Well, I received my tripod and I must say, it’s just perfect. I’m really happy that I spent the extra green to get one of the good ones. It’s better to do things once.
When I was looking through Amazon for tripods, I found tons of them for $15, $20, $30 or slightly more. The reviews for those tripods were okay, but the general consensus was that while they were sturdy enough, they didn’t offer the smooth panning that you need while taking video. The more expensive models handled video much better. Now that I have the tripod in hand, I can attest to this.
I bought this “SLIK PRO 700DX Professional Tripod with Panhead” for about $139 through Amazon. I got free shipping, which helped, but I’ve realized that purchasing camera equipment through amazon is like purchasing a stock. The price goes up and down and I usually get stuck paying more. FYI – the camera and lens kit is already down about $150. I put these things out of my mind because I’ll go nuts if I think about them too much.
The tripod is very solid and the pan head is as smooth as butter. The quick release plate is also much more substantial than I thought it would be. I was used to the little table top tripods I got a while ago. There are also a few features that I’m sure will come in handy, such as the way the legs fold out really wide for lower shots.
I took a bunch of pictures of the tripod and camera setup for you. I know that when I was looking around for this stuff, I looked at a bunch of photos, but didn’t really find any nice, up close ones. I hope these can help someone.