Kickstarter has been the launch platform for many exciting camera and accessory projects with the latest project to catch my eye being the HEIPI tripod, a quite unique 3-in-1 travel tripod.
What makes it unique is the way it splits down from a travel tripod in to three components that can be used in isolation, or at least two can the other is the head. As its core function it is a travel tripod, then remove the centre column, and you have a smaller compact tripod and that makes two very functional accessories from one. The third part is the removable head which can then be displaced and popped on top of another set of tripod legs.
Aside from the design, which from the photos and video looks amazing, the main USP of the unit is the 3-pillar centre column that makes up the lightweight tripod section of the design.
Essentially, the designers have replaced the standard tube-style removable centre column with one that quickly removes and transforms into a tripod. Then when it’s in place, it can be raised or lowered like any other tripod centre column, all be it looking a little different, which is all very clever.
The centre column is, therefore, lightweight, very transportable in it’s own right and features spiked rubber feet to keep it steady when working out in the field.
As a travel tripod, the HEIPI needs to be lightweight and easily transportable, and to this end, the entire tripod weighs in at 0.63lb/0.29kg while taking a maximum load capacity of 55lbs/25kg. It also features a 360º panoramic head with an audible click that highlights every 10º turn. This click has been added to enable users to accurately gauge the rotation of the head in lower light conditions. At present I’m not sure if the click is a permanent fixture or if it can be silenced, I’ll find out soon.
The three-pillar design centre column has also been designed to make the tripod more structurally sound than competitors with legs that fold tight under the head removing much of the negative space common with other manufacturers.
The legs themselves are tubed and offer angles of 22°/48°/69.5°. A simple button mechanism enables the adjustment of the leg and angles and lever locks to enable you to release and lock the legs into position. The sub-tripod features a single leg section with leg angle adjustment from 40°/85°.
A HEIPI tripod is on its way to us here at Camerajabber.com, and I’ll update you on the tripod as soon as it arrives.