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Old Sep 5, 2009, 3:25 PM   #1
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Default Which Tripod I should buy


I have recently bough a Canon SX10 IS. I am looking for a tripod which is not too expensive, but not too cheap either. I have looked some tripods and prepared the following list:

1. Sunpak 620-080 8001UT
2. Velbon DF-60
3. Dolica AX620B100 (I am little biased towards this)

I want suggestions from experts on the facts like:
- Whether these are compatible to my camera?
- I am not a professional; rather an amateur. Can anyone among these suffice my needs?

Please help.

Thanks and Regards,
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Old Sep 5, 2009, 3:42 PM   #2
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Default Compatible Tripod


I have recently bough a Canon SX10 IS. I am looking for a tripod which is not too expensive, but not too cheap either. My budget is something around $50. I need suggestions on a compatible tripod for my camera

Please help.

Thanks and Regards,
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Old Sep 5, 2009, 3:45 PM   #3
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I see you've started two threads on this subject. I'll try to merge them together for you, so that all of the answers are in the same place.

Note that we have a dedicated Tripods and Heads Forum setup that you may want to browse through (and I'll move your thread to that forum for you).

BTW, Welcome to Forums and congrats on the new camera.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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Morning Niranjan, Well there are probably two camps of thoughts on tripods that I have come across. The first is do not buy a cheap tripod, since you will just go out and have to buy a more expensive one later. The second is without buying an inexpensive one, what features should an upgraded tripod have, what appeals to me in a tripod, and what features do I absolutely hate. Also, just how often will you use it?

Its the classic chicken and egg problem.....

With that thought in mind, a number of years ago, I got a cheap one, that actually worked pretty well, but it did have issues. Yes, I now have a much better one, with a much better head, and paid more that I ever thought I would ever spend for the combination. The first couple of years I used the tripod infrequently, but it was very nice to have. Then I started getting into evening and night ambient light photography (citiscapes, etc.), where a tripod was an absolute necessity. So, starting out inexpensively does have its drawbacks, but (in my opinion) helps out in terms of deciding what you actually need and want.

On your first question - Whether these are compatible to my camera? - on the bottom of your camera there is a standard threaded hole, that is used to attach the camera to the tripod.

On your second question - Can anyone among these suffice my needs? - they all will work. The question is which one will work best for your needs?

So here are some quick items to think about - essentially what you think you would like....
Size - The size question comes in two types 1) You would like a tripod that would place the camera near your eye level standing, so based on your height, that will determine how tall the tripod should be when extended. 2) How compact should it be when collapsed? This is essentially a travel question - does it need to go into a suitcase when traveling? This determines the number of leg sections - 3 or 4 sections in terms of how small it needs to be.

Weight - How much should it weigh? Usually the heavier, the more stable it will be. However you need to carry it around, and thus lighter is better to carry. Probably a couple (2 to 3) of pounds.

Weight Capacity - How much weight can the tripod hold? You do not want to put a $1,000 camera with a $2,000 lens on a $20 tripod. Also, you do not want to put a 3 lb camera with a 4 lb lens, on a tripod that can only hold 10 lbs. max. You usually want at least a 2x to 3x margin.

Physical Camera/Lens Size - With a small camera, P&S or superzoom this usually does not apply. However with a dSLR and a large lens (telephoto), then you have some physical size concerns, weight and balance distribution, mechanical support, etc.

Leg Sections - 3 leg sections or 4 sections. 3 leg sections will be more stable but larger, while 4 will collapse to a smaller size but will not be as stable.

Material - Aluminum is heavier, Plastic is lighter (more flimsy), while carbon fiber is lighter, much stiffer, will dampen vibrations better, however is VERY expensive.

Leg Locks - These are the mechanisms that lock the leg sections in place. There are two types used 1) clips or flip levers, and 2) twist type. This tends to be a personal preference.

Heads - This is the assembly on top of the tripod legs on which the camera sits, and lets you position the camera (aim it) for the picture. There are generally two types - 1) a ball head [Dolica] 2) a pan head [Sunpak and Velbon]. This is usually a personal preference.

Camera Connection - Usually referred to as a release plate. This is a mechanical design that screws into the bottom of the camera with a standard bolt, and then is mechanically attached to the head in some way. There is a wide variety of designs here. On the more expensive heads ($100 to $500 just for the head - the tripod is extra), you usually buy the release plate separately to match the type of connection on the head.
So here is my take on your selections (your camera weighs 560g or 1.25 lbs) -
Sunpak 620-080 8001UT - 3 leg sections, flip leg locks, hold 9+ lbs, pan head, has a center section crank, a release place, weighs 4 lbs, 60 inches tall.

Velbon DF-60 - 3 leg sections, flip leg locks, hold 9+ lbs, pan head, has a center section crank, a release plate, 64 inches high, 24 inches folded, weighs 4 lbs.

