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Tripods & Support

Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with 494 Ball Head
One of the most important accessories you can purchase as a beginning photographer is a tripod.

A good first tripod will have the following:

- Compact size for traveling
- Aluminum build for strength
- Locking ball head, with a shoe, for easy on and off

This is the tripod Michael currently recommends to beginners on a budget. Far better construction and features than those cheap Wal-Mart ones. If you take care of it, it should last for many, many years.
Purchase Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripod
Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Tripod
This is my main workhorse tripod. It is made out of carbon fiber which means it is much lighter than the metal ones. Much of my nature photography requires hiking, sometimes uphill, sometimes for a couple miles so a light tripod is really, really worth it.

Most pro tripods will come as a "legs" only set, and it will require the purchase of what is called a "head" in order to attach your Camera.
Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod
Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head
I have tried several types of tripod heads, and I am convinced the ball head (meaning its support is on a round steel ball fixture that can be locked down) is the way to go. I have tried pistol grips, 3 axis heads, and others. For the price, you are simply not going to find a better deal.

One knob to lock it down, the other for tension control. Simple. Effective. Inexpensive. I still have and use my original, which is going on 9 years now.

Highly Recommended.
Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head Ball Head
Manfrotto 502AH Pro Video Head
Manfrotto 502AH Pro Video Head
Manfrotto Befree GT Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod with 496 Ball Head (Black)
Sporting a 22 lb load capacity at a weight of only 3.4 lb, this black Befree GT Travel Tripod from Manfrotto is designed for professional photographers needing a reliable travel companion for their DSLR or mirrorless cameras. It features a sturdy carbon fiber construction, reaching a maximum height of 63.8" with the center column extended and 54.3" when the column is collapsed. For storage, the tripod folds down to 16.9" in length and can be easily carried in its included padded bag while traveling.
Purchase Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod
BlackRapid Double Breathe Camera Harness
This BlackRapid Double Breathe Camera Harness accommodates two cameras by allowing them to hang from the right and left shoulders. The cameras can then rest upside-down along both the right and left hips so they can be quickly raised for use. Even when connected to two large cameras with their attached lenses, the Double Breathe remains comfortable to wear due to its resilient and breathable mesh pads which cushion the back and shoulders. The pads' structure optimizes air circulation between the wearer and the harness, which works to remove and minimize perspiration in warm and hot environments. For those with a thin or small build, the Double Slim Breathe Camera Harness can be chosen for a better fit.
Purchase Camera Harness - $134.95
Purchase Maven Camera Strap - $29.95
Comes with a connection kit that includes 2 rings, extra paracord and 2 quick release buckles. Length of strap is 50" but can be adjusted to be a few inches longer or shorter by tying knots in the loop ends, or using the various connectors.
Purchase MAVEN STRAP SKINNY - $21.95
Bogen Manfrotto 190CXPRO4
Smaller and lighter then the 055CX3, the CXPRO4 has 4 collapsing sections instead of 3. This means collapsed, it fits much better into luggage and straps better onto backpacks. There is a real argument to be made that this should be your first set of tripod legs, especially if your camera rig doesn't weigh that much. If you are shooting with very big and heavy lenses, it won't be enough, if you are shooting with smaller kit lenses and zooms, its a beautiful little support system. Very light.
Purchase the Bogen Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 - $429.88
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