Keeping in mind the stuff I do, I'd say go for the heavier, more rigid ones. I've found that sometimes the weak link is right at the camera... cheap ones will stand just fine but the tilt/pan parts are flimsy and just won't hold. I really noticed it when I went to large format. But with...
'Gone With the Wind' star Olivia de Havilland dies at 104
Olivia de Havilland, classic star of Hollywood and two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress, died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Paris, France, on Saturday. She was 104.
Invest in some graduated neutral density filters, for your outdoor shots. They help tame a bright sky. Also, a lens shade to keep away the glare. You can use one that mounts on the lens, or use a hat, or even just a hand. But on the other hand, creative use of glare can be really cool too.