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Velbon Ultra 353 Mini Q Review

We take a look at the latest mini tripod offering from Velbon - find out how it performs in our review.


|  Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q in Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports
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Features
Handling & Performance
Verdict
Specification


 

The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q is a super compact tripod aimed at the serious amateur and professional photographer. It has multi-angle legs and a splittable centre column, allowing you to shoot at really low angles. Velbon say it's ideal for macro, travel and tabletop use. It's the smallest tripod in Velbon's ULTRA series of strong, solid and stylish high performance models. It comes complete with its own drawstring carry bag. Here, we find out how well it performs.  

Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q Features

The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q really is tiny when folded down, at just 19cm long. It's equipped with Velbon's QHD-33M ball and socket head and a quick release platform. 

The legs have 5 sections, and to extend them you simply twist them anticlockwise one stop for each section you want to extend. To lock when the desired leg length is reached twist clockwise. There are also 3 different angles you can splay the legs at. Each leg has a tab at the top, slide this along to the right to splay the leg further. Each leg has a small area of foam grip and a large rubber foot on the bottom. 

There is a star knob on the side which tightens the centre column. This can be undone to slide the centre column up to give extra height. The column can also be split into two halves by unscrewing. This allows you to turn the column upside down and replace it for low level and macro shots and also make the column shorter in length. 

There's a lever on the side of the ball and socket head which loosens and tightens the joint allowing for exact angling of the camera. The head has a spirit level to help you get everything straight and the quick release plate has the usual lever to let you remove the plate. The plate is rubberised for good grip and no scratching to the bottom of the camera you attach. 

It comes with its own drawstring bag for storage.

Key Features

  • Maximum load of 2kg
  • Ball and socket head with quick release plate
  • Compacts to just 19cm tall
  • 5 section twist lock legs
  • Multi angle legs
  • Removable, splittable height adjustable centre column

Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q Handling & Performance

The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q is really easy to use, even for those without much experience of tripods. The twist and lock system is very effective allowing you to lock the legs at virtually any height required. It's also really simple to splay the legs by pushing the tab along with your thumb. When you push the legs back in, the tab will return to the start position.


 

We took the tripod out and mounted a Panasonic Lumix GX7. This is a mid-sized mirrorless camera which balanced well on the tripod and didn't make it feel too top heavy. If you have a superzoom camera or larger mirrorless lens mounted, the system could feel a little too top heavy. With a recommended max load of 2kg, there is quite a bit of scope as to the gear that could be used. A small DSLR would also be fine and the ball and socket head is damped to an extent with a slight turn of the lever allowing you to make adjustments to the angle with gear attached without any mishaps. 

We also unscrewed the centre column and mounted the camera upside down. The process is quite simple, use the star knob to remove the centre column and then you can either flip it straight around or unscrew the bottom half to create a shorter column. On the bottom of the column there is an unscrewable cap which can be screwed to the top part of the column if it's too long. 


 

Value For Money

The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q is available in the UK through Intro2020. It's available on the WEX website for £89. This a good price considering the quality and robust feel of the tripod. It has features and versatility you'd only expect from a premium quality tripod for a really reasonable price. 

Alternatives of a similar look and feel include the Slik Mini Pro DQ Tripod, available for £30.57 from Amazon. This tripod only has two leg sections and lacks the adjustable leg angles, removable centre column and spirit level. If you just want something to use on tabletops then a gorillapod might be ideal, available for around £20 from Amazon however these aren't as sturdy and don't have the same versatility as the Velbon.  

 

Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q Verdict

The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini will be great for travellers thanks to its extremely compact size when folded down. It also expands to an impressive height and keeps its sturdiness, which is something other small tripods lose when fully extended.

It's easy to use thanks to being intuitively thought out and simple to operate. Materials used are of a really high standard. Any passionate amateur or someone looking for their first multi-use compact tripod shouldn't be disappointed. It's more expensive than alternative tripods on the market but has more features and has a premium feel for just under £100. Because of this we are happy to recommend it. 

Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q Pros

Quality build

Versatile

2kg load

5 year warranty

Folds away really compact

Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q Cons

Legs can be stiff to twist in order to extend
Price could put some off
 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q is an ideal tripod for those short on luggage space or as a compact all rounder.

 

 

Velbon ULTRA 353 Mini Q Specifications

Tripods
ConstructionNo Data
Maximum Height47cm
Minimum Height19cm
Maximum Weight Capacity2kg
Number of Leg Sections4
HeadLocking release plate
Box Contents
Box ContentsTripod, carry pouch
Dimensions
Weight612g
WidthNo Data
HeightNo Data

View Full Product Details

 

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