I needed a tripod.
One of the first things I learned is that a tripod is an essential piece of kit. The problem is, trying to find a decent product that wasn’t going to set me back several hundred dollars. On the other hand, I didn’t want to go to “cheap” either.
I spent some time on Amazon and I think I found a decent tripod for less than one hundred bucks. The Mactrem Biscayne tripod seemed to fit the bill for what I would need, so I ordered one.
My first impression was that it is pretty well built. Admittedly though, I have no experience with “professional” tripods, so it’s just my opinion.
The ball head and the rotation plate move smoothly, which is the first thing I checked. So that’s a good thing.
The aluminum legs don’t bind during adjustments, nor do the center poles.
I really like that this tripod also converts to a monopod quite easily. This is very handy as I do a lot of hiking, so not having to drag along a full tripod is pretty awesome. The rubber foot pulls off, exposing a spike which will help with gaining purchase on the ground while going uphill.
There are two things to be careful of when using it as a hiking pole. One being the spike is not a carbide tip, so it may slip on rock surfaces. The second thing is that if you extend the bottom leg, it feels very weak. So only extend the top and middle leg. It performed much better that way
Another thing I found a couple of nights ago, also needs to be brought front and center as it can be quite and issue when shooting.
When the center tube is extended fully, it becomes very unsteady. This makes it very difficult to keep the camera still and in focus. It can be mitigated to some extent by not extending the upper tube, and dropping the lower tube down a little. I would also recommend using your cameras timer.
Overall I would give the Mactrem Biscayne a solid 8 as a rating, or for Amazon, 3.5-4. This is because of the monopod issues I described above, but more importantly, the center tube extension.
I get more into the pros and cons of this tripod in the video below.