There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tripods for sale. It can get very confusing if you're in the market for your first tripod. Why is a tripod important? For starters, if you want to take a photo of a beautiful scene, a landscape for example, you will want to stabilize your camera. The mirror inside of a DSLR flips up when you push the shutter, which makes a small vibration in the camera. That vibration can result in a picture that is not sharp. Another reason is that if you use a slower shutter speed, say..under 1/100 of a second, you will likely move the camera enough that the camera or lens' stabilization will not be able to compensate. Still another reason would be for family photos, when you don't have an available person to push the shutter button. You can set the camera on a tripod, adjust its' settings, set the timer, and join in the picture.
Tripods can be cheap, box store type, tripods costing $30 or so, or they can run into the $1000s for a full carbon fiber, super-strong and sturdy professional level tripod.
So, what are some good, affordable tripods?
The Mefoto series by Manfrotto, (a well-respected, long established company) is fantastic...and stylish too. Some of my professional photographer friends would scoff at not spending large amounts of cash on a tripod, but for those of us where it's not career threatening on what tripod to use, these are an excellent, and versatile option.
#1--The MeFoto Daytrip-
This little tripod is perfect for point-and-shoot cameras, as it is sturdy enough for a small camera. It's not going to be as sturdy when using a DSLR, so it may not be for everyone. At $99, it's worth the cost.
#2--The MeFoto Backpacker-
A more robust tripod than the smaller Daytrip, this one is a good one for portability. It will support a DSLR, but is lighter than the larger tripods. It is versatile, as it has a monopod built in. Get this one is weight is an issue, and you're willing to sacrifice some sturdiness for the lighter weight.
#3--The MeFoto Roadtrip-
This is the sturdiest of the three. It will support a large DSLR with a moderate range zoom lens attached. It will serve you for most any need, but will still not be as solid as a very expensive tripod that costs upwards of $500-$1000. It too comes with a monopod built in. For $200, this tripod will be all that most people need. And, like the other two options, there are many colors to choose from. After all, why does a tripod need to be boring?!