well... as with everything. you get what you pay for.
thats why some tripods cost 300 and others cost 3000
Good leaders don't just lead their men to victory, they lead them home.
Consider a good tripod (be mindful of both brand and model) as I've a very bad (and sad) experience last weekend.
The 'clip' that catches the 'quick snap-on plate' gave way and the entire camera fell onto the floor [pardon my lousy definition of the tripod parts]. My len broke and camera body got bad scratch marks (luckily still working). BTW, camera and len are very very new...
I've seldom use my tripod, probably this is my tenth time (or less). Neither have I brought it outdoor. It just failed without warning and I was wondering does tripods need maintenance???
Just my sad story.....
my tripod weights a ton and it comes with no carrying bag so I have to really 'carry' it around. Talk abt a work out I tell you that.
I think basic rule of thumb - Heavy is good, ball head or not, not like you need speed in turning the cam anyway. Just my thoughts.
Nikon D700|D70IR : NIKON 14-24 f2.8 : NIKON 24-70 f2.8
As pointed out by everyone here... in summary it goes like this:
STABLE, CHEAP, LIGHT -> Choose any two with some compromises.
The 3rd will not fit into the equation.