I’m a buy-it-once-and-buy-it-right person. I do not do well with iterative purchases. I invest in gear wisely and use the heck out of it. The Fotopro Eagle Series has solved numerous problems for me that I did not know a tripod or gimbal head could solve.
Previously, if I wanted to convert from using a gimbal head to a ball head (or vice versa) the process of switching was cumbersome and time-consuming, resulting in missed shots. I also had to carry two types of heads with me in the field. That meant extra weight. The Fotopro Eagle Series easily converts from a gimbal to a ball head. You simply need an L-bracket and you are ready to go. Not only that, the head works in all 360ׄ degrees of direction. There isn’t another gimbal head out there that can do that. This means you go from shooting wildlife and birds-in-flight to capturing landscapes, top-down shots, night sky, converging trees, and more—all with the same setup, and no switching of heads required.
The Eagle Series also allowed me to say goodbye to my tripod’s center column and more easily get in to low shooting positions. With legs that extend out 90 degrees on all sides—and no center column to get in the way—water-level and low-profile shots became easy to accomplish.
Another important benefit is that I am saving weight. The total weight of the Fotopro Eagle Series gimbal head and tripod combined is only about 4.5 pounds. Yet it can fully support even girthy lenses like a 600mm f/4 prime without issue. The carbon fiber design can carry a load of about 33 pounds total. This allows me to mount a camera bag on the underside hook with ease, plus the camera and lens—and I still haven’t met capacity. Considering I used to have to carry a ball head, plus a gimbal head, plus my camera gear, I have lightened my load considerably via this upgrade.
The Fotopro Eagle Series folds down to about 19 inches, easily fitting into my carry-on bag. Those same collapsible legs only require a quarter turn to extend/collapse—making it quick to setup or put away. This tripod is waterproof (not resistant—but waterproof), so I never need to disassemble the legs for cleaning after working in salt water or sand.
One of my favorite features is the bowl-style level on the tripod. It offers instant-leveling without needing to fine-tune the extension of each leg to achieve “level.” That time-savings has made the difference for me between getting versus missing the shot.
I’ve mentioned that the gimbal head serves as a ball head, but conveniently, it also serves as both a fluid head for video and even allows for capturing multi-stitch panorama shots via a “clicking” mechanism one can engage to set specific increments of horizontal panning. Brilliant.
When I picked up my Eagle Series tripod, it was available in two heights and I chose the shorter of the two. I’m 5’6” and my one complaint was wishing that the shorter model of the two had slightly more length. The good news is that Fotopro has now come out with an intermediate length that is 6 inches longer, yet collapses to the same 19-inch size. This is awesome news for those who wanted a little more height yet didn’t want to get the tallest version available.
Now that I can leave my ball head at home due to the dual-functioning gimbal, plus reduce by half the weight of the setup compared to my old system without sacrificing strength, this tripod has truly changed my photographic life. I do not miss my old setup at all, and the lightweight properties of the gimbal and tripod combined make hiking, packing and using this system delightfully easy. Contact: Fotopro, www.fotoprousa.com.
See more of Lisa Langell’s work at langellphotography.com.