Most helpful critical review
274 of 320 people found the following review helpful
Cheap Not Inexpensive
on January 27, 2012
I've had several Amazon Basics' items since the line was introduced. Most have been quite good. Unfortunately this tripod wasn't one of them.
The feel is cheap and plastic-y. I wasn't expecting bearings in the pan-head but the plastic on plastic mechanisms are terrible.
I tested this item with my Kodak Z990 digital camera. It weighs approx. 21 oz. with batteries.
The camera mount has a good rubber pad for your camera to sit on and the tightening screw has a butterfly head so no screwdriver or coins are needed to attach/detach the mount from the camera. The mount attaches to the tripod with a spring-loaded release arm. There is actually very little contact area on the tripod itself (only two corners) holding the mount in place, also the release arm does NOT have a safety catch.
Pan Functionality - Fully tightened down I can still, with not much effort, swing the head from left to right. Fully loosened the motion is heavy and awkward easily upsetting the tripod's position. Tightening this knob fully actually interferes with the...
Tilt Functionality - The action is not much better here. You can lock the tilt angle into place and it does stay there. There's just as much plastic on plastic drag when in motion. The arm is generously long and comfortable to grip. The side-tilt mechanism goes reasonably easily from flat to 90°. It does not lock in place well.
Leg Functionality - The legs extend and retract with mild effort. They lock into place firmly. With just the larger leg section extended the tripod is fairly sturdy. Extending the smaller leg sections dramatically increases wobble. There is a weight/gear hook for added stabilization but it is plastic and feels easily broken. The swiveling rubber feet are innovative but only held on by friction and can easily become detached. The center stabilizer locks and unlocks easily with only a quarter turn and holds in place well. There is a serviceable carry handle attached to the leg mount section.
The tripod has two bubble levels. The first, a small button level is at the top of one of the leg mounts. The second, a tube level, is just under and inch long and is under and partially obscured by the camera mount. With a camera attached it becomes useless.
The center section extends and lowers via a crank mechanisms and locks in place with a plastic collar. There is no positive safety lock. Loosen the collar and your camera comes down rapidly on its own. Extending your camera this way will only increase the instability of this tripod.
The included carry bag reflects the quality of it's tripod. Its material is unpadded and thin. It has no extra pockets and the half-inch nylon shoulder strap is also unpadded making it rather uncomfortable to carry.
In conclusion... I wouldn't recommend this tripod even as a starter for someone just getting into photography it will only add frustration to the experience. Spend a little more and get a far better tripod or spend a little less and get something of equal quality.