The tripod we choose today for review is one of the top-rated items from Manfrotto’s tripod family. Manfrotto Befree Advanced MKBFRTA4BK BH is a superior travel tripod, with a brand-new feature of Twist Lock with Ball Head for DSLR, CSC, and Mirror-less cameras.
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod Review
Capable of supporting up to 8 kg of load, with tripod bag to carry it around, the lightweight Manfrotto Befree Advanced made with aluminum has a lot to talk about.
Built And Design
Upon the first look, Manfrotto Befree is a 3.0 lb. aluminum made tripod with a ball head, four leg sections which are simple yet sleek and stylish. It is a convenient travel companion for professional photographers and passionate hobbyists who often use a tripod as an essential accessory in their adventures.
It provides all the strength needed by your tripod to support the camera. The physical dimensions of the product are 17.7 inches x 4.2 inches x 4.2 inches, whereas it weighs around 4.1 pounds with a head ball attached.
About the length and extensions, there is a fast column that rises to a combined height of 56.69 inches, folds down to 15.75 inches, and can support still or video cameras weighing up to 8.8 lb.
The max height of the tripod without Center Column is 52.4 inches or 133 cm, whereas the Minimum Working Height at which tripod can give an optimal performance without any trouble is 15.8 inches or 40.1 cm.
Manfrotto Befree Advanced MKBFRTA4BK BH folded length is just 15.7 inches or 40 cm. This height is effortless to carry around, and this tripod can be an excellent selection for hikers, boaters, bikers, air travelers, or anyone else who is searching to find a light weighted and a small form factor.
If we discuss the weight of the tripod little further, it is only 4.1 pounds. Aluminum tripods usually come under the category of light-weight, so does this tripod. There are some other tripods available even from Manfrotto itself, which are lighter than this but can support the same weight, but 4.1 pounds can be a good weight.
Let me explain this. When a tripod is light, it is more vulnerable to wind and blows of breeze. When breeze blow, it can shake the tripod and blur the footage, which is contrasting to the reason why we use a tripod.
Also, the more the lightweight tripod it, its legs get thinner upon extension, which again leads to vulnerability because of winds. It can be very messy in case of travel tripods. So I think that a slightly heavier tripod is always better.
The Befree comes sheathed in nylon for extra protection against breakage and dents, and a shoulder-strapped case. This shoulder case has a classy red stripe and white piping that fits the tripod entirely.
Along with Black, the Befree aluminum tripod is also available in Red, Blue, Green, and Gray so you can have a choice that in which color you want your travel buddy. Also, the tripod serves for a specific range of weight that it can bear, i.e., the weight of 8 pounds.
If more weight is placed in, it will malfunction. Please try to keep pressure on it as per its load capacity to enjoy its perks fully.
There are four legs of the tripod made from carbon-fiber. It is a more light-weight material than even aluminum but very strong and resistant to dents. This brand new generation of carbon fiber legs ensures maximum performance and extreme lightness.
The legs of the tripod have 3 Leg Positions. The legs also support the Independent Leg Spread of tripod with four legs. The ending of the legs has rubber feet. These rubber feet give more grips and protect the carbon fiber legs. Upon getting old, these feet can also be replaced with new ones.
There is also a new feature: ergonomic leg angle selector. This ergonomic leg angle selector is designed to be used by right-handed and left-handed photographers. It allows both persons with different dominant hands to change shooting perspectives effectively and efficiently, allowing both to change shooting perspectives.
The legs can also be locked at the desired height or spread using the twist lock. Twist lock is the standard lock offered by Manfrotto as compared to their pan-lock. It is just more comfortable to use, and customers have positive reviews about Manfrotto Befree Advanced.
The ball head used for this tripod is 494 center ball head. It comes with impressive load capacity and easy adjustments with ergonomic & independent controls while making the framing with the zoom lens easier and faster.
The head itself is a mini type with a single wing knob controlling tension and panning. The quick-release program comes with a 200PL-14 non-confined plate with a 1/4”-20 camera screw that is accessible separately for multiple camera use.
This ball head is not Arca compatible (the Arca-Swiss is a quick-release system that works on a two-piece mechanism). The Befree’s yoke has 3/8 inches to 16 inches mounting screw. It means that you can replace the existing ball head with some bigger one.
