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by PowerReviews
ManfrottoBeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod
 
4.5

(based on 84 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (50)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (27)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Folds away (66)
  • Lightweight (61)
  • Stable (51)
  • Unfolds quickly (42)

Cons

  • Unstable (7)
  • Poor quality (4)
  • Cumbersome (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (56)
  • Landscape/scenery (38)
  • Night shots (33)
  • Home (20)
  • Portraits (16)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (34), Semi-pro photographer (12), Pro photographer (10), Casual photographer (8), Tech savvy (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (67), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Nice tripod, a few little quirks

I was looking for a nice travel tripod to replace my Slik Sprint and having the larger 190 and 290 Manfrottos, I thought I would give this a try. At first, there was...Read complete review

I was looking for a nice travel tripod to replace my Slik Sprint and having the larger 190 and 290 Manfrottos, I thought I would give this a try. At first, there was a few things that I didn't like about this unit: the fact that you have to remove the QR plate when folding it (minor) and the fact that it's not a panoramic head. The QR plate locks in a bit differently than the other Manfrottos too. I ended up also purchasing the MePhoto Road Trip, which is around the same price and the same folded length (I know, I probably could have bought a carbon fiber for the combined cost of the two). The MePhoto is about 6-8 inches taller because of an extra leg section and about a half pound heavier. It does have a panorama control, which is nice. Also can handle a heavier camera and converts to a monopod. But the RoadTrip has a few issues too: twist locks and the arcaswiss QR plate. Some people like those features, I personally do not. On twist locks I sometimes miss one, and sometimes I have to tighten them twice. With the flip locks on the BeFree, you know when its locked or unlocked - no guessing. The BeFree sets up much quicker, so I usually take that one unless I know I'm going to do a panorama or invert the center column (both invert, but its a little easier to do on the RoadTrip). Both are great tripods, well made, and sturdy. You wont go wrong with either one.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

My review

I bought it in late summer and after two very light uses the legs became very stiff to operate, and the QR is getting difficult to use, basically losing all the smoothness it supposed...Read complete review

I bought it in late summer and after two very light uses the legs became very stiff to operate, and the QR is getting difficult to use, basically losing all the smoothness it supposed to deliver.

I sent it back to Manfrotto for warranty service since late October, and I was told yesterday (12/10)that they are still waiting for three parts to be shipped from Italy in order to get my new tripod repaired. Such a long delay in service is not acceptable at all. I have requested twice to Manfrotto to ask for a quick solution in the last week as I need it for my upcoming shoot and surprisingly I have not received any response back so far :-(

Reviewed by 84 customers

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5.0

good tripod

By tanrininlutfu

from Davis, CA

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

      I use this tripod for my short trips. It is not heavy and it comes with its original bag which helps me carry it with me during my trip. I can put it to my backpack but it will not fit to smaller backpacks. You can orient it in different ways and its ball head is good and firm enough up to now.

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      4.0

      Good quality

      By Salvador Garcia de Alba

      from Guadalajara, Mexico

      About Me Tech Savvy

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Good Stability
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Stabilization

        Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

        I was looking forward on having a light tripod for traveling. Manfroto's befree tripod has great quality materials and it's stable using it with my Nikon D7100. I wish the tripod's head had a bubble to check the horizon.It's a little bit havier than I thought but not to worry much about it definitly lighter than larger tripods.Comes with a nice carrying bag.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        I Love It

        By BoNexus

        from Vancouver, Canada

        About Me Tech Savvy

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Folds Small
        • Good Stability
        • Lightweight
        • Unfolds Quickly

        Cons

        • Limited Precision
        • Limited Range Of Motion

        Best Uses

          Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

          This is so fast/easy to set up and take down. I can bring it so easily with me anywhere as it's so light to carry. I hear there's a carbon version coming out that's maybe 400 g lighter but this is so light already -- can't justify the cost difference if weight is the deciding factor! This is great for those who do not need exact way of measuring tilt/angles/whatever to take photos (e.g. if you're trying to piece together multiple photos for a bigger photo or a panorama or something, then you'd need a more serious tripod with a more serious ballhead). I am a moderately avid hobbyist so this is perfect. For what it is, I give it 5 stars.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good travel tripod

          By Richard

          from Hampton, NH

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Folds Small
          • Good Stability
          • Great build quality

          Cons

          • No Pan Lock

          Best Uses

          • Travel Tripod

          Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

          This tripod is a very good compromise between portability and sturdiness. It has excellent Manfrotto build quality, while being fairly lightweight and very compact.I do wish that the ballhead had a separate pan lock knob. You should note this fact - you cannot use it for doing panaramic photography (stitch together multiple shots), or video, because there is no way to pan the camera without unlocking the ball.Related to that complaint, the case fits so perfectly that if you try to put an alternate head on it that will allow separate pan locking (like the Joby Ballhead X), you cannot fit the tripod into the case, even if the alternate head is VERY close in size to the original head. Couldn't they have made the case slightly larger, to allow a little flexibility?But on the whole I recommend this tripod, and from what I could find, it seems to be the best compromise between small size and sturdiness.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Fits in the backpack!

