I absolutely love my Benro Travel Angel. It folds to a travel-friendly size, has a high weight capacity, and has moisture-resistant legs.
However, this tripod is a little overkill when I am just using the Canon Powershot G15... So, when the wife and I went to visit the NorthEast, armed with only the Powershot and an external speedlite, I decided to test the orange MeFOTO Road Trip. Technically, the wife and I did not do a "road" trip, but hey, a trip is a trip. :)
MeFOTO tripods are somewhat akin to Benro tripods. They fold and unfold the same way, they are packed the same way, they're bags are also made the same way... The major difference is that the MeFOTO comes with very colorful accents. So, instead of coming just in black, you now have several color options to choose from. Since I like the color orange, I decided to get that one.
The MeFOTO and the Benro Travel Angel A2691T are almost of the same length both when folded and when stretched out to their full lengths. Both has a detachable leg that can serve as a monopod. Both use an Arca-Swiss style ballhead - you can actually interchange the two plates of these tripods. Both tripods use twist locks for easy leg adjustments. And speaking of those twist locks, both tripods use weather-resistant seals.
However, they differ on a couple of things.
First, in terms of capacity, the Benro A2691T has a capacity of 26 pounds while the Road Trip has a capacity of 17 pounds. There is not much length difference between the two tripods but, boy, that couple inches go a long way when it comes to packing the Road Trip into my carry-on luggage.
There is also huge difference when it comes to the monopod implementation for the two tripods. For me, the winner here is the Benro... You see, both tripods have a detachable leg for your monopod use. For Benro, you just remove the head and then screw it to the detached leg. However, for the Road Trip, you actually remove the entire center column: the ballhead does not connect to the detached leg and instead connect directly to the center column. So, in effect, the Benro monopod, despite the higher capacity, is actually shorter than the MeFOTO monopod. But of course you can just assemble the center column and the leg once you arrive at your photo assignment.
All in all, the MeFOTO is a perfect tripod if you are using an Interchangeable Lens Compact or a DSLR with standard zoom lenses. The build quality of the tripod is great and the color options make it even more palatable.
The MeFOTO Road Trip tripod is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Now, if only I have a light-capacity MeFOTO... ;)
Check out the video that the wife and I produced for this review.
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