Giottos MTL9361B - £100 (about $160)
Standing tall at up to 174cm (without a tripod head), the Giottos MTL9361B is 9cm loftier than the cheaper Giottos tripods. Despite only costing £15 more, it has a much beefier maximum load capacity of 8kg too, thanks to sturdier legs.
It also features a pivoting centre column facility (entirely lacking on the cheaper Giottos MTL9251B), which offers a full range of 180 degrees vertically and 360 degrees horizontally.
The pivoting system is simple to use but, uniquely in this group, it gives you an extra option for low-level shooting. The tripod comes with a low-angle adaptor, which replaces the centre column altogether, so you can splay the multi-angle legs without worrying about fouling the centre column on anything.
The Giottos MTL9361B's chunky legs are stable at all operating heights, with minimal flexing, and they also extend and contract smoothly.
The multi-angle leg mechanisms and centre column's pivoting system are similar to those used on the Benro FlexPod A297EX and Benro FlexPod C297EX, except that the Giottos features a more purposeful, circular locking ring for horizontal rotation in pivot mode, instead of a locking screw. Adjustments are intuitive, quick in use and firm when locked off.
This tripod is a star performer with great versatility. It's unbeatable value for money, and a cut-price kit is available, which includes the MH5001 head.
Read the full Giottos MTL9361B review