This week, I progressed to the next stage of the classic tripod saga: Need a tripod. A cheap 'big' tripod will do (buy a Slik U9000) Need a decent travel tripod, because the 'big' tripod is too annoying to carry (buy a Slik Sprint Mini II) Oh dear, still need a proper 'big' tripod sometimes... that actually works well The legs on the U9000 were okay, but the plastic head wobbled too much for long exposures - it was kind of a joke actually, the smaller Slik Sprint Mini II travel tripod was actually more stable overall. The travel tripod is great because it fits in a backpack, but unfortunately it's not great for super long exposures in soft ground due to it's tiny feet, short stature, and susceptibility to wind. My recent difficulties with Milky Way shots on a windy beach on soft sand made that pretty clear... As I'm not a very tall or strong person, light weight and small packed size (along with sturdiness of course) are pretty important, and that means paying quite a bit more. Full-sized tripods tend to be designed for DSLR weight, so to go light with m4/3, carbon fibre seems to be the only real option. At the store, I got to try out the usual Manfrottos, Sliks, Giottos, Gitzos, but Sirui really stood out. They're not a budget brand, but do provide the good quality and features of the big names at more reasonable prices, with a 6 year warranty. Their heads are also Arca-Swiss compatible, with a safety pin design that works with most types of L-plate. I'm a convert as I discovered that mounting a camera for portrait orientation using an Arca-Swiss L-plate is way more stable than tilting a ball head sideways, but there is the danger of the plate sliding out if the clamp is loosened without some sort of quick release safety pin. In the end, I shelled out on a carbon fibre Sirui EN-2204 with K-20X Arca-Swiss compatible ball head, to replace the U9000. It's lighter, smaller stowing, taller extended, much sturdier, more flexible (3 leg positions + reverse, centre column splits, converts to monopod), and has extendible spike feet as well as centre hook. I'm still not so sure about the K-20X it came with (it's a bit overkill for m4/3), but the legs look like they will last me for a very very long time. I guess I can always try a different head - is that the next stage of the tripod saga? Actually, maybe I'm there already... I also ordered a Sirui G-10X ball head, to replace the ball head on the Slik Sprint Mini II with one that has a separate panning lock and Arca-Swiss mount... Is that a pretty common story? How has m4/3 affected tripod choices for you?