While it is true that such a tripod will support a heavier payload and is less prone to unintended bumps and jiggles, it is equally true that heavy duty tripods are, well, heavier, and therefore less convenient to pack around. They tend to place a much greater weight on one’s pocketbook as well. At under $200 and able to heft a payload of up to 14.5 lbs. the 3Pod V3AH video tripod by Flashpoint may prove to be a suitable alternative to its heavier, pricier cousins.
The tripod features black anodized aluminum legs for strength, lower weight and scratch resistance. With three leg sections the tripod is extendable to 61-inch and retractable to just 30-inch for portability. Flip-locks make it quick and easy to release and secure the legs while an aluminum mid-level spreader adds to the tripod’s overall stability. The legs are tipped with floor-friendly rubber feet that retract to reveal spiked feet for greater grip on more challenging surfaces.
The V3AH comes with a 2-way bowl-mounted fluid panhead. Its bowl mounting combined with center release knob and bubble level are well suited to making quick and accurate setups. Panning and tilting actions are very smooth due to the head’s fluid action. Locking levers can be used to control resistance as well as lock the head in place along either or both axes. The unit includes a quick release camera plate and zippered carrying case with handles.
Contributing Editor Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.