Industrial Deals Beauty Best Books of the Year So Far STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Home Gift Guide Off to College Home Gift Guide Book House Cleaning TheTick TheTick TheTick  Introducing Echo Show Limited-time offer: All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition, starting at $79.99 Kindle Oasis hots Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 1,071 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,122 reviews
on November 12, 2013
I don't always use a tripod, but when I do, I usually need it to take portraits for a family with small children who don't want to look at the camera. Being a one-man-crew, I try to pop out from behind the lens and make them smile/laugh and look at the camera... which is impossible without a tripod. In addition to the above, I occasionally do some urban photography, residential and landscapes - but not too often. I already have a studio tripod, and while incredibly stable, it also weighs about 20lb and folds down to about 36" long. So bearing that in mind, here's my must haves:

1) Needs to be light enough for me to carry all over creation without too much trouble ~ 4lb
2) Needs to be tall enough for me (6ft 5in) to operate comfortably
3) Needs to be sturdy enough to hold a large DSLR and long lens ~ 15lb load
4) Needs to fold down to a relatively short length ~ 25"
5) Needs to be stable enough to do longer exposures (2-3 sec) in real world conditions
6) Needs to be under $100 with a decent ball head
7) Needs to look and feel professional. No embarrassment factor.
8) Needs to be durable enough to be used regularly (but gently) while still working reliably

If you look at that list, it's pretty tough to find anything that works for under $250, and even then, it often falls short on one area or another: It's really sturdy, but weighs 10 pounds. It's light and compact, but only extends to 55 inches. You get the idea.

I had tried the Ravelli Professional 65" with the ball head ($40) and wasn't impressed. Yes, it was a great find for someone with a smaller camera - it knocked the socks off of the Best Buy garbage - but it really wasn't sturdy enough. The legs had too much flex, the ball head was a bit undersized for my DSLR. It was tall enough though and it did get really compact and was quite competitive in the lightweight category, but failing the other points was too much for me, sooo... I returned it.

I then stumbled upon Dolica in some of my reading and decided to check it out and was amazed by the number of highly positive reviews. I was originally going to get the Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline ($44) from Amazon, but was concerned about the weight handling and durability - it looked like another nicer, comsumer-ish tripod - similar to the Ravelli. So there I sat, dashed and disappointed, ready to shell out $150 for a Vanguard Alto Pro Vista when someone in a forum suggested that I try the Dolica GX650B204 65" Proline instead.

After watching a few YouTube reviews and reading the comments, I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did. I've used it for several photo shoots now and it's worked great. I've heard some people say that it's not very stable. I would partially concede to their complaint as there is a bit of flex if you are leaning on the legs, but this is technically a travel/small-light tripod, which is a known drawback at any price point. It's sort of like buying a Mini Cooper and then complaining that it doesn't carry your family of eight. Or buying a house and complaining that it doesn't fly. If that's what you needed, you've been looking in the wrong category.

That said though, I've found the tripod to be more than sturdy enough. I don't have any fear while using it and it doesn't bounce and flex like many of the lightweight tripods do at this sub-$100 price point. That's partly due to just being better made and also due to the fact that they use rounded square legs - which keeps them from twisting like round legs do under torsion. Did I mention I did a 16 second exposure at late dusk in a light breeze and achieved perfect results? For me, that's way more than I expected and better than any $55 tripod should be expected to produce.

It's light, it's easy to setup, the leg locks are easy to use and accessible, nothing is cheaply made and the ball head is excellent. Really people, the ball head is great - it's worth $55 by itself. It's a much larger ball head than I anticipated (a good thing) and the stability and separately locking axis are great!

The only gripe I had is that the ball head was slightly sticky when trying to readjust - nothing major, but not as smooth as I'd like. The same was true of a leg or two; just a bit sticky when pulling them out or collapsing them later. I have had this problem with other tripods before and I just use beeswax or vegetable shortening ("Crisco") to lubricate them. Apply a thin coat, work the head or legs around until it's smooth, and then use a dry paper towel to remove the excess. After that, everything is now working like a champ and quite smooth on this tripod and head.

