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I had a certain degree of expectation when ordering this Manfrotto and was looking forward to use it.
Eventually you get what you pay for, and being a Manfrotto, you actually get a bit less as you have to pay for the brand name too.

It really is a pity to see that such a reputable company having to cut costs in order to remain competitive, as this could backfire on the company itself. I have other Manfrotto tripods bought around a decade ago, and whilst they were not cheap, they did not skimp on quality. True, the movie head alone was 3 times the price of this tripod, yet it is made of metal and offers silky smooth action.

Unfortunately, unlike what the name implies, the MKC3 is not very well suited for movies. Movement is rough, with noticeable uneven friction whilst panning. A considerable amount of pressure needs to be applied (via the wheel) to remove lateral movement (when tripod is supposedly locked for panning).

As for photos, I can only risk using my Canon 7D in the horizontal position. Thankfully I have the FZ200 which is light enough for use at 90 degrees tilt. As other users noted the lower section is better left closed in order to avoid tripod movement when there is a breeze. Yet this would result in a 5 foot tripod. Another observation is that the tripod legs can only be extended to one angle, so its either open or closed.

All is not bad though. I like the lightweight and portability of the tripod. The legs are easy to deploy and lock, much better than the screw type. Hence the 3 star rating.

The Manfrotto MKC3 is a budget tripod with some major limitations. I cannot really recommend it unless you really need a lightweight and compact travel tripod.
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on 29 April 2012
This is my second Manfrotto tripod. I really like the first but was looking for something slightly different.
The MKC3-H01 is well made and quite sturdy. If you have it fully extended and the centre column up to its highest then it might be a tad less steady, but still very good.

The bit I love is the pan & tilt mechanism and the lock. It's a thumb-wheel! So easy to use and so easy to lock exactly where you want.

There is a little button on the ball joint to change between camera and video-camera. In 'camera' this allows it to swing into portrait where 'video' won't. It's another good and useful feature.

It's quite light and folds down to a nice compact size and fits on the side of the Amazon Basics Backpack for my dSLR perfectly!

My only downside - I forgot I'd looked on Amazon and bought it in a PC shop on offer, but for an extra £17! :'(
At the Amazon price it really is a steal! :-)

Hope you have as much fun as I am . . .
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on 12 July 2012
Just got my tripod. Didn't have the chance to use thoroughly yet, but can comment on package and built. And both are soberb! It's own box is so good I kept it not just for storaging, but also for transportation. And its built feels very solid! Never would I say its such an unexpensive item!

I will try to update this review in a few weeks after I have chances to use it extensively (2 long trips ahead!!).

But so far, very happy with this purchase.

Updating (6 months after buying):
Now that I've used it for 6 months I can say a couple of things about it:

1)it's sturdy.
2) never let me down
3) easy to carry and not heavy, even when carrying for many hours attached to my slimbag 200.

Cons side:

1) does not have spikes to get a firmer grip on earth
2) does not have a hook to put extra weight if needed

Anyway, a good tripod. But for the two flows above, I'm taking a star off.
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on 24 January 2013
I actually tried it's bigger and more expensive brother in the store before ordering this one on Amazon, I also went by the previous reviews before pulling the trigger.

It arrived quick (thank you Amazon) and was very well packaged (by Amazon as well as Manfrotto), looked quite slick and was not too heavy plus collapsed into a decently small size. I totally saw myself attaching this to the side of my camera bag and taking it where ever I needed to shoot.

The legs open quite smooth and I didnt use the last section (as already described by another review, it's shaky in a breeze) but what finally got to me and made me return this is... the ball head is really really rough.

While I could live with it if it started a bit jerky and then smoothed over, I can't get anything meaningful with it constantly catching randomly in the middle of a pan.

Looks like I will have to spring for it's bigger brother or keep looking. Oh well, at least Amazon has a fantastic return policy.

(If this review helped you, please rate it. Cheers!)
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on 18 August 2014
A wonderful little tripod, this is so compact I have to actually extend the legs a little to make it fit in the tripod holder on my Lowepro Video Fastpack 350. But, that is where the joys of this tripod end really. For me, the convenience of it alone is enough to give it 4 stars, but I do have the following gripes with this.

I thought I would like the head on it, and to be honest I haven't had that many problems with it, certainly nothing major, but the pistol grip can be a bit annoying. The switch to flick it form 'video' mode to 'photo' mode is a bit tricky to use smoothly. The same goes for the locking mechanism; while the idea is great, a wheel built into the grip that you move with your thumb to change the tension from loose to fixed. However, when it starts getting tight it has a tendency to them move itself ever so slightly. Not bad for most shots but a real pain if you have spent ages trying to line up a perfectly composed picture, especially at longer focal length.

Height-wise there are no complaints. The legs only go to one position and the central column isn't reversible, but at its lowest height its still pretty small. With the legs and central column fully extended its about head height (on me anyway). The leg-locks are sturdy enough.
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on 18 April 2014
This is my second one of these tripod stands. I love it. It's perfect for my needs, i travel a lot and it's size and weight are ideal. It extends to a very high height, the trigger head is very effective and carries my 60D with 28-135mm lens with no problems, same with the 300mm.

