Photography / Hands-on Review

Manfrotto Everyday User Tripods and Support Systems


Designed with everyday users in mind, Manfrotto’s all metal MK390-series tripods are lightweight, sturdy tripods designed for use with compact digital cameras, super zooms, camcorders and compact DSLR systems. Included among MK390-series design features are wider gauge aluminum leg tubes, anti-shock collars, dual-angle leg adjustments for creative low angle shooting positions, an extendable center column, a quick flip leg lock system and non-slip-rubber feet.

Manfrotto MK390-series tripods (click to watch video) come in kit form, and depending on the type of camera or camcorder you plan on using, MK390s are available with a choice of photo or video heads and leg-tube lengths; the shorter, more compact lengths for portability and longer lengths for maximum levels of stability.

There are two versions of Manfrotto 390-series tripods: The MK393 series, which has leg diameters of 22-, 18-, 14- and 10mm, and the MK394 series tripods, which has heavier-duty 26-, 22-, 18- and 14mm leg diameters. All of the MK394 series tripods have a maximum weight load of 7.72 lb, and the lighter-weight MK393 series tripods have a maximum weight load of 5.5 to 2.2 lb, depending on the model.

Manfrotto MK393 Series Tripods

Manfrotto MK393 series tripods are available in a choice of compact or standard sizes, with a choice of either a ball or a pan/tilt head that can be used for both stills and video applications. Other features found on Manfrotto MK393 series tripods include an anti-rotation center column and dual angle leg adjustments, which enable stable camera positioning regardless of the terrain.

The lightest, most basic of the ball-head MK393s is the Manfrotto MK393s-PD Photo-Movie Short Kit, an ultra-compact tripod that comes bundled with an integrated ball head. Ideal for hikers, bikers and those who prefer to pack light and tight, the MK393S-PD weighs only 2.2 lb, folds down to a tidy 16.54" yet opens up to a maximum extended height of 55.5" (141cm), and has a maximum weight load of up to a respectable 4.41 lb (2 kg).

Slightly larger—though not any heavier—is the Manfrotto MK393-PD Photo Kit, which like the MK393s-PD, includes an integrated ball head. The MK393-PD has a maximum extended height of 55.5" (141cm), folds down to 18.9" (48cm), weighs 2.4 lb (1.1 kg), and has a maximum weight load of 4.4 lb (2 kg).

For those who prefer a compact MK393 series tripod with a quick-release pan/tilt head, Manfrotto offers the MK393S-H, which folds up to a tight 16.9" (43cm) yet opens up to a maximum extended height of 47.2" (120cm). The MK393s-H weighs 2.6 lb (1.2 kg) and has a maximum weight load of 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).

The standard-size version of this quick-release pan/tilt tripod is the Manfrotto MK393-H, which weighs 2.8 lb (1.3 kg), has a maximum extended height of 55.9" (142cm), a collapsed height of 19.3" (49cm) and a maximum weight load of 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).

  MK393-PD MK393-H MK393S-PD MK393S-H
Max. Height- Center Column Extended 55.5" / 141cm

55.9" / 142cm

46.8" / 119cm

47.2" / 120cm

Max. Height- Center Column Retracted

48" / 122cm

48.4" / 123cm

39.4” / 100cm

39.8" / 101cm

Lowest Camera Position Height

13.4" / 34cm

13.8" / 35cm

12.4" / 31.5cm

12.8" / 32.5cm

Folded Length

18.9" / 48cm

19.3" / 49cm

16.5" / 42cm

16.9" / 43cm

Number of Sections 4 4 4 4
Max Weight Load

4.4 lb / 2 kg

5.5 lb / 2.5 kg

4.4 lb / 2 kg

5.5 lb / 2.5 kg

Tripod Weight

2.4 lb / 1.1 kg

2.8 lb / 1.3 kg

2.2 lb / 1 kg

2.6 lb / 1.2 kg

Manfrotto MK394 Series Tripods

The Manfrotto 394 Series tripods, the sturdiest of Manfrotto’s four-section, 390 series tripods, are available in a choice of three styles starting with the MK394-PD, which is bundled with an integrated metal alloy ball head, and depending on your preferences, with or without a quick release. As with all its tripods, the Manfrotto 390 series features positive leg-locking mechanisms, an anti-rotational center column and an anti-shock safety collar to reduce the possibility of damaging your gear when raising or lowering your camera with the tripod’s center column.

The Manfrotto MK394-PD Photo Kit QR has a maximum (center column extended) height of 56.7" (144cm), a minimum height of 14.17" (36cm), weighs 3.24 lb (1.47 kg) including its QR ball head, and can support up to 7.72 lb (3.5 kg). Still photographers who prefer traditional, non-quick-release ball heads should check out the Manfrotto MK394-PD Photo Kit, which weighs a slightly lighter 2.95 lb (1.34 kg), has a maximum extended height of 55.5" (142cm), a minimum height of 13.5" (34.5cm), and like its QR-equipped counterpart, can support a load of up to 7.72 lb.

Videophiles looking for a tripod with similar specs should consider the Manfrotto 394-H Photo-Movie Kit QR, a four section, 3.6-lb tripod that’s bundled with an integrated quick release pan head with a front tilt range of +/-90°, a lateral tilt range of -90° and a full 360-degree pan range. The MK394-H can be extended to a maximum height of 56.6" (143cm), a minimum height of 14.2" (36cm), and like its MK 394-PD siblings, can support loads of up to 7.72 lb. It also features an anti-shock collar to lessen the chance of accidentally damaging your camera when raising or lowering the tripod’s center column.

