A few weeks ago we received a small package containing one of the smallest and lightest tripods we ever used – the FotoDiox Pro Tabletop mini Tripod. After spending some time with it we feel we have enough experience to come up with a few conclusions.
When it comes to tripods we have quite a bit of experience, however as it happens, in terms of tripod reviews we are actually starting small – very small. the FotoDiox Pro Tabletop mini Tripod is more or less as small as it gets in terms of functional tripods but as we shall discover soon its size is actually a big plus.
This is not only our first tripod review here on LensVid, it is also our first review of a product from FotoDiox. The company has been making photography accessories for the past 10 years and came up with quite a few interesting products (we looked at some of them here in the past) and we are hoping that this will be just the first of many more FotoDiox product reviews we shall be doing.
FotoDiox Pro Tabletop mini Tripod – perfect for accesories
Design and functionality
The FotoDiox Pro Tabletop mini Tripod is made out of heavy-duty aluminum and has very little in the sense of moving parts besides the head and the legs (no up/down movement, no center column).
The ball-head is very basic – it has one knob which open and closes the head itself and the turning mechanism as well (it might have been nicer to have one knob for each function but it’s no biggie). The head is kind of stiff (which is good) although its movement is not very smooth – not a problem if you are shooting stills but if you have plans to do all sorts of complex movement in the video – forget about it. If you are using this for accessories – which is the main use of this tripod – you simply won’t care one way or the other.
A closer look at the ballhead
We were really surprised by how much this unit can carry – the official number is 6lb (or close to 3KG) which is a lot for such a small tripod. However, it is very low (which is perfect for low angle shots as well as general stability) and were able to test the unit with all sorts of quite heavy things and it held up very nicely (including a Nikon D800 + Zeiss Otus 55mm and even Fujifilm X-T1 with 50-140mm lens – both seems very close to the max limit of the tripod but held up very well).
Can even hold serious cameras
We were so impressed by how strong the FotoDiox unit was that we decided to do something pretty foolish and stand on it. Well, let’s just say that it is a good thing that we did not film this, otherwise, it would have been an amazing blooper for the video. At any rate – don’t stand on it, it will break. Ours did on one of the legs which broke just in the middle where there is an extra 1/4″ 20 hole (if it wasn’t there maybe the thing would have survived us – who knows).
The good thing that came out of all of this is that we learned that you can (very simply) replace a leg in the tripod. Actually, this is so simple that anybody can do it in under 1 min – just open the screw on the bottom of the unit – the legs come off – replace the damaged leg, and you are done. FotoDiox was kind enough to send us one after we trashed the one we got and we replaced it and all was well.
Replace a leg with one screw
As for the extra 1/4″ 20 holes – they are a good addition, but maybe FotoDiox could have come up with a different way of adding them – maybe a longer base foot with holes – we are not sure. At any rate, as long as you don’t exceed the recommended weight you should be perfectly fine.
We really liked the FotoDiox Pro Tabletop mini Tripod (apart from the name which is honestly too long). Yes, there are many similar products on the market – some with more features, others with different designs, but FotoDiox was able to create something which does the job and does it well with very little fuss and not too much cost – which is kind of rare from a brand name product.
Small, light and easy to carry
The bottom line is simple – for the money (around $25), this tabletop tripod is very hard to beat – it is strong, light, easy to use, with good enough build quality and perfect for accessories and small (and even not so small) cameras.
Not as “smart” as other tabletop tripods but more compact and robust
What we liked
- Small, compact, and light.
- Decent build quality made out of metal.
- Low height.
- Relatively large carrying capacity.
- Extra 1/4″ 20 holes in the legs.
- Legs are easily replaceable if damaged.
What we didn’t like so much
- No height adjustment (just open/close).
- The legs could be even stronger if they didn’t have the extra 1/4″ 20 holes (or had some reinforcement in this part).
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