I'm thinking to buy Benro A-550 EX BH-1 as my first tripod from this seller in China (not sure how trusty it is, so would be gkad to hear from somebody who had had business with them):http://www.ebay.com/itm/Benro-A-550-EX-BH-1-A550FBH1-Tripod-KIT-FAST-SHIP-/140727941239?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item20c409f877#ht_5499wt_1163
The cost is 155$ and free shipping. I'm an amateur photographer and will only use it occasionally so I can't afford anything more expensive (actually this one a bit to expensive for me). I've heard some good reports here and elsewhere on Benro in general (usually the more expensive). I was wandering if someone used this particular (or similar) model and can testify? It comes with a ballhead and seems very reasonable for it's price.
I'm using 60D with 55-250mm lens (my heaviest for now).
I would also be glad to have recommendations on other tripods in this price range if you believe they are better.
The tripod you point to is about 52 inches tall without extending the center column. I have a set of Benro legs and they are fine, but much heavier than those.
I also bought two Benro BH-1 heads from China. They were pure garbage, I only used them once. They are not smooth, and worst of all, they slip if you do not use extreme force to lock them. Don't go there!!
Get a tripod tall enough so that you do not have to extend the center column to stand at it and look thru your viewfinder. Usually, thats about 58 inches or more.
You are not going to find a pro quality tripod in your price range, but at least get one the right height.