I have a love/hate relationship with tripods. I love the versatility of shooting options they create (low light, self portraits, or even raised above the head for an elevated view), but I really really dislike how bulky they are and how slow they are to setup and tear down. For video, having a tripod becomes more of a necessity. I recently picked up a new tripod that is shockingly small and lightweight for what it does. The Vanguard Nivelo 204BK is a pretty cool little ‘pod. While it is definitely not for everyone, I think it will work for the gear I’m carrying and the shooting I plan to do with it.

Folded up, it is pretty small at a length of only 11 3/4 inches and weighs only a little more than a pound. At full height it unfolds to 39 inches, so a little more than waist height for me. This will no doubt not work for everyone, but for my intended use, primarily shooting sit down interviews and getting B-roll of us riding together, it should work just fine. My favorite part about the tripod is it is really fast to deploy. It uses a system that I haven’t seen before to extend the legs. You merely twist the bottom foot and expand the leg and tighten it to lock the length. This is so much faster than undoing individual segments on a tripod. One big caveat is that it works best with small cameras (point and shoot or micro 4/3s). A DSLR with big glass is not recommended.

I’m pretty excited about it. We’ll see how it holds up for the long haul!If you plan on getting one, consider buying one through our Amazon affiliate store!

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