I’ve been traveling with the original Manfrotto Befree Live tripod for over a year now. But now that I’ve upgraded to the carbon fiber tripod, I feel super special. You know the feeling you get when you lug around heavy gear and you don’t use it? Yeah. Awful. But you won’t get this with the Befree Live Carbon Fiber Fluid Head tripod. It’s my new go-to travel tripod even if there’s a 50/50 chance that I won’t use it. I never regret bringing it with me just because it’s so light and small.
Let’s get into the details of how the Manfrotto Befree Live Carbon Fiber Fluid Head knocks it out of the park.
- Basic pans and tilts
- Motion timelapses if you’re fancy
- Long exposures
- High ground shots when you stretch the tripod to 59 inches
- Wide stance shots at the low height of 17 inches
- Inverted to get even lower shots
- Inverted to get great overhead shots
If you’re familiar with Manfrotto’s previous Befree Live tripod, you probably have the burning question of how this new carbon fiber version compares.
First off, both tripods have the same, small fluid head for you videographers. If you’re a photographer and don’t need to use the arm on the fluid head, you could swap it out for a ball head.
The payload on both is 8.8 pounds, but I would recommend just using DSLR or mirrorless setups with it.
What’s also great about these tiny tripods is the center column that lets you adjust the height super easily. The tallest height on both tripods comes to around 60 inches and the lowest height is 17 inches. Packed down, they both have the same width of my laptop at around 16 inches. You can throw it in your backpack so easily.
Lastly, both versions of the tripod have a ball head leveler to let you know when your camera is straight, and both come with their own cases. One difference—the carbon fiber tripod comes with a case that has a way longer strap, which I definitely prefer.
These two tripods have a lot of similarities, but they have their fair share of differences too. The first is the twist locks that come on the new carbon fiber tripod. I find that they’re easier to unlock than the lever locks on the original version. But it really comes down to your personal preference on this.
Another change is how you set the leg positioning. On the original Befree, I had to think about which direction to turn the knob to set the legs how I wanted. I find that the process of setting the leg positioning on the newer Befree Live tripod is more intuitive. And having fewer decisions on little things helps me make better decisions while I’m shooting.
Lastly, there is a weight difference between the two. The Befree Live Carbon Fiber tripod weighs one pound less than the original. One pound might not seem like a lot, but if your traveling or hiking or hauling gear a ton, it makes a huge difference. Trust me, it can start to hurt.
The Manfrotto Befree Live Carbon Fiber tripod is perfect for anyone who wants to just carry a less heavy load of gear. It’s easy to throw in so many backpacks or cases. It’s ideal for interviews, travel vlogs, and selfies (so you never need to worry about someone taking your photo and cropping half your body off).