So … as you know the GorillaPod was not the tripod that worked best for me. It is still a pretty interesting tool, especially for those people that will use a lightweight camera … the ability to wrap the legs around things actually is pretty handy. For my SLT and Macro lens, it was just too much for it.
I have been keeping an eye on Mefoto. Recently they just released their new Air series. I like them, but not enough to spend that much money on them … I mean for my need of a small tripod, for cheap (I already have a Manfrotto tripod). Knowing the need for people to upgrade or change, I have kept an eye out for those wanted to get rid of their old ones … so I ended up getting a good price on a MeFOTO Daytrip.
The MeFOTO Daytrip is (what I consider) a mini-tripod … cause it is small, even at max height it’s still small. The photo above shows a comparision to my GorillaPod, and due to the positioning and angle of shot, it looks like the Daytrip is much taller … it is in fact the same height when I took this shot.
The last time I took out the GorillaPod I was hunting mushrooms in Algonquin Park. I noticed that it was just not steady enough … the great things about the Gorilla is that I did not even notice I was carrying it (weight), and the legs can wrap around things … but for my shots had too much camera shake, and because of that I had to look for something else (I was hoping it would be sufficient).
When I was first hunting for my macro tripod I did consider the Daytrip … but the cost was just too much. I was hoping the Gorilla was good enough.
That was last year … MeFOTO has made a new series of AIR tripods, which look great, and I was hoping that this would drive the price down on the older stuff. Just last week I did find a mint used Daytrip (now discontinued) for less than the price of the GorillaPod !!!
Construction is solid. The small ball head locks without any drift … and is secure. The rotating locks feel like they do the job. Overall this tripod is made very well.
I slapped my Sony A77II with the Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro on it … snapped some 20s (yeah, full seconds … not 1/20s) exposure shots. Even with full centre column extension it did well. I think this is the one … well for now. The middle leg position seems to be the best overall for steadiness and low height. Note that the leg locks are not spring loaded, so you got to push them in to lock. Not sure if it was worth it putting the sand bag hook on the bottom, as there is not much room down there … possibly for those who actually crank this thing to full height (in which case I would suggest getting a different tripod).
So for those of you looking for a steady tripod to shoot close to the ground, or even just something very small … I suggest you give this MeFOTO Daytrip a consideration, and keep an eye on those used ones … I think many people going to upgrade to the Backpacker AIR.
The Gorillapod would be great for not so long exposures, just enough to steady, or selfies, or if you just like wraping legs around something … and if you have a mirrorless camera (it would be a great companion for my Sony NEX-6).
Below is a shot (yeah not the best but you get the picture … literally) of it attached to my Lowepro Transit Sling 250. I could have folded it to its most compact size, but it was too short for the upper strap.