Manfrotto ModoPocket

Tiny tabletop tripod

Billed as the “World’s Smallest Tripod,” the ModoPocket is actually a quadrapod, but definitely just plain tiny: 1.5 x 2.5 x 1.25 inches and 2 oz. Mostly I have been using it to take indoor group photos with the self-timer, using face recognition to trigger the shutter when I jump into the group. Shoot it again? Much easier to repeat the composition than if the camera is propped on a book and/or tilted with a coin (either way, that method often results in a photo that includes the table in the shot). The ModoPocket simplifies these tasks, makes them more easily repeatable, and provides good stability. The photos posted on Amazon show how easily it tilts up or down, or turn it 90 degrees and it tilts side-to-side. It also folds very thin (0.25 inches), so it can be left permanently attached to the camera. In addition to shooting, I use mine as a work stand while I edit photos in the camera, and use it for easier viewing and huddling-around-the-camera (aka “chimping”).

With bigger point-and-shoot cameras like my Canon G10 (which weighs about one pound), I’ve found the previously-reviewed Gorillapod just jiggles too much. A fold-up plastic tripod like the Assia PocketPod is more stable, but clumsy. A full-size tripod or even a mini-tripod always needs to be attached/detached (unless you’re lugging it around that way). In addition to the fact that the ModoPocket can live on the camera permanently, one can actually attach a tripod directly to the ModoPocket without taking it off the camera.

Yes, there are compromises — it’s not very tall, it’s not great at handling uneven surfaces (to be expected from something so tiny), it’s definitely suited to a particular niche (not hardcore DSLR guys). But it’s very well made, easy to use and works great. I’m a minimalist and would never want to travel with a lot of gear. Looking back on all the impromptu photos I took with the camera on the ground, propped on a wall or table, I definitely would have preferred this.

-- Evan Marks 12/11/08

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