Today we are extremely proud to bring to you the first ever review of a new product by Miggo called “Splat”. This tiny flexible tripod can carry a serious weight and attach to all sort of surfaces but still maintains a high level of mobility.
Many of you are probably familiar with Joby’s GorillaPod tripods. These flexible units have flexible joints which allows them to connect to many things and the large version can hold quite a bit of gear. Since their introduction they became extremely popular and although the originals are quite expensive, you can currently find many knockoffs for reduced prices.
Despite the flexibility, the GorillaPod joints are quite thick (especially on the larger heavy duty version) making it a bit less easy to carry around in smaller camera bags (it will probably never fit with a camera in a holster). Enters the Israeli company Miggo with its Splat flexible tripod which can carry quite a bit of weight but has a different type of leg which can fold onto the camera (see example in the video).
The Miggo Splat with a D7100 and a 10-20mm Sigma lens
Before we look at the Splat, here is a quick reminder about Miggo. Last year we published a LensVid exclusive interview with one of the founders of Miggo following the launch of their first kickstarter campaign called Strap & Wrap. The three founders of Miggo came from another Israeli bag manufacturer – KATA (now integrated completely into Manfrotto Bags). Since than they proved themselves to be at least as innovative as they used to be in KATA, introducing several new products including the Agua Water Resistant Camera Holster – which we recently reviewed (and liked – especially the excellent included strap).
Build and design
The Splat has its name because it comes as a completely flat tripod. Of course for most uses you will likely want to bend the legs which are made out of some sort of metal with silicon or rubber like materiel. The legs can bend quite easily if you apply some force but they should not bend because of the weight of your gear (see usability below).
The Splat has a hole in one of the legs – this is intended to help you mount the tripod to and (heavy duty) screw on the wall – just keep in mind that your camera is hanging solely on this screw so be 100% sure it will hold.
The tips of the legs have non slip dots and the mid section has a 1/4″ 20 thumb screw to lock your camera (or something like a quick release or a ball-head if this is what you prefer).
Non-slip dots on the legs
Miggo were nice enough to let us test the Splat before anybody else in the world. The company actually didn’t even announced it officially (although you can find it already on their website – see link below), so this isn’t just a review but a first try of a completely new product.
Before we got the unit we were not sure how strong it will be. After all looking at the thin legs, they don’t look like they can give you the same robustness that something like the heavy GorillaPod can with its thick plastic joins, but we were actually really surprised. It seems that Miggo were actually able to reach the perfect sweat spot between good support and flexibility.
For us the ability to put the Splat with our camera on any flat surface and very easily give it any angle that we want was really useful. Yes, theoretically you can do this with a big tripod and a ballhead or even a small one but there are situations were a big tripod can’t be used (think of shooting from the side of a bridge, fence etc.) and places that a normal mini tripod can’t work from (a very small or non flat surface for example).
Fixing your camera to a tree is easy
Compared to something like a GorillaPod, the Miggo Splat is simply much smaller and lighter and to be honest – much more fun to use (because of the texture of the material). We could also carry it with us more or less anywhere since you can turn it inside-out on the camera and put it in almost and holster or camera bag that fits your camera (even with a quick release we could fit it with our D7100 into our large holster).
The option to place the unit from the wall is really cool, but to be honest were were really scared of doing this for any length of time as we are not sure that the screw will hold. If you have a long screw which is held firmly and/or a small light camera – this can be a really cool way of getting an interesting angle easily without using a large tripod.
Finally we get to carrying capacity. The official specs from Miggo state around 1.2KG (2.6 lbs) which isn’t huge (a D810 + 24-70 lens will weight significantly more), however in our testing the Splat could hold more, much much more. As long as the weight is more or less centred (no long lenses), you can easily place a 2.5kg camera/lens on top of it and we even tried it with a 5KG weight and it held (make sure you have plenty of contact between the legs and the surface), very impressive!
Some of the official features
After playing with the Splat for a few weeks we can say that its a really cool little accessory that we think any photographer will appreciate. Its flexible, easy to use, very versatile and extremely portable. No less important – its really inexpensive, making it a really cool impulse buy or gift.
Is the Splat a complete replacement for something like the heavy duty GorillaPod (like the GorillaPod Focus), probably now – the legs are simply not long enough and the camera can’t be positioned high enough – however if you just need to place a pretty heavy camera on a stable mini tripod and quickly change angles, the Splat is an awesome solution for 1/4 of the price.
You can purchase the Splat directly from the Miggo website for $25 (there are also two smaller versions for compact cameras/mirrorless cameras and GoPros for $20).
What we liked
- Good build quality.
- Can hold much more than specified weight (if distributed correctly).
- Extremely versatile – can be attached to almost any surface and even connect to a wall (with a heavy duty screw).
- Can wrap around a camera for easy and convenient transportation.
What we didn’t like so much
- Legs might not be long enough for some uses.
You can check out more LensVid exclusive articles and reviews on the following link.