You need a tripod with a half bowl, and a fluid head. The half bowl makes it easy to get level, and the fluid head is for smooth pans and tilts. Try to get one which will go high (at least normal eye level, higher is better) and low. Benro and Manfrotto make reasonable midrange tripods. Sachtler and Miller are better but more expensive. Carbon fibre is lighter but more expensive and fragile than aluminium alloy,
Or you could get a good video monopod - quicker to set up and reposition
I've been researching this for so long and there are so many different kinds that it's driving me nuts. Based on your suggestion would the Manfrotto MVH500A Fluid Drag Video Head with MVT502AM tripod be a good choice for the Canon XC-10. It costs about US$349, and for that kind of money I'm hoping I would not need another tripod for a decade, to say the least. If there is a better choice for that money could you please recommend a which one? I would really appreciate it.
It is complicated. It partly depends what kind of shooting you are planning to do. For me the MVT502AM doesn't go high enough. At your price point, some people recommend the Benro range - e.g. the A2573FS6 - which goes a lot higher. I've read conflicting reports about build quality, but I believe they come with a three year guarantee. Bear in mind that the XC10 has extremely good image stabilisation so you may not need a really heavy-duty tripod.
Thanks a lot. Ordered the Benro A2573FS6 today.
Great. Could you let me know how you get on with it?
Absolutely. Will let you know.
Just wanted to say thanks for your advice on the Benro A2573FS6. It's a great build and very fluid in its movement. The only thing I'd say would've made it even more awesome is if it had pan drag -- it does have tilt drag. Nonetheless, it does pan rather smoothly. Thanks again.
Great, glad you like it!