The chief difference between a garden variety tripod and a video tripod is pretty substantial. First, the legs tend to be beefier, with more sturdy leg locks, and there’s also that iconic high hat fluid head that so many camera operators love. But up to now, such features have equated too Manfrotto status and as such, too expensive for a guerrilla budget. But 3Pod looks to change all that with a Video Tripod that offers all these things for under $100.
Capable of mounting camera package up to 14.5 lbs, the 3Pod V3AH video tripod is made of matte black anodized aluminum, and plastic flip locks for quick and easy securing of the legs. Yes, they are plastic, but hey, this tripod is under $100, after all. Using anodized aluminum, each three tiered leg has five supporting legs that extend out to give the V3AH a maximum height of 61 inches. The adjustable rubber feet, which can screw down to reveal a standard spike for use on uneven terrain.
A lot of my friends have one, so I thought I’d give it a spin. And six months later, I’m still using it. – Darius Brit
The three legs come up in towards a 2 way 50mm bowl mount and aluminum center brace, which houses the 4pod fluid head high hat and a nice little bubble level for proper centering. But here is where there is one challenge. According to YouTuber and Filmmaker Darius Brit, the mounting screw of the high hat needs to really be ratcheted down tightly to avoid misalignment of the tripod head. But aside from that, Brit says he has been using the V3AH as his daily driver for several months shooting his short films and says it provides a lot of bang for the buck.
Check out what YouTuber Darius Brit has to say:
The fluid head itself, looks like it’s more than capable of handling a hard day on set, with a sliding quick release plate and a safe spring release pin. There are also aluminum rosettes on either side for attaching of the Video head’s handle according to the camera operator’s preference.
Other features include:
- 50mm Half Bowl for fast leveling
- 2-Way Fluid Panhead with adjustable drag
- Sliding Quick-release Plate with Safe-spring pin
- Rosette’s on either side for attaching of the Video head handle
- Bubble Level
- Mid-level Spreader for stability
- Gripping Rubber Feet
- Fabric carrying case
But even though 3Pod has designed this tripod with some lower cost parts in key areas, it still remains one of Amazon’s highest rated tripods, with a 64% five star rating, and a 19% four star rating.
I reviewed a 3Pod Orbit monopod here, and can attest that 3Pod really does think through their designs, trying to give users as many professional level features as possible, while still maintaining a low MSRP. Does this mean having to use more affordable materials? Well, sure. But the build quality is definitely there. And chances are, this tripod is not going to work well with heavier camera packages like a RED or Canon C700. But that’s not what it’s designed for.
For the runner and gunner, going with a DSLR or mirrorless rig, the 3Pod M3AH is going to give a shooter a familiar tool, at a low cost. And for the beginner, it’ll help them cut their teeth on how to deploy higher end tripods when the time comes. “Is it a perfect tripod? Of course not,” Brit says. “But it is a hell of a deal, so you gotta get on it.”
Available at Amazon for $79.99.