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Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Review

We test the compact photo kit tripod from Manfrotto, with 5 sections and aluminium construction, the tripod is easily transported.

|  Manfrotto Manfrotto Compact Photo Kit Tripod MKC3 in Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports
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The Manfrotto Compact Series photo kit features a ball head for adjustment of angles and 90 degrees portrait shots. The aluminium tripod is made up of 5 sections, and a reversible centre column. The head is a quick release model, and the ball head can be locked with one twisting knob. According to Manfrotto it is: the most compact full size support in the market.

The Manfrotto Compact Series Tripods consist of: MKC3-P02 and MKC3-P01 which is the Photo kit with the 02/Grey model shown here, it's also available in Black as the 01 model. Also available is an MKC3H01 (Black) and MKC3H02 (Grey) with a Photo / Movie head available for the same price.

Leg detail - the side of the tripod tells you the name and model, but more useful information can be found on the inside of the leg, where you can find the maximum weight, weight of the tripod, and height details.   Full height - You can open really quickly by releasing all four catches at once and then pull out the bottom leg to extend all four sections. Then you just have to whizz up each leg and snap the locks shut.

Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Key Features

  • Quick action leg locks
  • Quick release plate
  • 5 year warranty
  • Reversible column
  • 1.5kg camera support
  • Aluminium
  • 5 section
  • Compacts to 43cm / 16.9inch
  • Extends to 165cm / 65inch
  • Rubber seal around centre column

Reversible centre column   Head

Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Handling

The tripod feels reassuringly solid, for such a compact tripod, with high quality plastic that feels very strong, the weakest point perhaps being the last leg as it is the thinnest of all the legs, yet is responsible for connecting the tripod to the ground. The tripod when compact or when not using the bottom leg section seems very solid as the aluminium legs feel strong and have a matt texture ensuring good grip when carrying the tripod. Unfortunately there is now strap provided or carrying case.

The legs spread up to 21 degrees, and the top plastic is made out of solid feeling plastic that Manfrotto call "technopolymer" which as far as I can tell means it's a high quality strong plastic. The reversible column means the head will sit inside the legs when the tripod is closed so that the tripod is very compact.

Panning the camera is not possible - as the screw to loosen the head allowing you to swivel it, also loosens the ball head, which means it will drop when a camera is mounted on top of it. Apart from this, the tripod is very easy to use and the knobs aren't too small, meaning you can get good grip on them in order to firmly tighten the tripod into position.

Reversible column makes taking shots from low down easy, for either macro shots, or for shots looking up. 
Manfrotto MKC3-P02 Plate    
Above: the quick release plate, with removable video locking pin.

Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Performance

The tripod's size and compactness makes it easy to take with you and the full head height that the tripod gives is very useful, meaning you don't need to bend over to compose your shots - this is particularly useful if you want to use a Digital SLR on the tripod with an optical viewfinder.

Value For Money
The Manfrotto tripod is priced at £49 which seems like good value for money for an aluminium tripod with such a compact design and reversible tripod. Alternatives include the Velbon Ultra Rexi L (£100, 153cm), Vanguard Nivelo 204SL (£49, 100cm), and at the budget end of the scale, the Hama Profil Duo III (£25, 150cm).

Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Verdict

This is a very good tripod kit - the ball head is good for photography letting you easily adjust the angle. The column is reversible meaning you can get really low shots when needed. The tripod compacts to a very useful size and the light weight of it means it's easy to take with you. As well as this the RRP of £49 makes it very good value for money for a branded tripod, as the quality and design of the tripod feels a cut above the generic / entry level tripods available.

The Manfrotto Compact MKC3 Photo Kit is a well designed compact tripod offering great value for money.

Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Pros:

Quick release
Full height tripod
5 year warranty
Removable rubber feet

Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Cons:

Bottom legs are thin, and slightly wobbly under weight
Panning not possible


Manfrotto Compact MKC3-P02 Photo Tripod Specifications:

Price £49
Contact www.manfrotto.co.uk
Weight 1Kg
Min Height 0cm
Max Height 165cm
Folded Height 43cm
Maximum Load 1.5Kg
Tube Diameter 22mm
Locking Mechanism Quick Release
Number of Legs sections 5
Construction Aluminum legs and technopolymer

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When it says that the maximum load is 1.5kg, does that mean it can take a 1.5kg camera regardless of how the tripod head is tilted?

My situation is this... I need to reverse the column and make the camera point towards the floor. This means that the tripod head must be tilted 90 degrees, and therefore the load on the locking mechanism is a lot heavier than if the tripod head was horizontal. My Canon 1100D weighs just under 500g and the lens (my only one) is just under 400g, so a total of just under 0.9kg. Can I expect this tripod to take this weight in this position?

[background: I intend to copy some old photos using the tripods reversible column feature. I need the equipment to be highly portable, so the tripod, in addition to many other things needed, must be compact and light when folded. No truly portable copy stand has been found, so that cannot be used. Also, as many older photos produce a glare due the material used in the photos, I cannot use a scanner either. I see no other solution than to solve it by taking a photo of the photos, while using polarizing filter.]
Hi SnartMidsommar, the tripod was fine when used as shown in the pictures, however the best idea to make sure would be to try it in person at a store if you have one nearby, to make sure it is suitable for your kit.

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