The Gorillapod & Giottos MT 8361
Giottos MT-8361, 3 Section Carbon Series
The Giottos MT-8361 is a 3 section carbon fiber based tripod. It resembles the Giottos MT-9360 in appearance but surpasses it in build quality. The carbon fiber frame as expected makes the tripod light weight as well as rugged for rough use. The tripod can support a maximum load of 8kg and extends to a maximum height of 64.6 inches. The 7 pound unit handles itself with the same dexterity of the MT-9360 and also allows to lift a camera about an inch higher than the MT-9360. The legs, as expected, come with Giottos push & pull lock system and the center column offers the flexibility of positioning. The tripod is a solid piece of manufacturing and if you are on the look out for a carbon fiber based tripod, definitely give this one a try. The MT-8361 is available for $344 on Amazon.
Joby GP1-E1EN Gorillapod
I guess there isn’t much I would have to say about the Joby Gorillapod since it has had a terrific word of mouth campaign going around. But, here are a few words for posterity. The gorillapod is a revolutionary tripod that would come in handy in situation where neither a normal tripod nor a monopod can help you. The flexible legs of the gorillapod lets you mount your camera in the most awkward but interesting positions and have complete compositional freedom. The GP1 is starter model and goes well with point & shoots and smaller camcorders. Here is review that should give you an idea about the Gorillapod GP1.
Joby Gorillapod Focus GP8 Flexible Tripod
The GP8 Focus is the most recent model from the Gorillapod series. This unit is absolutely suited for loading up your semi-pro or professional SLR with a heavy zoom. The build quality differentiates the GP8 from its cousin the GP3 which will also support digital SLRs with zoom lenses. The GP8 gorillapod legs are made of reinforced aluminum making them solid and they hold on to supports very firmly. Likewise the build quality also increases the weight of the unit from 8 ounces to a bit more than a pound, however its definitely worth the cost. The unit will hold a load capacity of up to 11 pounds, which is a significant load for a tripod of this category. The tripod can also be mounted with video cameras. The build quality definitely provides the confidence to load up the tripod with heavy and costly camera gear. The gorillapod GP8 is a definite must have for travel and other photography enthusiasts as it can make the difference between a “just another shot" to a “magnificent capture". The Gorillapod GP8 retails at a list price of $100 but if you look around you can definitely get a great price on the unit.
Manfrotto 709B Table top Tripod
The Manfrotto 709B is a table top tripod that is originally intended towards point & shoots, however the solid build quality easily allows this tripod to be used for macro shots. The mini tripod is very compact and can easily be carried in your pocket. Since most macro lenses are heavy and large, the tripod can easily support the weight of a dSLR and the macro lens. The tripod provides great flexibility in composing table top macros by providing a solid support for the camera as well as comfortable ball head that allows a panoramic rotation of 360 degrees (although the 360 degrees might not be usable once a dSLR and a macro lens are loaded). The tripod retailing at $40 on Amazon is a wonderful purchase both for your point and shoot as well as occasional macro shooting with your digital SLR.