on July 22, 2009
I use this to mount my older Hi8 digital camcorder for recording beach volley ball tournements and it holds up well to the strong on shore breeze. This thing is made of alumninum and is very light for its size. Its also strong, I set up a Nikon DSLR and hooked my bookback in the middle of the tripod as counter weight. It was holding at least 15lbs. You can point it in any direction and orient the camera how you like. big plus for me because i like to point my camera at the sky.
the locking mechanisms allow you to control how tight or loose you want to be able to move your camera very well. at the appropriate tightness, you can move the camera very smoothly and it will stay in place when you let go, but make sure its not too loose. all the tightning nuts can all be adjusted by hand too, including the piece that connects to the camera(ive seen some tripods that require a screwdriver).
this tripod is sturdy, and can be set up very quickly. and it packs up nicely. i can attach it to my rebel camera bag with no problems.
Im very happy with this tripod.
on February 26, 2010
- Plenty sturdy for point and shoot and small video cameras. I haven't tested with a big SLR, but it seems like it would do fine and has a hook for a weight as well.
- Easy to use quick release plate
- Tall enough for most purposes. I'm about 6'2" and have no problem using it.
- Good features and easy to use - level, pan and tilt lock, portrait mode, crank elevator with lock (not sure what this is actually called).
- Very light
- Folds up to a pretty compact size
- Good price
- Carrying handle (not really needed IMO)
- Comes with a bag
- The locks for sliding the legs in and out are a bit sticky. It does make it seem the thing isn't going to collapse, but they're not very easy to open.
- One of the clamps broke and would not fasten. Fortunately it was just the plastic piece that provides resistance to the clamp, so I stuffed some pipe cleaner into the space and now it works again. This doesn't inspire a lot of confidence though.
- I could not find a Dolica spare quick release plate from anyone. I finally found a compatible one from a different manufacturer, it's a Sunpak SP620-731. That plate is bigger and doesn't seem quite as high quality as the Dolica one, but it fits and it's inexpensive.
- I emailed Dolica about a spare QR plate and they never responded, so I can't really say anything good about their customer service, at least via email.
I recommend this tripod unless you will need extra quick release plates. In that case I would look for something that you know you can get original equipment extras for.
on August 18, 2010
If you want an inexpensive tripod that won't let you down, this is it.
I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review is looking at this product for the same reason I did - I wanted a tripod that was cheap. That's it. This thing is cheap, lightweight and so far has not let me down. It comes with a bag to carry it which makes it much easier to lug around between photo sessions. It has two bubble levels to make sure your shot is perfectly leveled. When it's extended fully and neck extension (the part that lifts the camera with a little crank) is fully raised, I'd guess this thing comes up to a full six feet. When it's completely collapsed it's no bigger than a rolled up poster and only slightly heavier. Personally, I'm a weakling, so it's great that this thing is light. I could carry it around all day without a problem.
Is it sturdy though? It -is- inexpensive, which does mean you're sacrificing some sturdiness but unless you're hiking up mountains or something like that, you'll never notice.
If you're an amateur or novice just getting into photography or want a tripod that won't break the bank, you can't do better than this.
[UPDATE] - February 11, 2012
Still works as good as the day I first got it. I haven't noticed a single scratch, ding or dent. The bag is even in great shape.
on January 20, 2012
My old trusty Vivatar tripod snapped a rivet at the leg support, rendering that tripod useless. I needed a quick replacement and found this unit at a local retail store, on clearance.
* Price - for a compact tripod, I couldn't beat the price
* Carrying bag w/shoulder strap -- must be completely retracted to fit the tripod in
* Solid if you don't crank up the head adjustment
* Quick release head mount
* Thumbscrew attachment of head mount with screw wings on the attachment screw.
* The mounting screw is a standard 1/4" screw
* Flexible rubber feet to hold flat on a floor
* Fully retracted, this tripod is 22 1/4" high
* Bubble levels for the tripod and the head mechanism.
The not so good:
* Short! I'm 6'0" and I have to crank up the tripod all the way just to use it.
* The head extension retracted down, for best stability has a maximum height of 48 1/2"
* The extension mechanism for the crank up head is very sloppy -- I don't trust it with my Fujifilm S100FS.
* Cheap rivets again hold the leg supports together
* The movable head pieces are all plastic
* The head extension crank is flimsy plastic, use caution.
* NO head tilt bubble level
This is a very lightweight and light duty tripod. If you purchase it, remember, it will not handle mistreatment well. The rivets are the weak link in this tripod. The true usable height for the tripod is only 48 1/2", even though overall extended height is 57".
I use it sparingly, mounting the camera and leaving it set in that position. I also use the delay timer to take my pictures to help compensate for the lose construction that makes this tripod not as steady as more expensive models.
I'm currently looking for an upgrade that is taller and more steady.
on May 21, 2009
- 2.3lbs weight makes itself in Ultra light-weight level, that is great for travel. I easily put it in my suitcase (folded height is 23").
- Heavy duty construction. The tripod is used to elevate my Canon Camcorder XH-A1 (5.2 lbs) without trouble.
- 3-section legs with locks that can be adjusted to several different angles.
- 90 degrees vertical platform and 3 way fluid panhead that make easy-to-use controls.
- The ball head that attaches to the device is very tight. It can hold heavy load (my Canon Camcorder XH-A1) even in movement.
- Includes tripod bag.
- The material looks like a little bit cheap (just a feeling).
- 57" max height sometimes makes inconvenience. Depending on your purpose to choose a right height.