          By Sara

          from Santa Rosa CA

          About Me Professional photographer, Tech Savvy

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Folds Small
          • Lightweight
          • Unfolds Quickly

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

              I use this with a Canon DSLR when I'm doing hiking nature photography. Fits great in the side pocket of the Manfrotto backpack I bought with. Light, pretty stable and tall enough for me 5'7". Would love a taller one, but for the price, whatever. Fits all the Bogen QR plates I already have.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Perfect for Travel/Carry-on

              By CrazySunflowerPhoto

              from East Coast, USA

              About Me Tech Savvy

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Folds Small
              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight
              • Unfolds Quickly

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Stabilization
                • Travel

                Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                I recently travelled with a Think Tank Streetwalker backpack and Manfrotto 190cxPro3 with 327rc2 head attached to the bag - as my carry-on. While that is an AWESOME tripod and head,,, it was not a good size for carrying on - a bit too bulky. Also a bit of a bear to lug around the Grand Canyon. This Befree is a much better size - fits inside the Streetwalker or other luggage and has your typical quality Manfrotto build.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                4.0

                Handy to have

                By Gallopingphotog

                from Texas

                About Me Technically Challenged

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Folds Small
                • Good Stability
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                • Cumbersome

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                  A good full-size tripod is a must-have, but it can be a pain in the patoot to haul around, especially if you are not even sure you will need a tripod! This is a good compromise. It won't replace a regular one but is great for flowers, low landscapes, etc. And often I have found a boulder, etc. to put it on for a higher viewpoint.
                  Setting the legs to the correct spread was awkward at first but got used to it. It comes with the same quick-release plate as on my big tripod, so that's handy. The top segment of one leg has a foam wrap. I wrapped the other two with lightweight silicone tape so they're easier to grip, won't get so cold in winter.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  good value for money

                  By Robert C.

                  from San Francisco CA

                  About Me Student

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Folds Small
                  • Lightweight
                  • Unfolds Quickly

                  Cons

                  • Unstable
                  • Weak Construction

                  Best Uses

                  • Travel

                  Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                  A nice travel and compact tripod. Ball head is a bit flimsy and cheaply built though. Not for serious landscape photography.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Love it

                  By Tone

                  from Boise, Id

                  About Me Technically Challenged

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Folds Small
                  • Good Stability
                  • Lightweight
                  • Unfolds Quickly

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Stabilization

                    Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                    Great little travel tripod! Lightweight, sturdy and compact! Get one!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Lightweight and Easy to Use

                    By Kodi

                    from Green Bay, WI

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Folds Small
                    • Good Stability
                    • Lightweight
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                        This tripod is perfect for me -- I use it for real estate photography and love how easy it is to move around. It's light and plenty stable for what I use it for, however if you're putting it on super unstable surfaces it may not fair as well.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Befree Compact Tripod

                        By Richard Arbas

                        from New York, NY

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Folds Small
                        • Good Stability

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Home
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Travel
                          • Wildlife

                          Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                          Thanks to its ingenious design, which is about legs are folding back and covers the bowl head, and shorten the whole lengths of the tripod significantly, it is literally compact but still sturdy and easy to carry everywhere type of tripod.
                          The second angle of leg opning design is also remarkable. I'm pretty happy with this purchase.
                          It is kind of heavy but I liked that weight which is very well balanced.

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                          5.0

                          So far, so good

                          By Daktari

                          from Somesville, Mount Desert Island, Maine

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Folds Small
                          • Good Stability
                          • Lightweight
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Travel

                            Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                            I do a lot of hiking with my photo gear and the Manfrotto Befree Tripod is the latest addition to my gear. Because of it's light weight and durability, I'm able to throw it on my backpack and use it on all terrain.I'm very please with it's strength and versatility. It seems to hold with no difficulty, my Nikon D700 and a film camera that I still use, my Bronica GS-1.Oh, and I love the ball head, it makes things so much faster and easier when it comes to setting up and leveling.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            4.0

                            Awesome Tripod, slightly overpriced

                            By sjcpilot

                            from Wilmington, NC

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Folds Small
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                            • Unstable

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Travel
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                            First off, take this review like a grain of sand, this is my first professional tripod and finally moving away from using cheap [*] tripods and into a real tripod makes this one feel awesome. This tripod is great, lightweight, very small, and smooth ballhead. $200 for a travel tripod however is a little steep for just an aluminum tripod (wish it was carbon fiber), but in the scheme of things, it isn't too bad. Being that it is a travel tripod, it is best to only use it with the center column down to be usable. With it up, it is just too shaky. Overall, I would only recommend it to someone who travels a lot, which is what it is intended for.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (0 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            2.0

                            No for me, I'll tell you why...

