A $300 budget is definately doable... For one of my contract companies, we got a great strong and durable leg/head set up although it is a ball head and you may want to look into fluid heads for video... What we looked at was Slik legs 700dx... They are light weight, but holds a load of 15 pounds and can go up to 74" legs and column extended alone without head! The legs are heavy duty, easy to operate, and still light enough to carry around... Head we went with manfrotto 494RC2 AND the 3265 for when we need the grip action... the grip does lose load strength, but will carry most everything you would need. For video you will want to opt for a fluid head rather than a ball head, although ball heads can still do video, just not as well or as smooth. Smith and victor and vanguard heads can be picked up for $40-60 at adorama... Manfrotto Fluid heads start at $72 and on up... Obviously, the more $$ you pay for the head, the better, but legs, the Slik legs are nice and the best bang for your buck.