First Impressions: Manfrotto Modosteady “Transformer”

modosteady - mini tripod
modosteady - mini tripod

modosteady – mini tripod

The Manfrotto Modosteady was one of the coolest products I saw at Photo Plus Expo this year. A veritable transformer for photography and video, it aims to provide three essential pieces of equipment in one compact form. Basically, it is a tripod, stabilizer, and a steadicam all in one.


Tech Specs

Taken from the Manfrotto listing of the product

1/4″ screw 1/4 – 3/8
black_commando color
pat. pending
Closed Length
7.48 in
Load Capacity
1.65 lbs
Maximum Height
5.12 in
1.1 lbs

In it’s most basic format it operates as a mini tripod, but with the welcome addition of a handle for control. The handle can also extend out to provide finer control.

modosteady - extended

modosteady – extended

In it’s secondary configuration the legs turn into a handle and the arm becomes a shoulder rest to stabilize your camera.

modosteady - shoulder stabilizer

modosteady – shoulder stabilizer

And in its’ third configuration the arm swings down to provide a steadi-cam style counterweight. Inside the bottom piece are weights that can be added or removed to balance to the weight of your camera.

modosteady - steadicam

modosteady – steadicam

The entire unit folds down to a compact portable form which can easily fit in your bag. For this picture I folded it down to a fairly compact form but I feel like it was even more compact than what I show here. Still this will fit in pretty much any bag you have.

modosteady - folded

modosteady – folded

I should point out that the Modosteady is rated for a maximum camera weight of 1.6 pounds. To that end this is not designed for a DSLR*, and will likely shine with a micro 4/3rds camera or similar size and weight. I will point out that many of the reviews on Amazon are negative, but I am hoping they were because of people not understanding the weight limitation and putting heavier cameras on it.

* Some of the smallest and lightest consumer DSLRs (ex the Canon T2i with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS EF-S kit lens) will come within that weight, but most DSLRs will exceed this.

First Impressions

For a photographer with a small portable kit, particularly if you are doing video, this looks like a very promising accessory. I would like to see a more robust model designed for DSLRs as I think many people would appreciate such a flexible piece of gear in their kit. Pick up a Modosteady here.

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