If you shoot with an APS-C DSLR, you don't need to drop $600 on a tripod to get quality craftsmanship. The Manfrotto 290X and 804 head bundle offers high-end quality for less than $200. The tripod reaches a nice 67.5" maximum height. Thanks to the four different leg angle positions, the tripod can shoot from as low as 16.5 inches. The three-way pan and tilt head is smooth and allows for precise adjustments. The legs open fairly quickly, but the level-style locks offer added stability. The minimal three leg sections offer added stability as well.
While stable and affordable, the maximum load capacity is just 8.8 pounds. That's enough for an APS-C DSLR or any mirrorless system and even a telephoto lens, but not much more. The trade off for the stability is also the portability. The tripod is a bit heavy at 5.6 pounds, and with those three leg sections the folded length is still quite big at 27.8 inches. But, the Manfrotto 290XT with the 804 head offers an affordable combination with the quality that's going to last for years. If you don't need a big weight capacity or hiking portability, this is an excellent tripod.