Let's talk tripods.
Until someone figures out how to develop image stabilization that works well in all situations, photographic tripods will still be around. In low light and for shots where you want a level horizon, a tripod is essential. Yeah, you can level the horizon later on in most photo editing software, but you'll need to crop and you'll lose frame width.
The place where I see tripods least often used, and most often needed, is in video tours for real estate. Going handheld with a videocamera when shooting a home tour is pretty unwise. No one enjoys watching a jittery, bouncy image of a home on YouTube.
It's bad enough that most real estate agents don't own or know how to use a digital SLR camera and rely instead on mediocre point-and-shoot photos. But many of the agents I know don't even own a photographic tripod!
Let's start with the basics. There are great tripods available for small dollars, particularly if you look on eBay or Craigslist. There are plenty of good manufacturers to choose from, including Velbon, Bogen and Manfrotto.
Photo tripods, top to bottom: Quick-Set, Velbon CX300, Kenlock 2000SQ, Flip Mino HD
I still use an old Quick-Set Elevator Senior, with a Husky pan head that belonged to my dad. He used it as a professional photographer with his vintage Speed Graphic and it was stiff & heavy enough to handle the weight. The Quick-Set works fine with my fairly heavy Canon 5D Mark II and a telephoto lens.
Get a tripod/pan head combo with a built-in bubble level. One good reason is that you need a level environment if you're going to take videos and pan (swivel) the camera across a 45-180 degree path. Another is that you won't need to do as much editing and cropping if you start with level images.
Sometimes you just need a monopod in order to set up a shot fast, without worrying about camera shake. In a pinch, you can grab two or three of those extra-thick, extra heavy mailing rubber bands and gather the tripod legs together. It works!
My Kenlock 2000SQ is a "shortie" that works well on a tabletop. And my favorite for video photography with the Mino HD is the little Flip tripod below:
It's under six inches in length and won't hold much weight, but it's ideal for the Mino. The cable legs hold their position pretty well under the light load of a Flip video camera.
I have other more high-quality tripods at home back in Minneapolis, but these are the ones I use in the field. I'm not going to use my expensive Manfrotto 546B tripod and 504HD pan head in an environment where the thing may fall thirty or forty feet onto a bunch of shoreline boulders or into Lake Superior!
My point is that you can get great results out of an inexpensive tripod if you know what you're doing. My Velbon CX 300 is a bit lightweight, but it's very portable and perfect for lugging around on Madeline Island.
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