construction has helped the tripod earn itself a well deserved excellent reputation within both the photography and videography communities since its release.
When de-built, this tripod measures 30.3 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches and weighs only 5.6 pounds offering you a relatively small and light tripod that is very robust and able to take more than its fair share of bumps and knocks without taking any serious damage. When built this Manfrotto offers you a maximum height of sixty-seven and a half inches with a max payload of 5.6 pounds. Your Sony a6000 comes in at around 0.76 pounds including its battery weight leaving you with around 4.84 pounds for your lens, flash, microphone or counterweights.
The image to the left shows the Manfrotto 290 Xtras ball head, sometimes called a fluid head system. You are able to quickly and easily adjust the resistance and smoothness of the heads rotations in any direction by adjusting the various dials across the tripod head.
The head also comes with a large panhandle that makes it easy to capture panoramic photographs or record any slow panning video that you may require. One thing that we would like to see on the head is an easier to read compass bearing system to help you get accurate panoramic photographs but we doubt that this will be an issue for the majority of our readers.
The image to the right shows the quick release system on this tripod. The quick release plate has a locking system to help keep your Sony a6000 mounted on the tripod and stop it accidentally releasing and potentially falling to the ground. We are happy to report that this particular system has an excellent track record and the best part is that it is so simple to use.
You can see the quick release plate is released by a single finger at the bottom of the photograph on the image to the right. A fair amount of pressure is required but this helps to reduce the chance of you accidentally releasing it by catching some clothing or a camera strap on the release button.
Once release you are able to quickly take control of your a6000 to take a different style of photo, change the battery, or whatever other task is required. If you are planning on using multiple cameras in addition to your Sony a6000 with this tripod, we would recommend that you pick up some additional quick release plates (Click here to check for product prices and availability). This will allow you to attach a quick release plate to each of the cameras you plan to use during the photography session and then swap them out on the tripod as and when required within seconds.
The image to the left shows the leg locking system on the Manfrotto 290. As you can see, it is a hybrid between the traditional twist lock and flip lock systems. The system allows you to quickly deploy the legs of the tripod as and when you require and then with a minimal effort, secure the legs in place.
We know that many photographs seem to prefer either the twist lock or flip lock leg system for their tripods. In all honesty, both have their advantages and disadvantages and this hybrid system is an attempt to blend the advantages together while leaving out as many disadvantages as possible.
In our opinion, it does blend the majority of the advantages but still has the standard disadvantage of the flip lock system of being a little slower to get in place but on the flip side, it does offer a firmer hold for your camera rig.
All in all, the Manfrotto 290 Xtra is a solid tripod that will hold your Sony a6000 without issue. It leaves plenty of spare payload weight for the majority of lenses out there and the ball head system really is excellent considering the price of the tripod. Speaking of the price, that is the only downside, although it is far from the most expensive tripod on the market, it could be considered mid ranged and those on a tight budget may want to take one of the other options below.
The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod
Although the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod compresses down to a very small size that can easily fit into carry-on luggage and backpacks while also being a very lightweight, it also offers an 8.8 pounds payload. This is due to the excellent build quality of the tripod as well as the fact it is primarily made from lightweight, robust aluminum. With your Sony a6000 coming in at only 0.76 pounds, this leaves you with just over eight pounds of payload weight left for your lens, microphone, flash, and other accessories.
This allows you to use some super telephoto lenses with your a6000 if you wish as they can often be a very heavy lens while also being popular with both travel and wildlife photography. If you use any other type of mirrorless camera then the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod should be able to take its weight as well as its accessories without issue.
The image to the left shows the leg folding system of the tripod. As you can see, rather than having the legs uses the standard telescope system of storing each part of the leg inside the larger part, Manfrotto have enabled the legs of the tripod to be folded upwards alongside the body.
This helps you reduce the storage space required for the tripod and is one of the main reasons that it is so popular within both the photography and videography niches that need to travel around to various locations.
Due to the legs of the tripod being able to essentially fold up onto themselves Manfrotto have come up with a solid leg locking system to make sure the legs will stay in the downward position when being used with your camera.
The image to the right shows this leg locking system. As you can see it is based around a three lock metal turn piece that allows you to change the way the legs lock into place.
Turning it to the right-hand side allows you to move the legs freely as required for storage, choosing the middle position locks the legs in place like you would expect for a tripod and selecting the left-hand position will allow you to move the legs to around a seventy degree angle to allow you to customize the way the tripod sits on the ground and the angles available for your camera.
The image to the left shows the leg locking system for the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod. As you can see, it is a traditional flip lock system. These leg locks are very easy to use and offer a very stable base for your camera rig.
Simply un-clip all three of the locks when the tripod leg is condensed as shown in the image to the left and extend them to the length required before closing the clips to lock the legs in place. This ensures that your Sony a6000 is firmly in place and safe when using your tripod giving you peace of mind that a leg won’t give away and cause your camera to go crashing to the ground.
All in all, this tripod is a solid choice for your Sony a6000. Manfrotto has knocked the ball out of the park and have managed to produce one of the best travel tripods currently available on the market right now. Although it comes at a mid-range price point, we feel that it is an excellent investment and will last you many years while keeping your a6000 safe and firm while photographing on location.
The Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod
As you may have guessed, the tripod is very compact and ideal for anyone who may need to travel with a reliable and sturdy tripod. The maximum payload offered by this system is 3.30 pounds leaving you with only 2.54 pounds of the payload free after you deduct the 0.76 pounds your Sony a6000 weighs. That said, if you usually use a small lightweight lens, microphone or flash then this should not be a problem.
The image to the left shows the leg lock system of the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod. As you can see, the tripod legs are based around the standard flip lock system that we covered earlier in the article.
This offers you a quick and easy way to adjust your tripod and lock its legs in place to ensure your a6000 is safe. We would like to point out that this tripod does not have the additional leg locking system at the top of the legs to lock them in the downward position.
That said, when researching this product, we could not find any reports from photographers or videographers who said that their tripod legs had given way on them during a photography session and we feel that this tripod can be on of your essential camera accessories.
The image to the right shows the head of the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod. As you can see, it has a number of different dials that allow you to tweak the smoothness and resistance of the head for your personal use.
The panhandle makes it easy for you to record any slow panning video or take any epic vista panoramic photographs when out on location too.
All in all, this is a solid budget-friendly tripod that can easily keep your Sony a6000 secure and in position when out on a photography session. As we mentioned, some functionality is missing but if you feel that you need those functions for your photography niche, simply choose either of the two tripods above.
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