As the saying goes, “one isn’t rich enough to buy cheap things.” But is a dirt-cheap piece of gear worth buying after all? Adam Harig wanted to find out, and he found the cheapest tripod money could buy. I’m taking $8.50 cheap, folks; we spend more on takeout. So, is an $8.50 tripod indeed such a bad choice? Let’s see it in Adam’s “cheap tripod review.”
The Benro Theta is the world’s first tripod that automatically levels itself
Benro is preparing to release two new tripods via Kickstarter. They’re called the Benro Theta and Theta Max, and they’re sort of “smart” tripods. One of the biggest features they boast is that they’re auto-levelling tripods – the world’s first, they say. I have to admit, when I saw the video of one in action, it didn’t do it the way I thought it would. When we think of “auto-levelling” cameras, we typically think of gimbals. I assumed the head would move, but no, it’s the legs!
As well as automatic leg levelling, the tripods feature the ability through optional modules to control the camera, with remote live view, file syncing and more. You can also instantly live stream from wherever you are (assuming you have a signal), or there’s even an optical sensor module that automatically detects the ambient light levels and adjusts your shooting settings accordingly for those day-to-night holy grail timelapses.
Fuji announces the TG-BT1 Tripod Grip for vlogging and remote camera control
Fuji has announced its newest accessory for its range of mirrorless cameras, the TG-BT1 Tripod Grip. It’s designed for Fuji’s X series cameras to enhance mobility and ease of use handheld, particularly for video. It folds together as a handle, letting you use it for things like vlogging, with an array of buttons to let you control the camera directly from the handle and the legs also unfold to form a mini tripod.
Releasing such a device has become a common trend amongst mirrorless camera manufacturers as each company start to realise that vlogging is a thing for which people are using their products. We’ve seen similar products from Sony, Canon and Panasonic, and now it’s Fuji’s turn.
This is why you need an extra tall tripod in your equipment bag
We all started out with a lightweight tripod as our very first tripod. Most likely, then, after several uses and budget allowing, you upgraded to a much sturdier tripod. If you’ve ever struggled with a lightweight tripod, you know exactly why. And then the occasion strikes where you realize, at times, you also need a really tall tripod.
Then the options become fewer. It’s that intersect between affordable, robust, easy to carry … and really tall. Nothing else will suffice. For this kind of situation, I got the Robus RC-0888 carbon fiber tripod.
HEIPI is a new style of lightweight and compact 3-in-1 travel tripod with a 3-pillar centre column
There isn’t usually a lot of innovation in tripods. Occasionally we’ll see new materials being used, like the introduction of carbon fibre, or improved mechanisms to make things work more smoothly and easily. The HEIPI tripod, though, seems to rethink the whole concept of a travel tripod, by splitting the centre column into three for not only more stability when it’s raised but also to act as a second mini tripod.
It’s an interesting design that’s currently launching on Kickstarter. It allows you to essentially always carry two tripods with you wherever you need to go but takes up the space of only one. It uses patented quick lever locks on the legs which are made from carbon fibre to keep things as light as possible. It packs down to only 44.5cm, weighing 1.35kg and extends up to 150cm (or 59″).
This FROGPOD magnetic mount for your phones and camera turns the world into a tripod
What’s the collective noun for frogs? No, it’s not a box of frogs much to my disappointment. It’s actually an army. Sounds a little intimidating but they ain’t got nothing on crows. One innovative Kickstarter project is now open and asking people to “join their army” as they turn the world into their very own tripod.
The product is called the FROGPOD. It’s essentially a magnetic tripod mount, which contains incredibly strong magnets. The brand claims that it can hold pretty heavy weights, even a small DSLR or mirrorless camera. The magnets stick to anything metal, leaving you free to use anything you like (as long as it’s metal) to attach your camera or phone to.[Read More…]
The Atoll is a unique take on the traditional tripod lens collar for easy vertical shooting for stills and video
At first, the Atoll might seem like just a regular tripod collar, the kind that many of us have used with our lenses for years – at least telephoto lenses. But Atoll comes with a bit of a twist (no pun intended) that allows you to get that lens collar functionality with lenses that weren’t actually designed to have a collar attached.
It’s essentially two mounting plates in one – one that goes on top of your tripod head and one that mounts underneath your camera – connected via a rotating ring that goes around your lens and allows you to easily rotate it without having to deal with the inherent issues of ball heads and blocking cable connections. It’s been launched through Kickstarter where it’s already hammered its goal multiple times over.
Use a wine cork to replace your tripod’s missing foot
There are plenty of home décor items you can make with wine corks. But how about using them for a simple DIY project as a photographer? Adrian of aows used them to replace his tripod’s missing foot: a simple, but very useful trick. If your tripod has lost a foot as well, check out Adrian’s video to learn how to make a new one.
Hands on with the Platypod eXtreme
We recently covered the launch of the Platypod eXtreme. It’s the latest of Platypod’s Kickstarter projects and it’s part f their flat tripod line, coming in at $119 on Kickstarter. I have had one in my hands since late January. I took it with me to Iceland, Croatia, Wales, and a number of other places to test. Here are my thoughts.
The eXtreme boasts a few improvements on the Platypod Max (reviewed here), which is the model it most closely resembles. There are some clear upgrades to this model and it will be my go-to “tripod” for low-angle shots. The weight of the eXtreme is up there on the list, it weighs only 9.6oz versus the Max which comes in at 12.9oz (and is actually smaller). The construction of the eXtreme is where the weight saving comes in. There are more cut-outs for accessory use and to make space for the collapsible screw legs, which gives the eXtreme its angular-looking aesthetic. The material itself, which is aircraft-grade aluminum, remains the same high quality as before, and the thickness is the same.
The new Platypod eXtreme tripod comes with hinged feet, more mounting points and an integrated handle
Launched in 2017, Platypod Max quickly became quite popular among action shooters and those working in rough terrain where a traditional tripod just isn’t practical. It’s essentially a metal plate with feet on the bottom, a 3/8-16″ thread on the top and a bunch of mounting holes and four adjustable feet to let you set it up pretty much anywhere you want. In 2018, they launched the Platypod Ultra, a smaller version.
Now, the company has announced the newest addition to the family, the Platypod eXtreme, which is lighter than the original Platypod Max but comes with some design improvements that offer some definite benefits. It has a built-in handle now, more reattachment points and the feet can now be stored inside the plate on rotatable mounts for faster deployment anywhere.
- Next Page »
FIND THIS INTERESTING? SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS!