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I have had this tripod for a while now and have struggled to find anything that is a major issue, yes there are a few things but not everything is perfect but then you remember the price so you can't complain. so the problems, STAY AWAY FROM SAND!!! it gets inside all the moving legs and scratches the metal and makes it stiff, you could say it is a bit too light so becomes slightly unstable on uneven surfaces but there is a hook at the bottom to hang weights on the last negative is that the legs are to wide so its hard to get close to things or get in a tight spot. It folds down a lot but still seems very chunky when folded it measures 66cm which doesn't sound a lot but it is.
I do like the detachable head which makes it a lot easier and quicker to remove and attach the camera. There are two spirit levels which are really helpful for landscapes, one is for base to check it is level when on uneven ground and the other for the camera itself. The tripod also enables you to take portrait photo's as the top of the tripod is lose and opens sideways holding the camera portrait. It comes with a carry bag which is nothing special just makes it slightly easier.
To make it clear, this is a budge tripod, hence the price. That is not to say the quality is poor, but it does have plastic parts as well as aluminium. However, it is very versatile and I have not experienced any problems with the build quality.
One of the nice things about this tripod is the spirit levels, which help to ensure the camera is level, regardless of how uneven the ground is. I found it easy enough to adjust (and had not owned such a tripod before) and get the position I wanted. I have not used it a lot, but mainly for timed shots with friends and family. Also some indoor shots when I was experimenting. At this price, it's worth it even of occasional users who want to ensure they are in the photo, but the camera is positioned well when left on the timer.
When I purchased mine, I got a carry case, but I have also seen them advertised without it (and even at a higher price), so ensure you shop around as the case is useful. Fits perfectly and makes it easy to carry. The tripod is 1.74kg, so not too heavy.
I have to be honest, when I started looking for a tripod, I wasn't too sure what height I needed. This one goes up to 1.6m and so far I have not found this a limitation. I wasn't too sure if it would be high enough, but that is definitely not the case.
I can't really fault it at this price. You get what you pay for and I feel like I got a product worth far more.
I bought this tripod in 2009 when I was studying Media at A-Level. I needed a sturdy tripod to use in the outdoor environment because I needed to film on cliff faces! As this was a really amateur project, the camcorder I used was a Panasonic SDR-S70. I do not pretend to know everything about filming and photography equipment, so forgive me if I can not elaborate on some of the points I raise in this review, so here goes a beginners guide to the Hama Star 63 tripod:
-PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN-
The tripod is made from aluminium so it is really lightweight and therefore easy to carry around. My tripod has had a fair bit of use over the two years, indoor and outdoor, and there's not a single bit of damage on the frame, which shows how robust the aluminium material is. It is slightly copper in colour, which isn't a bad thing! It actually makes it look better quality!
A major plus is that it is VERY STURDY. The picture quality of my filming was second to none. The tripod also comes with the standard spirit level, so you know that your picture will always be straight. The top of the tripod, where you rest the camera on, is made of durable-plastic. I have dropped my tripod once before and it hardly makes a mark! This part also comes with a 'gear-stick' so it is easy to make smooth movements whilst filming. It can be tilted up and down as well as left and right, although I'm sure you expect that from a tripod!
The tripod has rubber feet on the end, which came in really handy when used on rough surfaces, giving the tripod much better grip. There is a hook on the back to weigh the tripod down more or merely just to hang your belongings on!
There are three legs in total, and they extend more than I need. I am only 5ft 4 in height, but my taller friends have no problems with the height of the tripod! It would suit people around 6ft tall no problem.
The tripod also comes with its own carrying case with a strap so you can carry it on your shoulders. Therefore it is really easy to manoeuvre if you are walking around whilst shooting.
The first time I used the tripod I was surprised at how little time it took to work out how everything interacted. Even without the instructions it is obvious how the tripod works! It is just a case of extending and tightening. Therefore I would highly recommend this for beginners like me!
