Several manufacturers, like Gitzo and Manfrotto, make carbon-fiber tripods that are perfect for travel, but cost more. If weight is an issue, then the benefits outweigh the cost. While aluminum tripods are heavier, they tend to cost less, so you may be able to save a bit of money if you don’t require the lighter load.
If you want to shoot low to the ground, you’ll want a tripod with legs that splay or a specialized tripod like the Kirk Low Pod. Compact and sturdy, the Low Pod allows you to shoot low or on a tabletop.
Most tripods don’t come with a head, so you’ll have to purchase it separately. This can add to the expense, but it also will give you a chance to choose what kind of head works best for you.
Pan-and-tilt heads are less expensive than ballheads, but ballheads afford you quick and smooth angling of your camera into any position. Some ballheads, such as the Slik AF-1100 Trigger-Action Digital Ball Head, have a trigger grip that allows you to change positions by simply squeezing and releasing a handle.
Consider purchasing a head that features a quick-release plate. These are efficient, as they let you take your camera on and off the tripod quickly, and can be another asset when you’re moving about and lining up different shots.
You may want to look into easy-to-use panorama heads and clamps. A cost-effective model made by Nodal Ninja will replace the head on your tripod, while Really Right Stuff’s Panning Clamp is a quick-release that replaces the clamp on your ballhead, allowing you to easily take your camera on and off your tripod. LCD Hoods If you’re shooting outside, it’s usually difficult to see your images on your LCD screen. Instead of moving to a shaded area, utilize an LCD hood. This useful tool blocks out the light, allowing you to see your images more clearly. Additionally, these hoods are inexpensive. Just make sure you purchase the right size for your screen.