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This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show saw thousands of exhibitors showcasing the latest gadgets to which the public can look forward in the immediate or near future. The conference, which takes place annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center, provided the photo and video community with good news from Vanguard, with their announcement and showcase of three new tripod series that will be hitting the market with this year.
The new Vanguard Alta CA kits offer up eight versatile, lightweight units ideal for the enthusiastic photography student, amateur, or prosumer. Each has a maximum load capacity of 11 lb, which works well for anyone with a standard DSLR-and-lens combination. Taking stability seriously, these each come with angled rubberized feet and four-step leg angles that adjust to the terrain. The leg locks snap open and closed easily for efficient setup, and bubble levels help tackle shooting dedicated horizontal or vertical subject matter accurately.
Broken down into two categories, the new Alta CA kits feature either a Grip Head (AGH) or Pan Head (AP) to meet the needs of different photographic styles. Both are designed for excellent control over camera positioning. Tripods designated with AGH come equipped with a pistol-grip head that’s easy to maneuver, and the adjustable handle locks into five different angles for optimal comfort. They also enable friction control to compensate for the precise amount of weight your equipment bears, and a detachable center column. On the flip side, the ergonomic Pan Head kits feature a rotation plate that enables 360° of motion in any direction. A lock mechanism secures it in place regardless of how you shoot, further adding to its versatility. AGH model prices vary, depending on leg dimensions and sections, while the AP kits range in street for somewhat less.
Much like the Alta CA’s, the new additions to the Espod CX family are available in either Pan Head (AP) or Grip Head (AGH) kits. The Espod CX units are designed for hobbyist photographers in need of a compact, yet stable tripod. Weighing less than 3 lb, the Espod CX kits are excellent for travel or any other type of on-the-go photography. They come with rubberized angled feet and bubble levels for accuracy, along with a few other helpful features. A rubber anti-shock ring acts as a failsafe if your gear takes a tumble, and the anti-spin center column won’t move while you’re adjusting your camera’s height.
Grip Head kits feature the same pistol-grip style head as the Alta CA’s, and can bear a maximum load capacity up to 7.7 lb. These are ideal for entry-level DSLR systems and lighter, standard lenses.
Last, but not least, the ABEO family sees two new additions for videography professionals and serious enthusiasts. These kits come with a Video Pan Head (AVP) that features a detachable handle to account for both right- and left-handed shooters. Simply adjust the side on which you’d prefer the handle mounted, and you’re free to shoot the way you please. The ABEO AVPs have an advanced counterbalance system with tension adjustment to make sure that when you pan, the transition is smooth and fluid. The ABEO tripods can withstand the largest amount of weight of the bunch, having a maximum load capacity between 13-18 lb, depending on the specific kit. Anyone shooting with a heavy, more advanced camera system won’t have to worry so much about weight limitations. The long, quick shoe has a large safety-release feature for an added element of protection when you’re removing your camera from the tripod quickly, and the central column has a useful tension lock that adds efficiency to your workflow. If you need to vary height along a vertical axis, simply flip the lock to move the column up or down instantly.
The new ABEOs’ legs are adjustable by tension, rather than with flip locks, and they come ready to work with incredibly versatile all-terrain feet. The classic angled, rubberized feet for studio work or solid ground can be removed to reveal threaded spikes for dirt or ice. Additionally, a set of slip-on shoes provides optimal stability when shooting in powdery snow or sand. If you’d like to attach a certain video accessory (ie: a monitor), you can do so via the 1/4"-20 or 3/8”-16 attachment interface. Both kits are sold with a carrying case.