Though it is replaceable with a heavy model, before you go for this option, you should know that legs will not fold as flat as they do with the usual head, nor will they fit in the case as it is designed to meet the existing size of ball-head.
Manfrotto Befree Advanced MKBFRTA4BK BH features a new locking system called M-lock, Manfrotto’s new rotational foot lock developed to fully satisfy all those looking for a compact, quick, and easy to use solution. Besides, the M-Lock has no protruding parts, and its mechanism closes perfectly around the head, allowing the Befree Advanced to slide in and out of its bag effortlessly.
This version on befree tripod also has features of Easy Link, as do Manfrotto’s 190 and 055 professional tripods. As its names show, it creates a link. It links the photography accessories with a ball head.
Easy links allow photographers to enhance their creativity by adding accessories that make their shot unique and enhance the aesthetics of those shoots. For the photographers who love to add lights or reflectors, this feature can be a blessing in disguise for them.
They can now attach these accessories easily, which was previously possible with Manfrotto’s Advanced 494 aluminum ball joint, a ball joint that only supported heavy accessories.
Removable Centre Column
The center column is removable. It comes with Ballast Hook, whereas it doesn’t have any Lateral / 90-Degree Center Column.
Performance-wise it is pretty impressive as compared to the other tripods in its category. Here are details about its performance and other aspects. It impressively fulfills the primary purpose of the tripod, i.e., giving shake-free images and videos.
There are several features which make the performance of this tripod amazing: Quick Release functions releases the camera at one click.
- Using 360 Degree Rotation, a photographer can have a panoramic view of his images and videos.
- Flip Lock helps to keep a tripod at a selected position.
- Leg Angle Adjustment helps to have perfect adjustment.
- Rubber Foot gives a good grip.
- Adjustable Legs allows desired spread.
In general, we found this tripod an overall good performer.
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Specs:
- Brand: Manfrotto
- MPN: MKBFRTA4BKBH
- To Fit: Camera, Camcorder, Spotting Scope, Binoculars
- Head Type: Ball Head
- Features: Quick Release, 360 Degree Rotation, Flip Lock, Foldable, Leg Angle Adjustment, Rubber Foot, Adjustable Legs
- Compatible Brand: Universal, For Canon, For Manfrotto, For Arca-Swiss, For Bow
- Load Capacity: 17.6 lb. or 8 kg
- Maximum Working Height: 59.1 inches or 150 cm
- Max Height without Center Column: 52.4 inches or 133 cm
- Minimum Working Height: 15.8 inches or 40.1 cm
- Folded Length: 15.7 inches or 40 cm
- Built material: Aluminum Alloy
- Weight: 3.4 lb. or 1.5 kg
- Head Type: Ball Head
- Base Mount: 3/8 inches to 16 inches Female
- Camera Mounting Screw: ¼ inches to 20 inches Male
- Quick Release Plate Type: 200PL
- Friction Control: Yes
- Independent Pan Lock: Yes
- Lateral Tilt: -90 degree to +40 degree
- Vertical Tilt: -90 degree to +40 degree
- Leg Lock Type: Twist Lock
- Leg Positions: 3 Positions
- Independent Leg Spread of tripod: Yes
- Leg Sections: 4
- Feet Features: made up of Rubber
- Center Column Features: Ballast Hook
- Lateral / 90-Degree Center Column: No
- Package Weight: 4.1 lb.
- Box Dimensions (L x W x H): 19 inches x 15 inches x 10 inches
- Very lightweight for a video tripod
- Smooth pan & tilt fluid head
- Leg angle adjusters
- Carrying bag
- Sturdy, Solid build quality
- Small and compact to fit in a carry bag
- Reasonable cost
- Can cause trouble in windy conditions
There are several features in Manfrotto Advanced Befree that makes it worthy to become a part of your photographic accessories collection. With spending a little amount on it, you can have a vast improvement in your photographic results.
This Befree targets the weight-sensitive group, but it is still capable of grabbing the attention of professionals with its several excellent features at a very reasonable price. If it goes well with your photography needs, it can be both style and performance in one bundle.
In general, we found the performance of this tripod impressive, and there is no reason not to recommend buying it!