Top positive review
Don't care about weight and have a ball head in mind? This is the best tripod for you under $200.
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2018
First off, this thing is STIFF. In order of priority of tripod features, stiffness is without a doubt the top feature dwarfing all others. I mean, it's the whole reason you're using a tripod in the first place! And if you're budget conscious, this tripod gets you incredible stiffness for a bargain price. There are drawbacks which I'll discuss below, but basically if you're looking to not get spendy and are OK with buying a separate ball head, you can stop reading and buy this tripod.
The Center Column is a blog which scientifically measures objective tripod stiffness. This one is about as stiff as $200 to $500 tripods (seriously), it's just much heavier than those more expensive tripods. I'm not just parroting his results though, I've also personally verified that this thing will not budge.
So, it's stiff as the dickens and cheap, why am I giving it 4 stars? The main drawback is the ball head. It's a minor one since folks typically buy a separate ball head once you start getting into actual stiff camera mounting solutions (in fact most expensive tripods don't even come with ball heads). But Amazon chose to sell this as a total camera mount and I'm going to rate it based on that. The pistol grip mount is really annoying. At looser tensions, it's easy to grip the mount and precisely point the camera, but then the ball head will slip around (especially in the horizontal rotation direction). You can stiffen the tension with the set screw, but then you've got to give a death grip to move the thing, and you're not going to precisely point it when you're struggling to even pull the trigger. You could point it at a loose tension, and then tighten it once you're happy, but that's annoyingly time consuming, and you're cursed to carry around a hex wrench everywhere.
OK, so now you've figured out a way to annoyingly point the pistol grip head. You're set, right? Well actually the ball head is so dang tall and heavy that it inevitably has some wobble. Sure, it's better than a $20 tripod, but it's still there. So now you've spent 10 minutes getting annoyed at the ball head and it can't even do its job well. Basically, just accept that you're going to toss this into the junk drawer and get a better ball head. You will want to spend about as much as the cost of this tripod or more on the head alone, but that's just the way this works: ball heads are a separate beast and are equally as critical to a camera mount solution (and even more critical for your sanity).
The final drawback is the weight and size. However I didn't base my rating on this, since it's clearly in the spec sheet so you know what you're buying. But just know that this is a beast. You're not going to be hiking with this, you're going to drive somewhere and at most bring it 10 minutes away from your car. On the other hand, it's not a steel telescope mount, so it is at least a little portable.
There are other minor issues. The legs aren't smooth to adjust, but I personally think detracting for that is ridiculous since you spend about 5% or less of tripod time adjusting the legs (and these are still perfectly functional). Some of the plastics feel a little cheap, but who cares, at the end of the day the system comes together in a stiff way. And that may even help with damping.
So, my summary is: if you don't care about weight and size, and you are OK with spending another ~$70+ on a ball head, this is the tripod for you. Buying a separate ball head is basically a non issue since all other ball heads included with tripods in this price range are going to be similarly incapable (albeit might be easier to use than the annoying pistol grip style).