Tripod models can vary quite a bit. When you’re flipping through the manual, look out for these terms.
Max payload or load capacity - This refers to the maximum weight a tripod can hold. If you put a camera that’s heavier than the max payload on the tripod, you run the risk of breaking the tripod – and damaging your camera and lens. When you’re buying a tripod, think of how much your camera weighs with the heaviest lens and flash attached, and choose the one that can handle that weight.
Closed length or collapsed size - This is the length of the tripod when it’s folded out. If you’re planning to store your tripod or take it travelling, pay special attention to these specs.
Max height or size - On the flipside, this is the length of the tripod when the leg and centre post are raised as high as they can go. When you pop your camera on a tripod, the viewfinder should be at eye level – so buy a tripod that’s as tall as you. If you’re looking at a tripod with an attached head, the tip of the head should line up with your jaw.