I have owned several Sunpack 4200XL travel tripods for a while now, and I recently bought a Polaroid Travel Tripod and a Vivitar Travel Tripod. I am on my third Sunpack travel tripod now. I primarily use this type of tripod to film with my Samsung HMX-F90. I originally found these Sunpack tripods at Best Buy, and the other two I got from Amazon.com.
Sunpack 4200XL Travel Tripod
The hinge that allows you to change your camera view from horizontal to vertical keeps breaking on the Sunpacks. The small tab that locks it into place while changing the position keeps snapping off over time. This allows the tripod mount to “jiggle” and makes for shaky videos. Other than that the legs lock in place and have been great. If you click on the image of the Sunpack travel tripod you will see the “missing” piece where the tripod mount hinges from horizontal to vertical.
Vivitar 41 inch 8 Section Tripod
The vivitar is real similar to the Sunpack 4200XL. The hinge is the same, but seems like it is a little stronger. I mean that there is a bigger space between the two slots that hold the tripod mount in place. So it may not break off as easily as the Sunpack does. The telescoping legs are the same as the Sunpack and may even be made by the same company. You can see in the image that the Vivitar 41 inch travel tripod is made in a similar fashion as the Sunpack 42 inch travel tripod.
Polaroid 42 inch Travel Tripod PLTRI42
This Polaroid 42″ Travel Tripod has become my new favorite. There is no hinge style adjusting on the tripod mount. Unscrew the handle and the whole thing gets loose, up, down, and side to side goes limp. Then put the camera where you want it and tighten it back up. The best part is that there is a solid piece connecting this neck to the tripod mount. This thing is as solid as a brick. No movement at all. The telescoping legs are more or less the same as the Sunpack and Vivitar travel tripod legs, but are a little different. They turn one way, and must have a slot that they fall into to lock the legs at the height you want. Click this link to go to Amazon.com and purchase one for yourself – Polaroid 42″ Travel Tripod Includes Deluxe Tripod Carrying Case For Digital Cameras & Camcorders
You can see in the image that the hinge part is entirely different on the Polaroid 42 inch Travel Tripod than on the Sunpack or Vivitar travel tripods. I am so happy that I found this because it would always happen when I had an important item to video. Now I don’t have to worry about it breaking.