A good tripods is an essential piece of kit for most photographers. Landscapes, low light conditions, studio portraits and time-lapse photography all require a robust tripod to keep your camera steady.
From a technical perspective, the heavier and more robust the tripod the better. They are tools designed for maximum stability. However, you are the poor bugger who has to lug the tripod around, so make sure it isn't so big and heavy that you are unwilling or unable to use it.
What to look for in a camera tripod
Aside from weight and sturdiness, the head mount is the next most important feature of a camera tripod. manufacturers such as Manfrotto have been refining heads for years and have four basic types.
- Ball head mount
- Panoramic heads
- Three way heads
- Geared head
Geared heads are really designed for larger format cameras and aside from specialist, most photographers opt for a ball head mount.
A panoramic head moves the axis of rotation forward from he body to the camera lens, allowing stitched panorama photos to be blended together more easily.