So let's review, class: For $55, I got a stable, light, tall, compact, well-made, attractive tripod that does everything I need with ease. Does it scream "$500 tripod made by Italians"? No, but the fact that it doesn't scream "$55 tripod made in China" is incredible. To put it simply, it just works - it does the job quietly and without any fuss or embarrassment. As a pro, I can carry this around (all day) and never have a client give me a judging glance or questioning frown. If you want to spend $250+, get a Manfrotto 055XPROB. If you want to spend $150, get a Vanguard Alto Pro Vista. But if you want to spend $55, get the Dolica GX650B204 65" Proline.
2424 comments| 369 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 1, 2011
I love this tripod, which replaces an aluminum Bogen that I've had for years. The tripod sets up quickly, and unlike the experience of another reviewer, mine is perfectly level when the legs are at full extension. There were no flaws, no loose screws, and this is an unbelievably versatile tripod compared to what I had before. I use this for travel and hiking. It is a little on the heavier side than some of the other aluminum tripods on the market, but it is rock solid. It is extremely stable even with the center column fully extended. I love the degree markings on the head, perfect for stitching panoramic shots. The feet have metal spikes, but also rubber feet that will screw down over the spikes for indoor work. The only reason I titled this review "almost perfect" is that if the tripod had a removable handle for rotating the ball hand, for panning for example, it would be perfect. I spent a LOT of time researching all the tripods available in the market now (12/1/2011) and I found this to be the best mix of value, versatility, and quality.
22 comments| 276 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 20, 2015
I'm a nature photographer and I was previously using a cheapy $15-$20 Vivitar pan/tilt tripod in case I destroyed it venturing off the beaten path. The ball head is such an upgrade and for the price this little Dolica tripod does everything 10x better than my previous Vivitar!

Pros:
- Price. At only $20-$30 more for the unit, I feel comfortable taking this tripod out into the wild. I don't have to worry about scratching it, getting it dirty, or even losing it. It can be easily replaced if it is attacked by animals or whatever.
- The ball head seems to hold heavier equipment nicely. I have a T5i and a 6D camera body, and the ball head has no problem holding the 6D with it's heaviest lens.
- You can reveal little spikes on the bottom of the legs. Perfect to add more stability in rough areas that are uneven.
- Nice travel bag
- Locking pin on the attachment for the ball head. Even if you don't have the camera securely tightened to the ball head, there is a pin that locks the camera to the ball head loosely. No worry of having your camera slip out of sync with the ball head.

Cons:
- Heavier equipment and also a tad longer in length folded up. However, I should note that while it is slightly heavier and longer, it feels extremely sturdy.
- The level liquid where the air bubble indicates balance drained all of it's liquid within the first month. Not sure if I tapped it or if leaving it in the hot car caused that? Good thing I don't really require it for nature photography.

One last note. I have a really nice carbon fiber ($400ish) Oben ball head tripod at my work and I actually prefer this Dolica over it because of ease with settings. The Oben is too picky and requires too many minute refinements for my taste.
review image review image
11 comment| 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
 After reading a ton of reviews on tripods I decided this was right for me. I was impressed with it right out of the box. I have had some seriously cheap tripods in the past and I was surprised when I got this because the price was so low, I assumed I would be getting another cheapo tripod. I was wrong. This thing has been great for me. I encourage you to watch my video to see it holding up some pretty decent weight with no problems. It comes with a nice bag that seems to have a strong handle and stitching on it. Another nice feature is the ability to flip the extension upside down and mount your camera to the bottom of the tripod. I cover that in the video as well. All in all this has been a great budget tripod for me doing mainly product shoots for websites and a lot of macro photography. Its sturdy, holds the camera in place on some crazy angles with some decent weight on it. Thats what I needed it for and it has proven to be a great purchase. I do hope this review helps and as always, Be safe and Happy shopping!!
44 comments| 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 22, 2016
 This tripod is FANTASTIC for the price. Huge value, and a great upgrade from cheap, plastic tripods.
I own 2 of them to use with video slider and a fluid head, and they work amazingly.

Leg locking mechanisms stay strong. Weight is nice, but not enough to fully stabilize motion video.
Tripod ball head is removable. Easy to use.

