I was asked today for some advice about tripods. This is an area where many amateur photographers go wrong.
Many photographers buy a basic tripod then get frustrated with its limitations and either stop using it or buy a better one.
Its best to just bite the bullet right at the start and spend a reasonable amount on a tripod, budget some more on a good quality head, and then also do not forget brackets for your camera.
For the price of a good quality head, or brackets you can buy a complete tripod system but I would advise against it. Your just throwing money away.
Thom Hogan wrote one of the best article about tripods you can read it here:
In case you wondered I purchased a Manfrotto 055 Tripod with a Manfrotto Ball Head about twenty years ago. My head is getting on a bit now and is not as easy to use any more, so I am looking for a replacement that uses the Arca Swiss release system, but the tripod is still going strong.