A camera-tripod will be your constant companion – it should be because you want to click those stable and stunning photographs. This means that you need to choose a tripod that is easily portable. The weight of a tripod is generally because of its legs. Indeed, the legs can be made of carbon fibre or metals like aluminium. Aluminium legs are lightweight but they can be flimsy too. Other metals can prove to be heavier. The best option for you is to opt for a carbon fibre camera-tripod – this option provides the best stability with a manageable weight. Plastic is also another option, but you are best served if you don’t opt for a tripod with plastic legs. Here there could be some stability issues. Basalt is another material that you can look at.
Focus on the legs
Continuing with the legs, there are two more elements you should look at – number of sections and locking mechanism. Usually the legs have three to four sections and some models also have pivoted legs. With the pivoted legs, you can angle the pivot outward so that you can place the camera in awkward places. However, if there are too many sections, folding and unfolding your camera-tripod can become cumbersome – something you should consider. The locking mechanism allows you to keep your tripod at a desired height – again something that could prove to be useful in certain circumstances.
Also focus on the heads
You should also consider the type of head of any camera-tripod. Here are some examples.
Ball head – this type of head is also known as ball and socket head that you can use to adjust the camera quickly and click photos at speed. This is the most popular type of head in tripods and its only disadvantage is that it may resist some finer adjustments.
Pan and tilt head – this type of head allows for horizontal pan and vertical tilt. You can loosen the head and move the camera in any direction freely. If you are into portrait shooting or wildlife shooting, this is the type of head you should look at.
Panoramic head – this type of head offers for better stability and can offer support in different ways, thus allowing you to click your photos with complete ease.
Look at Camera-Tripod guides for maximum support
Every camera-tripod that you look at has a maximum support guide – this guide tells you how much weight a tripod can hold. If you have an extremely bulky camera that is made bulkier with additional accessories, you need to look at a tripod that can support the kind of weight you are looking to put on it.
Choose from the different types of camera-tripods
The different tripod types (the names are self-explanatory) are pocket tripods, tabletop tripods, travel tripods, medium duty tripods and studio tripods. Consider the kind of photography you will do and choose your tripod accordingly. It is a great idea to have more than one type of camera-tripod with you.
Do you need a monopod?
If you feel the need, you can even opt for a monopod instead of a tripod. A monopod is a smaller accessory that allows you to pan objects better. It is smaller and lighter than a tripod and allows you to use it in situations where you cannot use a tripod.
Which camera-tripod for which use?
As mentioned above, if you really want value for your money, opt for a camera-tripod made of carbon fibre. You would obviously want to look at some of the top selling products and some of the model names to consider are Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10X Ball Head, Manfrotto 293 Carbon Fiber Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head with Folding Handles and Docooler Q666C Pro Carbon Fiber Tripod for SLR Camera Ball Head Monopod.
As a wildlife photographer, you certainly need a camera with a pan and tilt head. The bestselling models with pan and tilt head are Manfrotto 293 Carbon Fiber Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head with Folding Handles, Vanguard ESPOD CX203AP TRIPOD W/PAN HEAD and Hakuba HG-503MX 70-inch Pro Carbon Fiber Tripod - with 3-Way Pan Head.
The best models in four-legged camera-tripods are Sony Corporation VCTVPR1, Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB and Manfrotto Compact Light Travel Pack (303GET163).
As far as the best manufacturers are concerned, look at models from Manfrotto, Vanguard and Gitzo.