On my first couple of trips to Walt Disney World, I didn’t really have a tripod. Sure I had one of those cheap tripods that you can find at BestBuy or Target, but the head wasn’t very stable and to be honest, I didn’t feel like trusting my Canon 60D to a the $39 tripod that came free with my video camera years ago. But after seeing the wonderful fireworks and empty park shots that Cory, Ryan, and the rest of the Disney Photography Community takes, I knew I had to upgrade my gear with a good tripod. Enter the MeFoto RoadTrip.
The aluminum MeFoto RoadTrip comes in a 12 different colors at the time of this post (I think it was fewer when I bought my red one back in 2013) so you can choose the one that bests suits your personal sense of style. Weighing 3.6lbs this isn’t the lightest tripod but it is by no means heavy. It is extremely well put together. Everything just feels right when you use it. The controls for the included ball head are solid and hold your camera level when they are tightened down, and the twist locks on the legs keep your camera at the height you want. There is even a hook on the end of the center column for attaching an additional counterweight on windy days. I have hung my camera back there when I want to make sure my camera is steady. The RoadTrip has a max rated load of 17.6 lbs, so with my Canon 60D (1.7 lbs) that means (in theory) the tripod could support the big Canon 400 f/2.8 lens (8.5lbs) with no issue – although having shot that lens before I’m not so sure I would push the tripod that far. The RoadTrip has a maximum height of 61.6″ with the center column fully extended so it’s tall enough when trying to get a good fireworks shot in on Main Street. The RoadTrip can also be converted into a monopod with a little bit of work, which I’ve been able to use when shooting some of the stage shows in the parks when setting up a full tripod is impractical.
The only downside to the RoadTrip is the individual twist and lock leg extensions. The folks at MeFoto were thoughtful enough to include four separate leg extensions for each of the the tripod’s legs. This allows the RoadTrip to fold up into an extremely small package when you are done. But this means you have to twist and lock the legs a lot when you are either setting up or shutting down after an evening of photography.
The photo for this post was shot right at the hump on Main Street during my last trip to Walt Disney World, Spring Break of 2014. I love shooting Wishes – the fireworks show holds a special place in my family’s heart – and the RoadTrip has helped me get some great shots.
So that’s what I’m using? What tripod are you using? Put it in the comments?