Here’s something you don’t often get: advice on how to choose the right tripod. Sure, you’ve heard plenty of things about quick release plates and tripod heights and the makeup of a head and its movements, but really all of that stuff is usually opinions. "I like a ballhead, you probably will too," for instance. But what about the nuts and bolts stuff, like how much will a tripod hold, how steady will it be, and how comfortable will it be to work with? It’s best before buying that you go to your local camera store and get your hands on a prospective tripod so that you can figure out what you like. Here are some suggestions you can keep in mind for when you go to test a prospective tripod’s functionality, to be sure it’s not just right, but right for what you need a tripod to do. Kevin Kopp produced this write-up on his Pixiq blog based on insights from former Outdoor Photographer editor-in-chief Rob Sheppard. Rob’s got great suggestions for what to look for in a tripod so that you can make a smarter buying decision.