I wish the center piece could turn, so you could lock horizontal pan, and i wish the legs went all the way out for a lower setting, but other than that. I take this tripod everywhere. i lost my old one and replaced it with the exact same one straight away.
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on 2 March 2013
I used this for a while and liked it, but then one of the leg clamps broke. I tried to buy a replacement, but Manfrotto will not supply single clamps- only a replacement leg at almost the price of the whole tripod. I thought this very poor service.
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This has been a great addition to my ever growing collection of photography/videography stuff. I needed a tripod to use with a small SD card camcorder, something that would take up very little space (or as little as possible) and be light. This ticks all the boxes, it provides a small, easy to carry, compact tripod the extends up to a reasonable height, isn't the sturdiest tripod in the world be to be fair is isn't meant to be. If i wanted a rock solid tripod that has smooth panning operations I will buy one for a few hundred quid, as something to drag around a festival to video local bands then this is great. It also fits in my bikes back box making it much easier to transport. I have a bigger tripod that I use for my DSLR's (Nikon D2x and Fuji S2 Pro) although this has handled the Fuji the Nikon is just too heavy for it, but it isn't meant to take it. This tripod is great for what I bought it for and when I bought it the description did mention that it wasn't meant to take a massive weight.
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on 17 July 2013
I bought this tripod as a replacement for my 785B Modo. Yes, that’s the one which has the badly designed leg clamps which split across the hinge pin, usually just after the warranty has run out.

Mr Frotto describes this Italian designed and engineered but Chinese manufactured tripod as their model replacement for the 785B Modo. Mr Frotto and I obviously have different interpretations of the words ‘model replacement’. It may replace it in their catalogue but it in no way replaces it physically.

The 785B was a splendid tripod, except for the leg clamps fiasco which rendered it useless for anything other than a tabletop tripod. So it really was not splendid I suppose. BUT the pan and tilt head was smooth and silent. There was a leg spread adjustment at the top and a little bubble level. The central column had a lever clamp lock and split into two for low shots. There was even a screwdriver to tighten the quick release plate onto the camera. Above all it was light and small, packed in a suitcase and was reasonably rigid.

The new fella has been stripped of nearly all of these features. No leg spread lock, the center column lever lock has become a thumbscrew, no screwdriver or bubble level (despite instructions telling you how not to clean it). Worse, the pan and tilt head is noisy. It’s the same system as the old one with Photo and Movie settings except the ball that the socket articulates on is textured and makes a grating sound as you pan. As you start to pan there is about 2mm of free play before the actual head turns resulting in a jerk. Maybe a little silicone grease will help here, I shall investigate... I have, it didn’t. The handle is called ergonomic which just means it is vaguely curved to fit anyone’s left or right hand. There is a joint seam running longitudinally which is annoyingly uncomfortable. Some filler here perhaps? I'll see if I can swap heads.

It's called a 'Compact Photo-movie Kit'. Quite where the 'kit' part comes in I do not know. All you get is a tripod, oh and the box. Is that It?

Good points. Well... the head locking rubber thumbwheel is great. An improvement on the two part trigger of the 785B. The leg clips have been beefed up, it’s still light, 1.15kilo, folds up to 45cms and will support 1.5 kilo, which will be OK for my camcorder which is what I want to use it with. Same oval leg tubes and reasonable quality of manufacture.

So, a good little travelling tripod. There is always a trade off between weight and rigidity but this one is not too bad. Early trials indicate that it will do.

Would have liked: all the refinements from the previous model. Come along Mr Frotto, forward steps only please.
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on 17 April 2014
Apologies for delaying the writing of this review: I felt I needed to use the tripod for a while before commenting on it.

Before ordering it, I read all the reviews I could find, looking for a light tripod to replace my old Manfrotto, an 055C with a 115 head, which has given almost twenty years' service (and looks set to give another twenty!), generally supporting my Mamiya RZ67 or a (back-up) Bronica. Now retired, and having received a Nikon D3200 as a birthday present, I was aware that I needed a light tripod, being too lazy to carry the old heavyweight around. The MKC3-H01 seemed to satisfy most of my requirements, with a reasonable balance of lightness and rigidity. Plenty of 'Pros' in the reviews, and very few significant 'Cons', so I placed the order.

Now: I am pleasantly surprised by the new tripod's rigidity.
Not rock-solid like my old one, but its weight is a fraction of the 055C's, so an ideal compromise. As many other reviewers have suggested, use a remote release or the self timer to avoid vibrations, and avoid using the lower leg extensions and the centre column if possible. One other reviewer suggested that by removing the rubber cap from the bottom of the centre-column, you expose a hole enabling you to use an 'S'-hook to hang your camera-bag as a stabilising weight.

Only down-side I've found is that I'm still not sure about the dual-purpose head. I would have preferred one or the other: a simple pan-and-tilt, or a ball-and-socket, but it's fair to say that the more I use it, the more comfortable I am with it.

Not sure what star-rating to award. For rigidity, in relation to portability, it justifies 5 stars. However, that head just doesn't feel right to me, so I'm dropping it to 4 stars. It has to be said, though, that it's largely personal preference, and also, of course, Manfrotto offer such a range of options that I could almost certainly have found one with exactly the right head to suit me.

Really, it's a quality product at an incredible price, and no-one could reasonably expect better rigidity/stability without lugging a lot more weight around.
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