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I was given the Hama Micro Tripod for my birthday in November as I had mentioned to a photography mad friend that I regretted not being able to take photos of everyone together as someone always had to be behind the camera. She checked my camera and it was apparently an easy process to set the self timer, so she bought me this tripod in an effort to get me more interested in her favourite hobby.
The first thing I liked about the tripod was its very compact size, it certainly deserves it's Micro tag as it's only around three inches in length when pushed closed. It comes with a cap fitted with a keyring so you can carry your tripod around with you, I screwed the cap on and attached it to my car keys and it's barely longer than my Zafira key so you can imagine how small and convenient that is!
It looks nice in silver, being made from some kind of brushed metal. The tripod is very simple in design and folds in to create a slim 'tube' when not in use that doesn't get in the way of my keys at all, the design is a good contrast between smooth metal legs and a ribbed body. It's an attractive object both in use and when folded, nicer looking than other mini tripods I've seen.
The tripod comes with a short instruction manual (in many languages) which basically tells you what you can expect from the tripod and gives brief instructions on how to extend the legs and attach it to your camera. My friend actually showed me how to do all this so I found the manual rather needless, but I imagine it would be useful to someone who had never used this type of equipment before.
The screw at the top fits my compact Fujitsu camera perfectly, it screws in smoothly and easily with the minimum of effort. Once attached I found the camera was held snugly and didn't wobble around as I moved the tripod, I had complete confidence that the tripod would hold my camera securely and it wouldn't fall over as soon as I set the timer and raced off to stand with my family for the snap!
Extending the legs is easy too; simply give them a small twist, pull out and twist again. The legs will the stay extended until you repeat the process in reverse, my daughter had a similar looking tripod from Poundland (ie. it cost just £1) which looked and fit her camera beautifully only had the rather annoying habit of the legs folding in on themselves after it had been holding the camera for a while! This is absolutely not a problem with my Micro Tripod and it stays exactly where I put it until I decide to move it myself.
I like how smoothly the legs pull out of themselves; again I will refer to the £1 tripod as a comparison as the legs on that one were stiff and gritty, which is amazing really considering how quickly they were able to close themselves!
In the few months I've had the tripod I've used it on several occasions with varying degrees of success, although the bad photographs are generally down to my poor photography skills than any problem with the tripod. Once the legs are extended they provide a safe and stable base for my camera, even to the point of being able to set the timer after framing the shot without having to reposition my camera position - and you might think this would be a natural thing for a tripod, but Poundland's offering needed the timer setting and then you had to speedily position the camera which really defeated the object of having a tripod!
The ball tilt head is great, it is smooth to move yet grips into position as I roll the camera around to get the best frame possible. The only annoying thing I can say about this tripod is the fact that because it's designed to be so compact I sometimes have problems finding a surface high enough to place the camera on if I am trying to take a fairly close-up photograph. I found that I have to angle the camera up so far, almost to the extreme rotation of the ball, that we all ended up with slightly stretched faces and were looking downwards into the lens instead of straight on. The tripod only stands just over four inches high even when fully extended so you couldn't expect it to raise the camera to the height of a standard size tripod, so this is certainly not a fault design merely a wish for a taller tripod! Standard height pub tables are ideal spots for this Micro Tripod I've discovered over the months, but the window frame on my conservatory is just too low.
The legs are tipped with little rubber feet which stops the tripod from slipping on shiny surfaces, although even without the feet I'm not sure slipping would be a problem as the legs are so stable. The tripod is designed to hold a camera weighing up to 1.5kg, my camera is fairly lightweight so this weight limit is fine for me, but I suspect it wouldn't be suitable for those amongst us who use monster sized state-of-the-art cameras.
I have just found the Hama Micro Tripod on Amazon for £12.63 with free delivery, I'd also suggest having a look on Ebay as the tripod is very light so postage costs should be minimal and you might find a bargain.