The weight hook on the center column is plastic and I've now broken it on two of these tripods using sand bags. I can't find replacement hooks anywhere.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 24, 2014
There is a difference between the tripods you find at your local electronic store and the ones from the photo shops retailing at over $400. $400 for a tripod? Yes. The Dolica GX650204 has pro features but it doesn't cost $400.

The dolica is 4-section aluminum tripod. The sections use flip leg locks and when you open the latch, you have to pull the leg out, it doesn't slide out on its own. Also the legs have non slip rubber feet with retractable spike. To reveal the spikes, just turn the rubber feet. The legs also have closed cell comfort grips and 4-position leg angle adjustment. This makes the tripod very comfortable to handle and very flexible. You can position your camera in a variety of positions (including inverted) because of this.

The center column is non-rating but can move up and down. It is exceptionally sturdy in a high position, but i use it in the mid to low position. All tripods are more sturdy when the center column is closer to the legs. Its much better to raise the tripod first, then adjust the center column. The center column is also reversible which allows you to hang your camera upside down. When the center column is in its normal position, the counter weight hook can be used to give your tripod added stability. I will sometimes hang my camera bag there. There is also an Integrated tripod bubble level, but i never use it.

Tip: Invert the center column for low level shooting angles
1) unscrew the ball head. 2)unscrew the hook, revealing the 3/8 screw. 3)screw the ball head on the center column. adjust the center up and down as needed.

Tip: Convert the tripod to floor level for extreme low level shooting angles
1) unscrew the hook. 2) remove the short column section by pressing the two buttons near the hook and pulling the short column section down. 3) remove the ball head. 4) remove the center column. 5) screw the ball head on the short column section. 6) insert the ball head with short column section into the tripod. 7) extends arms to their maximum position (almost horizontal).

The ball head is exceptional. This alone is worth the price of admission. The ball head has an arca-swiss style quick release plate. It uses a dual lock system, a knob and safety lock. I know some photographers don't like the safety lock, but i think it is great, especially when your camera is angled down. The ball head pans 360 degrees and can tilt down/up from 0 to 90 degrees. To tilt down to 90 degrees, there is an indent for the ball neck. The pan movement is is very smooth so you will be able to perform perfect pano shots with this ball head. The quick release plate also works with a lens mount. I've also used an RRS clamp and l-plate with this ball head. It works perfectly.

The tripod is light and wouldn't be cumbersome carrying to a location or trekking thru the woods. Also the carry bag seems sturdy enough and will probably last the life of the tripod.

In conclusion, the Dolica GX650B204 is a professional level tripod with an excellent price. I really can't believe how good it is for the price. It has a ton of features, excellent ball head, lightweight, sturdy and can carry 17lbs. And if you get the 65", since it has 4 sections, It works well with short, medium height and tall people. Highly recommended.
22 comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 26, 2014
But when I do... my camera falls off. Well not anymore. Let me tell ya, I was completely prepared to buy some expensive contraption so I would no longer have the issue of my camera falling off, I already had to replace one Nikon. No I am not some novice, I have just had novice equipment. The one that did my last camera in I was shooting in the dark light painting, it clicked in then when I turned the panning handle to the side, crash. The entire locking mechanism literally crumbled. I have had 3 inexpensive tri pods. The most being $45. And they all had a form of some janky cheap plastic foot that attached to the bottom of the camera then slid into an equally cheap plastic head. So I am very paranoid about cheap plastic things having a catastrophic failure and spontaneously imploding. I received the Dolica very quickly and I ripped it open to inspect the product. I was so pleasantly surprised at how rock solid it was. The entire head and foot is made of metal. It clicks into place and then you tighten it down with a large knurled metal knob. I feel very secure with this set up. I stood on bed, placed a soft landing pad of pillows and shook for a good while, man handled it. Really put it through its paces and not once did it loosen up. The ball head is fluid to. ANd it does have retractable metal spikes, bonus feature. So dont hesitate to purchase this tripod. Its worth more than its asking price of $54 bux. Happy shooting!!
review image review image
0Comment| 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 13, 2016
I just received my tripod and haven't yet had a chance to use it in earnest, but I can say that at least initially, it seems to meet my expectations...almost. The leg mechanisms and ball head seem sturdy enough, but where the product falls short for me is with regards to the mounting plate. As many other reviewers have noted, it's not Arca compatible. The mount has a push-button locking mechanism (to keep the plate from sliding out accidentally) and even when fully closed, the clamp base is too wide to secure an Arca plate. Not only that, but the clamp knob (at least on mine) doesn't turn easily or smoothly and makes it difficult to mount or remove the included mounting plate. I ended up just unscrewing the M6 hex screw that holds the base to the ball head and replacing it with an Arca-Swiss plate that I purchased previously (http://amzn.com/B00RK2DSIM). In my photo, the Dolica plate is on top and my Arca plate is on the bottom (already mounted to the tripod). It fits great and now I can use the Arca plates that are already mounted to my equipment, including my favorite accessory, the Peak Design Capture Clip (http://amzn.com/B00H7JGOS4).

