MATERIAL, three materials are generally used in tripods construction:
- Aluminium is the entry level choice, it is less expensive while being robust.
- For optimum portability, best camera tripod are made of carbon fibre tripods should be preferred. They are half as heavy as aluminium, easier to handle in cold weather and better at absorbing vibrations. The downside is the higher cost labeled to them.
- Lately, basalt fibre have been utilised but some reviewers are concerned about durability and material robustness in the long run.
MAXIMUM LOADS, choose a tripod in line with your existing digital camera kit, with heavy lenses or flashguns you may have. Tripods must support a maximum loads exceeding your camera equipped with the heaviest lens and flashgun. All best camera tripod manufacturers provide a maximum loads their equipments will support.
WEIGHT, most tripods weight are in between 1kg/2.2lbs and 3kg/6.6lbs. This is an essential criteria for travellers as to avoid extra baggage allowance.
HEIGHT, there are three heights feature you need to take into consideration:
- the maximum height: which describes the overall height capability when legs and centre column are fully deployed. Note that center column introduce a lot of instability in an otherwise stable environment. Any suppliers will present the maximum height with center column down measurement, which you have to consider in accordance to your eye level.
- the minimum height: which corresponds to lower height once all legs are folded. This will become useful for those interested in macro photography or shooting at floor level.
- finally, the closed length: once the tripod is collapsed and to mach your bag size.
You should pay attention to the number of section legs, you will observe suppliers offer three, four and even sometimes five legs section. The greater the number of sections, the more compact your tripod will be. On the other side, the more sections, the greater possibility for vibration.
STABILITY, like many things in life that’s a trade-off, naturally, the heavier, the more sturdy to resist windy weather or ground vibration. On the other hand, heavy tripod will be harder to carry and lighter tripod will encourage you to use it more often.