On the photo below I show it in front of my old one, an steel model I bought in the nineties. The main reason I replaced it are weight and that the controls are stiff and awkward (and I actually have broken off a steel knob when turning a control the wrong way! I must be stronger than I realized).
A few things are notable to me about the new tripod:
- The carbon legs themselves have a beautiful surface shimmer.
- It's gum-danged light-weight for a full-sized tripod.
- You can tilt the column 90 degrees in a few seconds.
- It is not only as rigid as the steel one, it is more rigid! Surprisingly so, in fact. It feels like one solid piece.
The one in front is the new one
I didn't get the ball head yet, I had to order it separately. If it were me, I would offer a model which came with a ball head, I'd guess the majority of customers would go for that. Unless a panorama head is as popular, that may be the reason, I guess, video is popular these days.
It also doesn't have spiked feet, you must also buy those separately, I didn't realize that. My first tripod, a Velbon I got in the late seventies, had them as standard. And why not, they are not expensive (unlike carbon fibre). People say they are for outdoors work, but I find that a carpet also reduces stability markedly if there are no spikes.
Weight is an issue for stability and for reducing vibrations, for very critical photography work (big prints of landscape or architecture photos and such). So some people who go hiking with a light-weight tripod hang something from it to weigh it down, like a bag they fill with rocks or dirt on the spot, or a big plastic jar they fill with water.
Update: I got the ball head today. I like it. It is half the weight of my old one. Some say it needs to be big and heavy to suck up vibrations, but this fits better with the portability idea. It's also easier to operate, the old one has a lever for rotation and I often grabbed that one when I wanted the lever to unlock the head. And the new one has a knob for adjusting the friction, a good thing (a heavier camera needs more friction not to flop about when you unlock the head).