You know how it is: you head off into the countryside, lugging your camera kit around until you find the perfect patch of flowers to photograph, only to find your tripod won't get down low enough to capture them properly. We've all been there.
Fortunately, tripod specialist Manfrotto has the answer in the BeFree GT XPRO model, the first travel tripod from the company designed with a 90-degree center column.
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The model is targeted towards professional travel photographers who require low-angle shooting, with adjustable leg angles to help position the tripod low to the ground, and a trio of twist locks on each leg to secure them in position.
Said to be the sturdiest in its class, the GT XPRO is set to be available in aluminum and carbon fiber versions, weighing 2kg and 1.76kg respectively. Both models have the same design that sees their legs flip over by 180 degrees, which gives them a compact folded length of 43cm – the same as other models in the line – while also enabling a maximum height of 162cm when fully extended.
The legs mount the Manfrotto 496 Center Ball Head, which has a payload of 10kg that should support the vast majority of DSLR and mirrorless camera and lens combinations. The head also sports the 200PL-PRO rubberized plate for high friction against the base of the camera used, and ensures compatibility with Arca-type head attachments.
In the UK the aluminum version of the tripod carries an RRP of £269.95, while the carbon fibre option has a slightly higher £409.95 price tag. In the US, the model is available for pre-order, priced at $289 and $429 respectively. Pricing for Australia has not been confirmed yet.