Dolica AX620B100 - 4 leg sections, flip leg locks, hold 13+ lbs, ball head, has a center section twist lock, a release plate, 62 inches tall, weighs 4 lbs.
The Sunpak and Velbon are pretty much the same. Note that both Sunpak and Velbon have models that are similar to the Dolica - just go to their respective websites. Personally, I like the Dolica concept a bit better, due to the 4 leg sections (smaller for traveling and packing - but does have a bit less rigidity). Has the twist lock center section. Has the ball head and can support a heavier camera, which translates into a larger weight margin.

The other thing I like to do is to go to Amazon for each of the products and read what not the 5 star reviews say, but the 1, 2 and 3 star reviews say about the product.

So, hope that helps....
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 3:02 PM   #5
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Hi Interested_Observer,

Thanks a lot for the explanation. It indeed helped me a lot to understand Tripod basics and make a better decision on buying one.

As you are mentioning to read lower star rated reviews (1/2 star) on web sites that sell Tripods, I am doing exactly this since yesterday. And none of my selected products really appeal to be a better one. A lot of guys complaint of broken parts after dew days of usage. And stability of all the chosen products were a big question.

However, I am not a professional like you. I have a big interest in photography; so, I might not be needing a tripod the way you might be needing. But, as per your suggestion (a cheap one can cost me more in future), I tried to look for a little better products like Manfrotto and somehow, found the following deal. Could you please verify if it is a good one? And does it contain the release plate with it or I have to buy separately? The product description somehow doesn't provide the details.


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Old Sep 6, 2009, 4:24 PM   #6
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Hi Niranjan,

I am nothing close to a professional photographer - I am an just an engineer (for going on 40 years now), who likes to take photos.

I architect and design systems for a living, so it is pretty easy for me to tear things apart and compare them area by functional area.

My first tripod was similar to the Sunpak and Velbon. They are not really bad choices at all.

You have a relatively light camera with no interchangeable lens, so weight or physical size is not really an issue. To tell you the truth, just about anything will be just fine.

Figure out what features you like, keep the weight in say - the 2 to 3 lb range, figure out what head type you like and the type of leg mechanisms appeal to you. Go to Best Buy and take a look at some of the tripods there to see what works for you and what does not. Put all of your likes and dislikes together, then go shopping for something that fits the bill on the web. I think that your $50 budget is just fine.

You will use it maybe 25% of the time (at most), and everything will be ok. It will last - 4 years or so, depending on the amount of use. Everything is a compromise - don't sweat it.....

Its nothing to go broke over. Just take pictures and have fun!

You might want to look in to getting an external shutter release - they are cheap, so that you can trigger the shutter without touching the camera - thus less vibration.

On your question - Manfrotto is a very good name. The price is good. It really depends on two things 1) your height - if you are tall, this might not be tall enough for you, and 2) the head is a 3 way pan head with the handle. If you do not like the 3 way pan head with the handle, they probably have another model - same tripod with what ever type of head you like.


Last edited by interested_observer; Sep 6, 2009 at 4:30 PM.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 4:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great info interested_observer! I have been looking for one for my Olympus E410 (lees than 1.5 lbs w/lens).

I think I'll give the Dolica AX620B100 a shot.

- Hiro
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 6:30 PM   #8
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There is quite a lot of information on tripods out there. This may not be perfectly correct, but inexpensive tripods usually are listed under travel or small tripods. Also look under tripod comparisons or tripod reviews. So here is some information I have found. I figure I might as well post it here - it is not doing anyone any good in my bookmark file....





hope this helps....

Last edited by interested_observer; Sep 6, 2009 at 6:55 PM.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 11:39 PM   #9
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Hi to All,

Thanks for all your inputs. The links provide a lot of valuable information. And with all the information I collected, it seems an average tripod would cost me around 70 to 80 bucks. So, I am going ahead with Cullmann Nanomax 260 "http://www.adorama.com/CUN260.html". Its not a ball head. But cheap ball head tripod come with a lot of problems. If someone is interested in ball head tripod, don't fix the budget below $100. Any good ball head tripod will cost around $150.

And hey "interested_observer". You may not be a professional; but what I believe is professionalism doesn't only reflect in your work, but also in a mindset to help others when needed. You may not be a professional photographer; but you didn't hesitate to share your experiences. That's where true professional character comes in. BTW, I am also an engineer; a software engineer working as a technical architect. So, more or less I solve similar problems that you do; though in a different field.

Thanks for the information. I will share my experience with the new tripod that I am going to order in a couple of days.

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Old Sep 8, 2009, 10:49 PM   #10
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Go visit our Brick & Motar friends....

Wally World, Worst Buy and related places.


Because they stock and DISPLAY el cheapo tripods.

Good chance for you to look and feel at what you might be buying.

And you might find something to suit your needs.

Personally I bought a $30 Velbron from Wally to use with my old point & shoot camera. The tripod works for what it was designed to do and was more than suitable for the camera.

Would I let my heavy dslrs rest on that $30 tripod? Not in this life time.
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