I use a crappy aluminum/plastic tripod I got a few years ago for 40 bucks. It has done its job well, and above all else, it was also very light, so I could go hiking with it not really feeling the extra weight. Ever since I just got my 5D Mark III and 70-200 II on it, after mounting the camera onto the tripod I can already see a few problems: 1. My current tripod is "too light", the angle between the legs isn't that wide so it can easily tip over when I have a heavy camera and a big lens mounted onto the tripod. (Yes, I am mounting the lens, not the camera, to the tripod) 2. My cheap tripod has no scales of any kind so I can't see if it's straight or not, I can't see angle of how much I am rotating the camera by 3. It squeaks, when recording movies, I move the camera horizontally and the legs squeak which just ruins all the audio recording 4. It's very complicated to operate, there is like 6 or 7 different adjustments you need to make and it makes it difficult to quickly setup. My friend has a tripod with a ball handle and that makes adjustments super easy. So basically I want to get a better tripod. I looked online and found that higher-end tripods are pretty much built separately. You get legs and then you can buy a different top piece, so if you can please recommend tripod legs and the top that you think will be good for my needs. Here is a list of what I need it to do in the order of importance: Light (I really need something lightweight so I can carry it around with me) Small size (I don't want it to extend too much, as long as in it's maximum extended setting its at the eye sight, and while not extended it is small) Has a ball handle that is easily adjustable (perfect would be if it has an ability to lock horizontal movement for panoramic shots) Has some leveling info (so I know if it's straight or not) and hopefully angle dials so I know how much I am turning Is stable on the ground and won't tip over if on a hill, while 3-5kg of weight is mounted to it and camera is tilted in portrait mode. If you can't get a horizontal lock with a ball handle, then maybe someone can suggest an alternative top for the tripod, one that can lift up for portrait mode and can be separately locked over the x axis for panoramic shots. I am completely new to tripods so I really have no idea about anything (except of what I need it to do). I see that there are a lot of different prices out there, I am probably looking for $500 max BUT if it's absolutely perfect for what I want and especially VERY VERY light, I can go up to a grand for a tripod. Thanks for your suggestions in advance.