Field Test | Manfrotto MKC3-P01 Compact Photo Kit Review

If you like shooting landscapes, night skies or even architecture, a tripod is an essential tool for these kind of photography. For beginners in photography, I always stress how important good quality tripods when buying one. Think about it, you have a really costly camera on top of it, would you risk your thousands-of-pesos investment on a flimsy tripod? There are already several trusted brands already and one of them is Manfrotto. For the past few months I have been using the Manfrotto MKC3-P01 Compact Photo Kit. It’s a model that’s been out for quite a while and is leaned as a good starter tripod but still sturdy enough for rugged use.

Retracted at only 43cm and weighs only 1kg
Retracted at only 43cm and weighs only 1kg

The Manfrotto MKC3-P01 Compact Photo Kit

The Manfrotto MKC3-P01 is part of Manfrotto’s Compact Series, a line of gear designed for mobility, intuitive use and compactness. True to the series, the first thing I noticed was how light and small the tripod was. For a full-sized 165cm aluminum tripod, the Manfrotto MKC3-P01 retracts to 43cm with the head inverted. The tripod is also incredibly light at only 1kg, a welcome weight for a travel photographer like me who’s trying to lessen my load.

The Manfrotto MKC3-P01 legs are divided in 5-segments to keep its compactness. It won’t be as sturdy as my other heavier tripods on really windy conditions or strong waves but it can hold its own with additional support. By itself it can handle a load of 1.5kg. My Nikon D7100 had no problems with it. The ball-head is built-in. Good thing there’s a quick-release plate for quick mounting and release. There’s one quirk though on adjusting the head, the knob is on the right side if I want to angle my camera down which is quite tricky if you’re holding the camera on your right as well.

Quick release and leg rubber soles
Quick release and leg rubber soles

Verdict

Despite that minor quirk on knob placement, the Manfrotto MKC3-P01 is very handy and had been my travel photography companion for more than half a year now. At this time Manfrotto no longer offers the said model but upgraded to the very similar Compact Light Series. But if you ever still find the model in a reduced price, it’s still worth it. The price range of US$65 (Php 3,000) offers great value in this line of starter tripods.

Leg snap locks
Leg snap locks
Built-in ballhead
Built-in ballhead
Using the tripod on the beach
Using the tripod on the beach
It's easier to bring this tripod up the mountain
It’s easier to bring this tripod up the mountain

2 Comments

What ya think?