If monopods are better suited to your particular needs, the Manfrotto 394 Photo-Movie Monopod is designed to similar specs as Manfrotto’s 390 series tripods. The Manfrotto 394 monopod, which features an integrated wrist strap and weighs under three-quarters of a pound (0.33 kg), opens up to a maximum height of 60" (152.5cm) and can support loads of up to 9.9 lb (4.5 kg).

If you’re shopping for a head to complement your Manfrotto monopod, we recommend you check out the Manfrotto 222 Joystick Head.

  MK394-PD MK394-PQ MK394-H MM394
Max. Height– Center Column Extended 55.9" / 142cm 56.7" / 144cm 56.3" / 143cm  
Max. Height– Center Column Retracted 48.8" / 124cm 49.6" / 126cm 49.6" / 126cm 60" / 152.5cm
Lowest Camera Position Height 13.6" / 34.5cm 14.2" / 36cm 14.2" / 36cm 18.9" / 126cm
Folded Length 19.1" / 48.5cm 20.1" / 51cm 20.1" / 51cm 18.9" / 126cm
Number of Sections 4 4 4 4
Max. Weight Load 7.7 lb / 3.5 kg 7.7 lb / 3.5 kg 7.7 lb / 3.5 kg 9.9 lb / 4.5 kg
Tripod Weight 2.9 lb / 1.3 kg 3.2 lb / 1.5 kg 3.7 lb / 1.7 kg .72 lb / 0.33 kg

Manfrotto MKC3 Series Tripods

Designed for use with lighter-weight compact cameras and camcorders, Manfrotto MKC3 Series tripods can be extended as tall as 65" (165cm), yet they weigh as little as 2.2 lb (1 kg), and are available with a choice of an ultra compact quick release ball head or a unique, quick-release pan/tilt head that can be optimized for shooting stills or video with the flip of a switch (click to watch video). Other features found on Manfrotto MKC3 series tripods include an anti-rotation center column and dual-angle leg adjustments.

The ball-head version of the five-section Manfrotto MKC3 series is also the larger of the two. Available in a choice of black (MKC3-P01) or gray (MKC3-P02), Manfrotto’s MKC3-P01 and P02 both have an extended maximum height of 65" (165cm), a folded height of 16.9" (43cm), weigh only 2.2 lb (1 kg) and can support a maximum payload of up to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).

The Manfrotto MKC3-series tripods with the photo/video heads are the Manfrotto MKC3-H01 (black) and MKC3-H02 (gray), both of which open up to a slightly shorter maximum extended height (60.6"/154cm), fold down to 18.1" (46cm), weigh 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) and bear a maximum load of 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).

  MKC3-P01 / P02 MKC3-H01 / H02
Max. Height– Center Column Extended 65" / 165cm 60.6" / 154cm
Max. Height– Center Column Retracted 53.5" / 135.9cm 52.8" / 134cm
Lowest Camera Position Height 17.9" / 45.5cm 17.5" / 44.5cm
Folded Length 16.9" / 43cm 18.1" / 46cm
Number of Sections 5 5
Max. Weight Load 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg
Tripod Weight 2.2 lb / 1 kg 2.5 lb / 1.1 kg

Manfrotto MMC3 Series Monopods

Manfrotto’s MMC3 Series monopods are compact solutions for casual photographers looking for a monopod sturdy enough to steady lighter weight digital cameras and camcorders. They are easily stowable and easy in the weight department. Available in a choice of black (MMC3-01) or gray (MMC3-02), Manfrotto’s MMC3 monopods feature a universal, threaded camera attachment that can be covered by a built-in top cap when not in use, as well as an adjustable, wraparound wrist strap.

  MMC3-01 / 02
Max. Height 57.1" / 145cm
Folded Height 15.3" / 39cm
Number of Sections 5
Max. Load 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg
Weight 0.6 lb / 0.3 kg

Manfrotto Pocket Series Always-On Supports

For times you either cannot or do not wish to travel with a tripod but still need a little something with which to prop your camera on flat surfaces, we now carry Manfrotto Pocket Series Always-On Supports. Designed for use with point and shoots, super zooms and lighter-weight compact DSLRs, Manfrotto Pocket Supports (click to watch video) attach to the base of your camera and feature three individual flat, flipper-like legs that fold flat against the bottom of the camera when not in use.

A handy locking key attached to a short cord is included with each Pocket Support, making it quick and easy to attach any of the Pocket Supports to any compact camera. Perfect for self-portraits or hands-free, longer exposures, Manfrotto’s Pocket Series tripods are perfect travel accessories for times when space and weight restrictions can otherwise compromise your picture-taking abilities. 

Manfrotto Pocket Series Always-On Supports are available in two sizes, the smaller of which is the MP1 Always-On Support. Available in a choice of black (MP1-C01) or gray (MP1-C02), the Manfrotto MP1 can be attached to most point and shoot, super zoom, Four Thirds format and lighter-weight compact DSLRs. Thanks to their thin design, they add little to your camera’s profile. The Manfrotto MP1 weighs 0.06 lb (0.03 kg), can support a maximum load of 1.3 lb (0.6 kg), and comes with its own storage pouch.

For heftier cameras, Manfrotto offers the Manfrotto MP3 Pocket Series Always-On Supports, which like their smaller siblings are available in a choice of black (MP3-D01) and grey (MP3-D02) and also feature three flat, folding legs and a key for centering the device on the base plate of your camera. Optimized for use with larger pocket cameras, Four Thirds digital cameras, larger super zooms and DSLRs, Manfrotto MP3 Always-On Supports weigh 0.15 lb (0.07 kg) and can support up to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).