Slik/Daiwa DST-43 Broadcast Aluminum 3 Stage Video Tripod System with Fluid Head, 60mm Ball Mount, Max Height 59 inches, Supports 8 lbs.
I’m not sure what the word “broadcast” means in the description. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking that one day this system will grow up and be in the broadcast business. As to “fluid head”, I couldn’t tell you. There’s probably fluid in there somewhere, but I’m not going to dismantle it to find out. I would say it probably is a fluid head, but not in the style and performance of a high end profession fluid head.
There are no pan/tilt friction adjustments on the head, only the locking levers. The action is smooth however, until you get to the top and bottom of the tilt movement and then it feels a little springy.
The sticks have a bit of a flex to them when you start an aggressive pan, but on the plus side, they’re light and easy to set up. After a long day of slogging through multiple setups, it’s certainly a relief to carry seven pounds rather than 30. The three stage legs work well, however, I’m not convinced the locking mechanisms will hold up over the long run, but so far, so good. The illuminated level bubble is a nice touch, but just to make you crazy, there’s no off button, only an on. It shuts off when it darn well wants to; I can live with that.
If you’ve used professional gear costing ten times as much, you’ll think that the ST43 is a toy. You get what you pay for. It’s a $300 package, a nice consumer tripod, but don’t expect pro features or performance at this price point. Buy it if you’re a hobbiest, but if you buy it and then bitch about it, don’t come crying to me.