Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
Nice prototype. Maybe next time.
on December 30, 2012
On the surface, this looks like an ideal photo accessory. It's a tripod, a monopod, a min-tripod, and even more. However, in execution, it's just not ready, yet.
Premise: I purchased this so that I could have a compact, lightweight monopod to travel and hike with that could also be used as a tripod in a pinch.
Weight: VERY heavy considering it's size. My full-size carbon fiber tripod with ball head weighs about the same. This thing would make a good police night stick. The upside to this is that it feels like a solid, high quality product.
Ease of use: The twist-lock extension is extremely hard to work with. When you twist it to lock , it can become very difficult to unlock---so much so that Sony had to drill a hold in the side for a knob so you can get extra leverage. On the other hand, I once had a section collapse down when I didn't twist lock enough.
Size: It's not that compact in reality. I have a small Manfrotto tripod that I use for flashes that is shorter than this monopod.
Tripod Stability: This was the final decider for returning the multipod. When used as a tripod at full height, it's just too wobbly. I put my Nikon D7000 with a small prime lens on it and was scared it would tip over. This camera/lens combo is below the 4 pound limit Sony suggests and the center of gravity is almost directly over the mount point. To be fair, the wobbliness has nothing to do with the rigidity of the multipod; it's the small tripod portion supporting weight at that 5 ft. height that's the issue. Even with a small camcorder or point and shoot (or even nothing at all attached), it's still going to be wobbly just because the multipod is top heavy and the footprint of the tripod portion is so small.
Monopod: Too heavy and too "indoor" to use walking around. For a wedding, it might be OK, but so would any simple monopod.
Ball head: The included ball head is very basic and small. I had difficulty getting the camera mound locked into the head at times. The multipod does have a standard screw-on top, though, so you can fit any head you currently own to it.
Versatility: The multipod does all it advertises--and that may be it's biggest flaw and the reason it and any others designed to do everything will ultimately prove unsatisfactory. You can't make a minivan into a sports car and maybe you can't make a single camera mount into every mount you might need.
Price: I got this during a Black Cyber Friday Monday deal for a great price. At it's regular price point, and given it's limitations, it's not worth anything close to what Sony believes. I can certainly see how much R&D is tied up in this and how much attention was paid to quality control, but it's just not worth it.
Positives: The tripod portion makes a GREAT tabletop tripod. The bag reconfigures into any size you need and is very very cool with it's ability to be used as a "flag holder" (see the pics). Construction feels very high quality.
Recommendation: If you are thinking about ordering this, I'd look at it as a great table top tripod with an occasional use as a monopod or tripod (if no kids, dogs, etc. will bump into it). Also, if someone breaks into your house, you can always beat them over the head with it.
Maybe next time, Sony.