                            By Don Vo

                            from Westminster, Ca

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Folds Small
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                            • Cumbersome
                            • Unstable
                            • Weak Construction

                            Best Uses

                            • Travel

                            Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                            This is very small and compact. It's about 8-10 inches shorter than a normal tripod when folded. The thing I did not like about it was that everything was small. I would not recommend this tripod for bigger DSLR. The head is very small also. But the thing that I don't like about it the most is that it's folded backwards to fit in the bag, so before using it, you would have to unfold it the opposite way and fold it into the correct direct. Then fold it backwards again to store it. It's just too much work for to use this tripod.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Love this Tripod

                            By Herman

                            from Jersey City, NJ

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Folds Small
                            • Good Stability
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Night Shots
                              • Portraits
                              • Travel

                              Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                              I love this compact lightweight tripod and was surprised at how great it was for travel and yet sturdy during use. It fits in nicely outside of my Lowepro Flipside Sport Daypack without seeming too bulky. Gets a little getting used to on a bag like that since my first time out I banged/scratched it a bit along a cave wall while trying to move around. It got a minor scratch on the surface, but what's expected for wear and tear on a product such as this. Like I said, just takes getting used to.

                              Comes in a really nice travel bag with a strap, in case you decide to not strap it onto a camera bag, or perfect for throwing into a small suitcase for travel.

                              At first, some of the knobs seem a bit confusing to figure out which way they go for using the tripod straight up and tall or low, but after setting it up once or twice, it makes sense and you can really see how sturdy it holds, and minimizes camera shake, even with a camera with a 75-300mm lens on, keeps it very still.

                              Good value for the price, love the ball head, it makes taking any shot very easy and flexible. I would definitely recommend this as a great travel tripod.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Excellent Travel Tripod

                              By Magna42

                              from South Jersey

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Folds Small
                              • Good Stability
                              • Lightweight
                              • Unfolds Quickly

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Home
                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Night Shots
                                • Travel

                                Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                Bought this tripod for a trip to Seattle. I was looking for something that was compact, light and could travel well. The BeFree tripod fit the bill perfectly. With the supplied case I was able to easily fit the tripod in my carryon bag with no issue. Since my wife and I were only going for a couple of days we also put our clothes in the same bag with no space or weight issue.

                                On location I was able to open and setup the tripod quickly and easily. I'm a shade over 6ft tall and the tripod stands a little low for my taste, but it still works well. I was able to get some fantastic shots from Kerry Park overlooking the downtown Seattle. During the evening I had no stability concerns with this unit.

                                My only issue is with the ballhead. There is a single locking knob for the ballhead and panning. So if you loosen the lock to adjust the pan angle, be careful that the ballhead doesn't move. Otherwise this is a great travel tripod

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                5.0

                                very compact

                                By snapper

                                from arizona

                                Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                Heavier than my old slik, but seems very sturdy for my light camera. Plan to use it primarily for travel and photo workshops, as I am mostly a hand holder.

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                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Exactly What I Expected

                                By Streetman

                                from Boston, MA

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Folds Small
                                • Lightweight
                                • Unfolds Quickly

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                    This is exactly what I wanted when looking for a travel tripod, and please note that is how the product is titled. No its not the most sturdy tripod on the planet but it is extremely light and well built as I would expect from Manfrotto. It even comes with a fairly fluid ballhead and quick-release plate. I am using this mainly with my Panasonic GS-7 and Canon 5D.

                                    I am not a huge user of tripods generally so when I do need one its nice to have a simple, small and functional option at my disposal. The last tripod I had lasted me 15 years (Benbo) and I hope this one does too.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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                                    5.0

                                    The tripod you having been looking for!

                                    By Charlie

                                    from Pensacola, Fl

                                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Folds Small
                                    • Good Stability
                                    • Lightweight
                                    • Unfolds Quickly

                                    Cons

                                    • None

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Landscape/Scenery
                                    • Night Shots
                                    • Travel
                                    • Wildlife

                                    Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                    Simple, good, light and works so good. Sets up fast and take down is quick.
                                    Very sturdy and compact. This is the one for you !

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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                                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great compact size, Wonderful tripod!!!

                                    By UH82NVME

                                    from Madison, Wi

                                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Folds Small
                                    • Good Stability
                                    • Lightweight
                                    • Unfolds Quickly

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Home
                                      • Landscape/Scenery
                                      • Night Shots
                                      • Sports/Action
                                      • Travel

                                      Comments about Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod:

                                      After I realized what I was doing wrong this thing is terrific!! Folds down very nice and will go right into my backpack. I don't think I will ever be stuck without a tripod again!!! Couldn't of asked for a better one for the price point.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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