How to choose the best tripod: 7. Quick release
Basic ball heads screw straight into the tripod socket on the base of the camera, but if you want to use the camera handheld for a couple of shots, you have to unscrew it again.
More advanced heads and ‘quick-release’ plates – you can detach the camera by flicking a lever, then snap it back onto the tripod head to re-attach it. But it can be a fiddle attaching the plate to the camera.
Some use screws with coin slots, but it’s better to have a butterfly nut you can tighten with your bare hands.
How to choose the best tripod: 8. Too many sections?
Legs with four or five sections fold down very small, which makes the tripod easier to carry, but they come with two major disadvantages.
The first is that the legs end up quite thin and spindly, which affects the overall stability and rigidity.
The second, less obvious problem, is that they take longer to set up. Does this really make a difference? Yes, it does.
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