If you are looking for a good tripod, but don't want to spend too much money, Dolica ST-300 is a right choice.
on July 22, 2009
Based on positive Amazon reviews and a price that met my budget, I purchased one of these and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and features of this tripod. You may be able to find tripods which are lighter, more sturdy or sport a more famous brand, but I dare you to find one with this mix of features at this price point.
If you're a professional photographer, go look at Manfrotto or some of the other high end brands. If you're an amateur photographer looking for a good tripod that won't cut into your lens budget, then look no further. Its lightweight so you don't mind tossing it into your travel bag. It holds my old Nikon d70s with no problems and is sturdy. Comes with a balistic nylon bag.
Firstly, the legs adjust to 3 different angles, the most extreme of which allows the legs to go perpendicular to the center column. The ball head mechanism is very smooth and precise, allowing fine adjustments with ease. Due to the various angles the legs are capable of doing, Macro work would be nice on this tripod.
Its obviously not in in the league of those carbon fiber tripods, but for under $40 shipped, its a steal.
on April 19, 2011
I'm really shocked by this tripod. For the price, it's quite heavy duty, functional, and worked fine right of the box. I'm not particularly sure what happened to the other people who are unhappy with it - One could only assume that there were QC issues at one point or another. However, as of writing this, I do believe such issues were fleshed out.
I bought two and both function well beyond their price point.
First of all, my main camera is a Pentax K-r. This tripod is more than heavy enough to accommodate it without the need of a counter weight. Getting it balanced was a tad tricky - There are 2 liquid levels build in to help you get a good idea of rather or not the tripod legs are even or not. I found that, even with the bubble dead center, it was much more prudent to trust your own eyes - In my case, I had to over compensate one of the legs in order to get it balanced. Strangely enough, the bubble remained center on the balance even after raising the single leg.
Panning is smooth. Being left handed, I don't find the placement of the handle awkward at all - Of course, right handed people might be a little bothered by it.
The camera mounts via the traditional screw, which is connected to a detachable plate that clips in to the top of the tripod. This allows you to move around the camera without having to unscrew it every time you do so, keeping the option to switch to hand as simple as twisting a knob. Which sums up this entire tripod, really - It's incredibly convenient, and all of the locking mechanisms work much better than you would expect. If I didn't spend 17.99 on this unit I would of assumed it was easily worth 60.
That all being said, I find the ST-500 to be easily recommended. It even comes with a nice cloth (and zippered) carrying bag. Dolica exceeded my expectations.
on August 10, 2011
As other reviewers said, it's a sturdy tripod, and not expensive.
I also own the Polaroid 57" and 50". This tripod is noticeably heavier, maybe 50%? (the legs are thicker) and hence, more stable. The footprint is bigger as well.
It is basically the same construction of the Polaroids, but a little better (and the Polaroid 57" is better built than the 50"). Box says it's 3.5 lbs, and supports max 9 lbs.
The 50" Polaroid is too feeble and light, but may be useful if you're camping, hiking, etc. Between this one and the Polaroid 57", it depends on what you want. If you want the lightest tripod possible, but still decent, go with the Polaroid. If you want more stability and slightly better build and you don't worry about space, go with this one. Both are good tripods for a point and shoot.
A few details on the Dolica:
1. the upper bubble level is useless, it should be put up in the head
2. the foot is looser than the Polaroid 57", which is good
3. the crank has a spring to keep it in closed position, unlike the Polaroids
4. the plate's lock locks when releasing the plate, like the P 57", but the P 57" lock is better
5. I find it a little too hard to pan, you have to hold the tripod to pan, but I think it's by design (took one star)
6. the hydraulic fluid head gives it a smoother pan/tilt than the P 57"
7. I paid less for the Dolica
on December 18, 2011
This camera looks fine from far away since the aluminum portion of this product is pretty well-done. However, the plastic part isn't molded very well and you can see obvious jagged edges and uneven spots of plastic. I considered the possibility that it was just me getting a used product, but the picture when zoomed in on Newegg shows the very same defects.
Of course, I still give it four stars because for a ~25 dollar product (though I only paid half due to the promotion) if you were expecting much more... well, don't. It is relatively sturdy for the price and does crane up pretty high at 68 inches for shots needing that extra height. The legs are surprisingly solid (but doesn't pull out that smoothly) with a nice metal bar that connects to the center piece to ensure that they're all evenly spaced. Also of interest is that plastic hook, which despite reviews claiming it's ability to hold 15 lbs, looks fragile and resembles a slightly thicker coat hanger. A metal carabiner type of thing would've probably made much more sense, but at this price, I don't think they were going for what was logical.
While the semi-large mounting bracket does inspire some confidence in mounting a heavy DSLR, the tripod as a whole seems like it would top out at 5-6 lbs. Anyhow, if you're just mounting whatever DSLR with a kit lens, you should mostly be fine since I don't think anybody with a multi-thousand dollar set-up would even entertain the possibility of getting this tripod (or at least, I don't think they are). If my case, my GF2 with a small 20mm lens barely goes over a pound so I couldn't be bothered getting a tripod that costs substantially more than this.
Essentially, if you were looking for a cheap, disposable tripod to bring anywhere and one you don't mind throwing around and abusing, this is the one.
on February 22, 2012
I ordered this tripod after lots of Amazon research. I was not looking for anything too fancy, just a tripod to put my camera on. This one seemed to have good reviews, and I even read the negative ones, but figured with 88 reviews and 4 stars that it must be decent. I was wrong. The very first time I got it out to use it, I adjusted the height on the legs, and the locking tab broke off in my hand! I was shocked, it was not at all difficult to move the locking tab, its not like I was forcing it or something. The next tab was fine, but the third one broke off in my hand as well. What a piece of junk. I'm with another review, I will never buy another Dolica product again. Absolutely ridiculous!