A mini tripod may be a curious addition to your kickback, especially if you have invested into full-sized versions, monopods, and the like. But, depending on the subjects you shoot, these things can come in very handy in the right situations.
Shooting low down, on tabletops or any other situation where you need to balance your camera on a solid surface could be a likely scenario. Thus, in steps the Manfrotto Pixi Evo.
Using solutions like beanbags or anything else that is soft enough to prop up your camera is never the ideal solution. So, a little tripod, which can be articulated and even has a small ball head can be a something that will save a lot of sweat and tears in the right situation. Let’s have a closer look at this mini tripod and see what it has to offer.
Being a Manfrotto item, a producer of some of the world’s best tripods, this is a quality made product. Not a flimsy piece of kit which is going to fall to bits in the near future.
Stylewise, the tripod comes in a few different colors: black, white, and red, and the design is very sleek, finished in a matte coating over rock-solid plastic. As it’s designed for tabletop use, the tripod doesn’t have extendable legs, with only a button on each to either lock or disengage each leg.
Each tripod leg is attached to a central ball via a metal connection which can be easily locked in place. The integrated ball head is said to be able to support 2.5kg, which should be good enough for a standard DSLR and average weight lens. This can also be locked into place with a quick turn of a thumbscrew.
As for other specs, the tripod has a maximum height of 19.5cm, a minimum height of 6cm and weighs in at 267g. The camera mounting screw is a 1/4 inch male connector. There is also a sliding selector which allows the tripod to be set at two different angles to quickly swap between portrait and landscape view.
It’s obvious that Manfrotto has not just put effort into the functionality, but also the design. It’s a stylish piece of kit and looks especially classy in red and grey with red accents on the buttons and ball head. If nothing else, Manfrotto has definitely got the design aspects right.
The Manfrotto Pixi Evo in Use
As with any tripod, it needs to be quick to set up and breakdown, with the assurance of a solid base that will never move. Starting with the top of the tripod, the mini ball head is, on one hand, a great addition for quickly attaching a camera and setting it in place.
Due to its small dimensions the tripod is not always the most balanced in portrait view. This will largely depend on the weight of your camera set up, but you still have to always be mindful when the camera is in this position.
The addition of rubberized feet would have helped with stability, but at least the bottom of each leg is angled. The tripod is also small enough to fit into any camera bag and not take up too much room.
Each leg on the tripod securely locks into place and feels like a solid platform for even a full DSLR setup. But, as the legs aren’t extendable, it will need a flat surface to sit upon. This reduces its usefulness if compared to something like the GorillaPod, which can be wrapped around poles and the like, but the Manfrotto feels more stable in its intended stance.
Generally speaking, for situations where there is a flat surface and a regular tripod cannot get low enough or get the right angle, the Manfrotto Pixi Evo can be a great solution.
How Does It Compare?
One of the kings of mini tripods is the GorillaPod series. Probably most comparable with the Manfrotto is the JOBY GorillaPod 3K Flexible Mini-Tripod. GorillaPods gained immediate attention due to their flexible and bendy, rubberized legs which can stand up straight like a regular tripod and wraparound anything from a pole to a chair leg.
The 3K version can hold up to 3kg and also comes with an integrated ball head kit. It’s slightly more expensive than the Manfrotto and not as stable, stood upright. But, it is far more versatile and can be bent into any position you like. If versatility is a bigger factor than stood up stability, then the GorillaPod maybe a better solution.
|Manfrotto Pixi Evo||Gorillapod 3K|
|Camera Mount||¼ inch male||¼ inch male|
The Manfrotto Pixi Evo is definitely a well-designed and thought out product, but it is kind of a one-trick pony. It’s definitely a useful product in the right situations and works very well, but it is limiting, especially in portrait view.
As mini tripods go, the Manfrotto is one of the best out there, but if you want complete versatility, you can’t beat a GorillaPod. However, the Manfrotto feels far more stable in an upright position than the GorillaPod.
One thing to note is that the Manfrotto is not an expensive item considering its build quality and it’s a handy item to have around. There’s always going to be situations where you need a solid platform, which is easily adjustable and beats resting your camera on a regular surface which may scratch your precious kit.
On a recent wedding shoot, there were situations where I could quickly break out the tripod and get low angle shots, along with mounting the camera on a table and triggering it remotely. In this scenario, the tripod soaked up vibrations well and was a sturdy little platform. For these types of shots, the tripod was worth every penny.