Tripods are a complete pain in the ass. They are big and ungainly, so carrying them is always a hassle. Of course, a quality professional unit is also very expensive. To carry a really functional unit every day you can expect discomfort on both your back and your pocket book… or so it seemed to me when I began shopping for a compact and versatile tripod.

I do a lot of car events across the country and have to have one with me pretty much all of the time. As such, I did a ton of research and checked out many units before I finally made a purchase. I went with the Slik Mini SBH-100DQ.

The great thing about this Slik unit is it’s size. When fully compressed, it’s only about 14″ in height. However, when all three leg sections as well as the neck are expanded, the tripod reaches about 43″ tall – perfect for shooting all kinds of subjects. The little unit only weighs about a pound and a half and supports cameras as heavy as 4 pounds. Even better, you can pick one up for as little as $50 on eBay.

It is not, however, a perfect tripod. While built fairly well relative to other tripods on the market, I would not call this unit over engineered. In fact, windy conditions might leave you a little nervous once you have the unit fully extended and your DSLR mounted. Aside from that, it is a good little unit to keep with you in an effort not to miss that perfect low shutter speed opportunity.

I bought mine at B&H.