Small “tabletop” tripods (sometimes called “tablepods” or mini tripods) are used in situations where a full sized tripod would be too bulky to carry and situations like macro home studio. It can easily be inclined right, left, up and down.
Maximum high varies from 100 to 256 cm.
The cheap tripods, generally made of aluminum tubing with an attached head and rubber feet. The head flips sideways 90 degrees for portrait and landscape and are easy to carry due to their lightweight. Oh, actually there are some tripods even cheaper because they come without heads (pro models).
More expensive tripods come with swappable heads and optional spiked feet for rough ground, and usually feature “fluid” heads (fluid head controls the horizontal position of the tripod). Also easy to carry, its my recommendation for the flexible use it allows.
The most expensive tripods of all are wooden tripods designed for use with film-based movie cameras and studio still cameras.
You can consider expensive carbon fiber tripods, used for applications where the tripod needs to be lightweight if you go seriously into photo-business.
Some tripods feature integrated remote controls to control a camera; these are usually made by the company that built the camera.
In winter the aluminium legs can get very cold so make sure you have a tripodbag (some tripods come with it).
Conclusion: no matter what you choose, it should be steady, lightweight and easy to mount in a hurry.
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