Having a sturdy and tall-ish tripod do have tradeoffs though. Its size and weight might make it a bit difficult to take on hiking/backpacking/cycling trips, but it's still not out of the question. The foam "grips" on the legs are a nice touch and ostensibly would make it easier to handle in inclement weather situations. Overall, I think I'm really going to love this tripod, in conjunction with my Arca mount. I didn't even remove the one star just because it came with a non-Arca compatible mount. I removed the star because the included mount would have been difficult to use, even if I had retained it. The clamp isn't easy to loosen/tighten and the added necessity of pushing the release button after you've opened the clamp would make quickly mounting/dismounting difficult.
review image
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 30, 2015
There are 4 cons of this tripod that prevents me from recommending this for anyone else:
1. One of the leg lock buttons came broke. I can hear a broken piece fumble up and down the leg as I move the tripod around. Because of this I cannot flip the tripod upside down for macro shots. Luckily I can still use the tripod in its standard position.

2. The tripod is not very stable with all of the legs extended - the legs bow a lot. Impossible to use it as a stabilizer (it's primary purpose) since it shakes if you touch the camera, unless if you have a remote trigger.

3. Once you fasten down the main knob, the camera will move a couple of millimeters, especially if the camera is on it's side. I learned that I have to compensate by making it off kilter in hopes that it the camera will align perfectly once it settles.

4. The knob that controls the pan will move the camera position dramatically once tightened. I learned that I must tighten this first before tightening the larger knob.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 5, 2015
This is a great tripod…PERIOD! If you want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase a Manfrotto, or a Gitzo, go ahead. For the rest of us, this is perfect. I shoot nature. This tripod is perfect for macro, time-lapse, landscape, panoramic stitching, portrait, or any other kind of photography that you want to do.

The reasons that I chose this particular tripod are:
1. It is rated to hold a 15 pound camera rig. I like to use audio accesories and heavy lenses. I have every confidence in this tripod to hold my equipment steady
2. The design allows the legs to open for macro pics of flowers, insects, etc… close to the ground
3. Weight-It's not carbon-fiber, but at 2.5 pounds, I can easily strap it to my pack, for backwood shoots
4. The hook in the center for stability is convenient. If you're shooting a time lapse on top of a mountain, just stick a bag on the hook, load it with a few creek stones, voila…stability
5. Price-I'm not sticking a thousand dollar anything in the mud, or a body of water

I was extremely pleased with the overall quality of this tripod. The leg clips are tight, and there is no leg slippage. The ball top locks and unlocks beautifully. Even with a heavy lens on, it is stable. The fluid head is SUPER smooth. This is probably not the best if video is your main interest, but the movement is very smooth. I have not seen all of the tripods available in this price range, but I've seen some real junk. This is a top-notch, durable, well designed piece of equipment. On top of this tripod being an excellent product, the included bag is high quality. I would recommend this product to any photographer. The quality compared to the price is a great value.

UPDATE: Just a "heads up" to buyers. Do not screw the head on too tightly. I found out the hard way that the head will thread down to a point that it takes a pipe (monkey) wrench and a cloth to get it off. I sprayed a little oil into the threads, and on the base plate to try to avoid this from happening again. Other than that, no problems with this great tripod.

Used it for macro on Snowdrops. The blooms are about the size of your fingernail.

Used it for panoramic with the Polaroid Hot Shoe Three Axis Triple Bubble Spirit Level . It worked fine.

The photos may not be great, but that is on the part of the photographer (myself), not the equipment.
review image review image
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse