We have noticed a fair few people reaching out on photography forums and social media sites asking for advice on the Slik tripod range recently so we decided to publish this Slik U8000 tripod review to try help anyone who is considering picking it up. By publishing this article we also have something that we can link people to in the future who we see reaching out for advice on the Silk tripod range or the Silk U8000 too.
Now, the Slik U8000 is in the sub $50 tripod price range so we would definatley consider it an entry-level tripod that may very well be the first tripod for someone just starting out their photography or videography journey. In addition to this though, the low price tag also makes it ideal for anyone looking to pick up camera accessories while on a tight budget too so we can see the Slik U8000 being a decent little tripod for a large number of people.
The decent build quality and solid performance relative to its price tag have also helped the Slik U8000 earn itself a great reputation amongst the community in a pretty short space of time too in all fairness to it. Another thing the U8000 has going for it is that there are so many poor quality, cheap tripods in this price bracket that any product that manages to prove itself and earn a decent reputation is going to end up standing out and keep a steadily growing customer base for years to come.
User Interface And Control System
Thankfully, Slik has taken into account that it is highly likely that many of the people using the Slik U8000 will actually be using it as their very first tripod ever. Due to this, Slik has made everything on the tripod as easy to use as possible allowing you to easily get to grips with how to best use the tripod without having to waste your time. If this is the first tripod that you have used then we are confident that you will be able to take it out of its box and set it up within seconds without running into a problem.
Additionally, if this is your first tripod, there is no need to worry about the whole flip lock vs leg lock system debate as you have never used either and have no preference anyway. That said, the U8000 uses a flip lock system for its leg locks that allow you to easily secure the legs of the tripod in their position when extended. The secure locking mechanism ensures that once the tripod is built and its leg locks flipped closed, it will stay in that position keeping your camera rig safe when mounted.
Keep in mind that the U8000 has a maximum upper load capacity of 4.5 pounds so if you do exceed its payload capacity, even with the legs locked in place, you do risk it giving way. On the flip side of this though, there aren’t many entry-level camera rigs we can think of that will be near 4.5 pounds anyway.
The image above shows the included fluid head that is included with the Slik U8000 and in all fairness to it, it is a solid little tripod head that outright beats most of the completing tripods. Not only is the head easy to use but the fact that it is a fluid head rather than a ball head gives it an instant advantage over all the sub $50 price range tripods that come with a ball head.
The handle on the fluid head allows you to slowly pan your camera rig as required to capture some great panoramic photographs or some epic slow pan video footage that is a nightmare to do well on a ball head. In addition to this, unlike some competing tripods at this price point in the market, extra quick release plates (Click here to check for product prices and availability) are easy to source and they are cheap. This lets you mount one to all cameras in your collection so you can quickly and easily hot-swap between your cameras and mount them on the tripod as required without having to waste time.
Performance And Functionality
For an entry-level tripod in the sub $50 price bracket, the Slik U8000 does a pretty decent job when it comes to image stabilization in all fairness to it. Once it has been set up, the legs are secure and the rubber feet at the base of each of the legs provides additional grip to ensure that your camera is safe and stable once mounted. The tripod also has a maximum usable height of 59.1 inches allowing it to tower up there with the best of them.
This allows you to take advantage of the tripod as a very cheap source or safe and reliable image stabilization to help improve your image quality. In addition to this, as we mentioned above, the fluid head allows you to capture some great quality panning footage or video without having to spend extra money on a fluid head as it is included with your purchase as standard.
There are also countless reviews of the tripod that have been posted by third-party photographers and videographers commenting on its excellent performance and how highly they regard the Slik U8000. All in all, we really can’t fault Slik and feel they have done a great job with the performance the tripod provides, especially when you take into account its very low price tag.
Build Quality And Design
One thing that we do want to point out to our readers as that the Slik U8000 is very lightweight while also having a pretty low payload capacity meaning even with your camera rig mounted, the full thing is lightweight. It also lacks a counterweight hook at the bottom of the central column too so you are unable to hand additional weight off the tripod to try and increase its stability when using it outside in windy conditions.
Due to this, we would not advise you use the Slik U8000 in windy situations and if you have to, ensure that you keep hold of it to prevent it from potentially blowing over in the wind. We know that the chances are small and windy conditions are not ideal for photography or videography anyway but we just wanted to point it out and make our readers aware of the tripods only real major weakness.
Question – Can you remove the mid-level spreader on the Slik U8000?
Answer – You would be able to do it with force but it is not a feature of the tripod and we would not recommend it either as it is a key part of the design for the stability of the legs on the tripod when in use.
Question – Does the Slik U8000 come with a carry case?
Answer – No but you can purchase this one that the U8000 will fit into for cheap.
Third Party Reports
As we mentioned earlier in the article, you can also click here to read a bunch of reviews about the Slik U8000 that have been posted by third-party, independent photographers who are using the tripod too.
That brings our review of the Slik U8000 tripod to an end and we are actually very impressed with it and the amount of image stabilization that the tripod can provide. In addition to this, we feel it is one of the stronger entry-level tripods on the market right now and we can definatley see why it has proven such a hit with the community and earned itself the reputation that it has.