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Has your perfect picture ever ended up a blurry mess? Don’t miss out on capturing great vacation photographs because you don’t want to tote around a lot of photography equipment. The Manfrotto Pocket Support is your compact alternative to the traditional tripod.
1 | It’s compact.
The Manfrotto Pocket Support comes in two sizes: small for compact and mirrorless cameras with pancake lenses, and large for mirrorless and dSLR cameras. Because I use a dSLR, I have the large version. It weighs only 2.4 oz and adds less than half an inch to the bottom of my camera when closed. With the tiny legs extended, the maximum height is 1.57 inches.
Because of it’s slim profile, it’s always on my camera!
2 | You can install (or remove) it in less than a minute.
- Unfold the feet.
- Center the support over the bottom of your camera.
- Align the attached screw with the tripod mount hole and twist it in. (I use a quarter fitted in the slot to turn the screw until it’s tightly secured.)
- Fold the feet back over the item if you won’t be using it immediately.
Want to replace it with a standard tripod? No problem! Just unscrew and remove.
3 | It’s easy to use.
The Manfrotto Pocket Support has three little rubberized feet that you unfold and adjust individually. This makes it great for using on an uneven surface or angling it for your preferred line of sight.
4 | The price won’t break the bank.
Traditional tripods, including lighter and smaller travel versions, can cost upwards of $100. I’ve even seen some going for nearly $1000! These items are invaluable in the right time and place, especially for professional photographers, but I don’t think you need to spend you vacation savings on a tripod to capture your memories.
For less than $30, you can buy a Manfrotto Pocket Support and have money left over for some postcards!
5 | It will change the way you take pictures.
I like to keep my travel photo gear to the essentials, but leaving my tripod at home meant it was difficult to experiment with long exposures. Now I use the Pocket Support to balance and align my camera on a secure object (wall, bollard, fire hydrant, etc.) and shoot away.
When I was in Bibury, I wanted to get a picture of the water flowing by the old mill. The first picture, taken at 1/400 sec, freezes the water in one moment. By using the Pocket Support to stabilize my camera on a rock wall, I was able to capture the soft flow of water at 1/3 sec.
Taking pictures at night can also pose a problem. Even with a large aperture, you’ll have to settle for a high ISO if you want to keep your shutter speed at 1/50 sec or faster.
In London, I used the Pocket Support to capture some nighttime photos in Trafalgar Square and Westminster Bridge using bulb exposure. The shutter speed for both of these pictures is about 4 seconds.
So far, I’ve been very pleased with the Manfrotto Large Pocket Support as an alternative to travel or traditional tripods. The one drawback is that the support covers the battery compartment door on my Pentax K-50. However, it’s simple enough to loosen the screw and slide it out of the way without having to the remove it completely. Depending on the design of your camera, this might or might not be an issue for you.
Lastly, the Pocket Supports won’t support heavier equipment. If you use a professional camera or long-focus lens, you’ll probably want to stick to your current tripod.
Interested in trying a Manfrotto Pocket Support? You can find the small and large supports in a variety of colors on Amazon.