Getting back for a moment to the news stories about travel tripods, there is a new release coming soon to join the existing bunch of existing solutions. The Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head (Lever Locks, Sony Alpha Edition), is a relatively compact travel tripod measuring 59.1 inches when fully extended, but just 15.7 inches when collapsed. This tripod was specifically designed for the Sony Alpha a7 and a9 cameras, but I do believe that since it is compatible with both RC2 and Arca-type systems, it is likely that it can be adapted to be used with other DSLR cameras with the correct Arca plate. Since it was designed specifically for Sony, it does feature matching graphics and a dedicated release plate.
The legs consist of four sections featuring OPL lever locks, and a side button gives you the versatility to set up the tripod at three different angles. The ball head that is included “offers a dedicated knob for panoramic movement as well as a friction control knob for precise control over the tension during use.” The tripod is constructed from an aluminum alloy, weighs only 3.6 pounds, and has a load capacity of 17.6 pounds.
The Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head (Lever Locks, Sony Alpha Edition) will be available soon and can be currently pre-ordered from B&H Photo Video for $189.99.
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I have this tripod head mounted on a different travel pod. The head itself can only take Manfrotto RC2-compatible plates, but the model 200PL plate that it comes with is compatible with most RC2 heads and also compatible with most Arca-type head when turned 90°.
It also looks like they sell otherwise similar tripods with twist locks (instead of lever locks) and different color schemes for 11¢ less.