I don’t make it a habit of endorsing products, mostly because I’m pretty picky and it really takes something to stand out to make me want to attach my name to it. I’ll make an exception for the Sunpak TravelLite Pro tripod.
What’s special about it?
- Solid yet not overweight – It is something I can carry in my camera bag or slung over a shoulder without thinking I’m slogging around dead weight. It just feels solid, well-machined, stable.
- The twist locks are trivial to set at any height, and combined with two locking leg angles it can be positioned on just about any terrain.
- Ball head for easy movement in any direction, including a notch to flip the camera over into vertical orientation.
- Smooth panning
- With two vertical column extensions, when fully extended I can view at eye level, something I can’t do with the cheapo kit tripods I had (I’m over 6′ tall).
- A hook on the bottom of the center column to allow hanging a stabilizing weight bag.
About the only negative I can think of is that the built in bubble level is too small to be effective at truly leveling the camera.
The TravelLite tripod probably isn’t suitable for someone using a large (heavy) telephoto for wildlife photography, but not being equipped with any of those monsters it isn’t an issue for me.
I’ve seen it offered for $100 online, same price I was able to pick mine up for at Best Buy where I stumbled across this sturdy fella. For someone looking for a step up from a cheapo pre-packaged tripod this is one to definitely consider.