For lifting lightweight cameras a £2
0 fibreglass pole is not necessarily a bad choice.
008, I bought an 11 metre carbon pole (£80) and an 8 metre fibreglass pole (c. £15-£2
0). Both are put-over / take-apart poles. The carbon pole is very stiff and the fibreglass pole a little floppy. I use a simple rig (hopefully pictured below) a few variants of the same basic design. I've not used the carbon pole much in recent years because I keep having problems with it splitting even using lightweight cameras (Canon Ixus).
I found that carrying the longer carbon pole on my rucksack was a bit of a pain with it moving around as it could only be secured in the lower half of its collapsed length. I might be out walking with pole and kite all day photographing archaeological sites.
For carrying on a rucksack the shorter fibreglass pole works much better, and is easier to find a place for it in the car.
I have never had a pole catastrophically split, Soon after purchase I split the lowest section of the carbon pole later it developed some splits around the middle section, it is still usable with great care. I've a few splits in the lower section of the fibreglass pole but it is still usable.
I think that my biggest problem with splitting is down to bad technique of lifting the camera into the air and bringing it back down again.
You can just lift the camera into the air holding the fat lowest section - its can be quite quick but seems to put a lot of strain on the pole and you can feel a lot of leverage. You can assemble the pole vertically lifting the camera as you go, its very easily to damage the joints when the heavy part moves.
I find the best way is to assemble the pole on the ground then put the camera on the end, park/position the fat lower end against something to stop it moving/pushing away. Then from the camera slowly walk back to the lower end lifting the pole as you go and the same in reverse to bring the pole back down again.
On the fibreglass pole I now use a Canon S110, Canon G1x, Panasonic GX1 (micro four thirds) with 14mm lens and video transmitter.
Recently (June 2
019) I bought a new 8m fibreglass pole (NGT Ambassador) from a seller on ebay UK for £2
0 delivered, which gives me 6.5m height from the ground. it is a bit stiffer (good) than Grandeslam Energie and seems to work fine at the moment.
Ron Thompson Muscle Zone. 11m carbon. 9.3m maximum camera height, 1.62
m collapsed length. 1060g
Grandeslam Energie. 8m fibreglass. 6.6m maximum camera height. 1.17m collapsed length. 92
NGT Ambassador. 8m fibreglass. 6.5m maximum camera height. 1.15m collapsed length. 960g