-TECHNICAL DETAILS -
Folded length: 66cm
Maximum operating height: 166cm
When I originally bought the tripod, Amazon.co.uk were selling it for around £29.99, which was a real bargain at the time! It now sells for a mere £17.06, since Hama Star have bought out newer models, to rival the 63. Google has also informed me that 7dayshop.com sell this tripod slightly cheaper at £15.99.
I give this tripod 5/5 easily! If you want a cheap, sturdy tripod that is easy to set up and use, the Hama Star 63 is the best option. Really happy with my purchase.
Thank you for reading. This review also appears on Ciao under the username: strawberry_123
When researching for a tripod, I wasn't too fussed on quality, as long as it did the job and was as cheap as possible. So in the cheap end, you will find all kinds of Hama tripods on the market. Between all of them, reading all the reviews I settled on the 63 model as it was supposed to be sturdier than their previous models and has a good height.
Actually, the build could be better but then again its price is really low so in the price category its pretty okay. The hinges that connect the three legs to the central rod are made of flimsy plastic and really weak, one of them has broken on mine. I can still use the tripod though indoors where there is no wind. But if you want to use it outdoors, broken hinge or not, its not going to fare very well. So if your purpose is for outdoors don't be tempted by the cheap price,look for something else.
Apart from the disappointing build quality in the hinges, everything else is
pretty average and if you cant justify spending 50+ on a tripod then this is for you. I wasn't too impressed though
I'm a big fan of wildlife photography, particularly birds. My largest lens is the Tamron 200-500mm which weights around a kilogram. Using this 'in the field' in less than optimal lighting really benefits from the camera and lens being mounted on a sturdy tripod.
When looking for a tripod two years ago, I decided on the Hama Star 63. The specifications looked OK; it was lightweight (I often walk for miles carrying my photography equipment), and small, yet offered a height of 166cm, more than enough for me. It also appeared amazing value for money at only £15.
Initial impressions were quite favourable. The tripod legs are made of aluminium; but of a very thin tube thickness, making the unit very light indeed, but quite solid. The tripod has a quick release head which attaches to my camera, allowing me to fit the camera to the tripod in seconds. The tripod is a golden metallic colour which gives it quite a nice appearance.
The centre column is raised by use of a crank; getting the tripod to the correct height is easy and takes only a few seconds. The legs have a quick locking mechanism that means the tripod can be extended very quickly. This, together with the quick release head, means that the tripod can be ready for use in less than a minute.
The three way tripod head is made of black plastic and is fitted with a spirit level, helping to ensure a level base for the camera (no more sloping horizon shots!). Initially, the movement of the head was very stiff. I took this to be due to the tripod's newness and simply oiled the fittings. This made a big difference. The motion now, although not as smooth as an expensive tripod, is adequate.
It was only when using the tripod outside that its limitations became apparent. The unit's lightness, whilst a benefit, is also its biggest weakness. Much of my wildlife photography is carried out in the open air, where the equipment is at the mercy of any wind.
I found that, in order to get the correct height for me to peer through the viewfinder, without straining my neck, it was necessary to raise the centre column. This makes the tripod/camera top heavy, and makes the tripod even more vulnerable to the wind.
Within a few uses, it was evident that, in anything other than a gentle breeze, the tripod was almost useless. The camera would sway about on the tripod, and be unable to provide a stable platform to effect medium exposure shots without camera shake being evident.
Wondering whether it was the weight of my lens causing the problem, I tried my 18-200mm lens. Even here, the tripod was not stable in a breeze.
It's possible to improve stability by holding the camera and tripod, but this can introduce camera shake from the user's body.
Despite the tripod's shortcomings, I've been using it on and off for two years. Recently, however, one of the sockets for the legs has snapped. The tripod is still useable, but when being carried, the leg slips out of the socket and waves about.
The lightness of the tripod finally let me down as the breakage occurred without any accident; it just failed.
In summary then, this is an attractive, lightweight tripod with some excellent features, including a very fast set up time. It is only suitable for the lightest of duties, however, and anyone wanting a hard wearing tripod that can provide a stable platform outside had best look elsewhere.