Slik PRO 500 DX Complete - £130/$130
The Slik PRO 500 DX Complete's shiny metal legs are of an 'exclusive' Super Aluminium-Magnesium-Titanium construction. Slik claims this gives a 40% gain in strength-to-weight ratio, compared with standard aluminium. Even so, the tripod isn't any lighter than other aluminium-based tripods in the group, despite only offering a fairly modest maximum height of 167cm.
Build quality feels robust and the three-section legs resist flexing at all lengths. The conventional three-way head supplied in the 500 DX kit is similarly sturdy, and more convincing than the one supplied with the Jessops Major. In both cases, you need to unscrew one locking arm and screw it into the other to fit the tripods into their carry bags.
There's no pivot facility, but you can split the centre column by unscrewing its bottom section, albeit with many turns. Combined with the three-position, multi-angle legs, this enables shooting from as low as 32cm, from the base of the camera to the ground. If you need to go lower than this, the only option is removing and inverting the centre column.
The Slik PRO 500 DX Complete is well made and its 4.5kg load capacity is sufficient for most photographers, but it feels a little basic and dated at the price.