So a couple of weeks ago, we reviewed the HEIPI tripod. I took it around and shot with it downtown. It was really enjoyable to use. I found it really useful. But the questions that we got all through our comments and people emailing us was, how does it compare to the Peak Design? And that’s a legitimate question, because they are very similar in a lot of ways, but different in a lot of ways as well. HEIPI was in, going, sure, let’s talk about it.
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So we’re going to give you an honest look at these two tripods, how they compare with each other, how I found working with both of them, how I found that they work, and just give you a really good comparison as you make a decision between your HEIPI and your Peak Design tripod. So let’s get started.
First is weight. You know, they are very similar in weight. The HEIPI tripod is 2.98 pounds, and the Peak tripod is 2.81 pounds. So you’re about .17 of a pound. You know, what does that translates to, it’s less than around an eighth of a pound difference between the two. But they’re very close. Who would I say wins when it comes to weight? Well, Peak Design is slightly lighter.
Because it’s a travel tripod, you want to travel with it. So the packing height, what it condenses down to is super important. And it’s pretty obvious, the Peak Design is considerably shorter. It’s about 15 1/2 inches. Whereas the HEIPI is about 171/2 inches. So Peak Design definitely wins this round. But it might be worth noting, you can take the ball head off from the HEIPI tripod, and that helps to condense it to make it easier for packing and traveling.
So the maximum weight capacity of these two tripods is very different. The HEIPI will handle 55.1 pounds, whereas the Peak Design will handle 20 pounds. That means that the HEIPI can handle more than twice as much camera weight than the Peak Design.
If you’re going to look at ease of use, you really have to think about deployability. Both of these tripods have five sections. So they’re going to telescope into five sections. The Peak Design, this is why it can’t hold over 20 pounds, because it’s just not as sturdy when you get it fully extended. The HEIPI has the same five sections, very similar in the way they deploy. They have this kind of latch that clips over. The Heipi is just so much more sturdy when you get into this it’s a much sturdier tripod. That’s why it’ll hold up to 50 pounds. So who wins this round? Well, they’re both easy to deploy, easy to collapse, but the HEIPI is just a lot stronger. Those legs are much stronger, and it’s going to handle more weight. So if it comes to deploying, they’re the same.
So let’s now talk about the feature on these two tripods, that probably is going to be the most personal for people. And that’s the ball head. Most people like something that works for their workflow. And these couldn’t be more different. They’re very different in their approach. Peak Design has a great quick release plate. This little square plate comes right off. It’s just simple. Put on your camera and drop it in here. And when you lock it in place, it locks your camera. You have to turn it about a quarter turn.And that now locks your camera in place and you’re good to go. It has pins on the end of it. So that this plate, if it gets a little loose won’t slide off. You can take those pins out, which allows you to put any kind of Arca Swiss plate on here, so you can adapt to other Arca Swiss plates. But if you do that you don’t have any kind of safety. If it gets a little loose, your camera’s going to slide right off. Now when it comes to the ball head, you can’t use the Peak Design ball head here. The ball head is nestled down inside the tripod. So we’ve got to bring it up on the column to a point where we can now loosen this collar. And that gives us the fluidity to be able to move the ball head around. You can’t, unless you get this up high enough, you can’t go over to the side to be able to give you a vertical shot. But you have to get up higher. Once you do you have three grooves to be able to go into vertical mode. And all you do is simply tighten this ring. And once you tighten the ring, regardless of where you place it, that’s going to hold it in place. So very easy to adjust and set into place, then lock it off. But it’s a very compact design. It’s made to collapse together. And that’s what makes it so short. You’ve really taken the ball head and collapsed it into the ergonomics of the tripod. And that’s what makes it so short.
So now the HEIPI tripod is built on a traditional ball head type of model. They have their own version of a quick release. It has a small square on the top and has the two screws if you want to be able to make this completely adaptable to any Arca Swiss plate. When you put your plate in, click it and then turn it about a quarter turn. You don’t turn as far as you have to on the Peak Design. Just this little quarter turn and it locks right into place. Now you have a lever on the side. That lever allows this to be completely fluid to be able to shoot and to be able to work with it. It has a cut out on one side to be able to drop it into vertical mode. And then on the back we’ve got a knob here to allow this to go in 360. What’s nice about this design is that you can just simply remove this ball head and that becomes really important when we start talking about low mode and other kinds of capabilities here. Because this is a ball head that just simply comes off. You can use other ball heads on here. If this collar gets in the way it’ll twist off and allows you to get access to that.
So with the Peak Design, you can’t remove the ball head. You can get an adapter, it’s an additional cost, that allows it to set in and gives you just a plate that allows you to screw a ball head on. I think the Peak Design has an incredible design here, which gives you a small ball head that collapses into the tripod and makes it very short and easy to carry. But they gave up a lot of options to be able to accomplish that. Whereas with the HEIPI, we’ve got a robust ball head on here that comes off and allows us to turn this into two different tripods. It allows us to be able to use it in concert with the column in the middle. And it’s just a regular ball head so you have great panning. It is a great quick release on the top and fast positioning. Even faster, I think, than that ring on the Peak Design. So for me, I would say that the HEIPI definitely won this round.
Both of these ball heads will give you a 360 rotation. The Peak Design, you loosen this, you’re able to rotate this 360. It doesn’t have a way to keep it level as you rotate it 360. You’re just moving the ball head and you have to be very careful to try to keep it as level as possible so you can lock it into the next place.
Now with the HEIPI tripod, it has a rotating base. It has a base that rotates around. And it also has a click or de-click. Put a is small tool in here to be able to turn the click or de-click on. It’s too hard to get the Peak Design level and keep it level when you’re doing some kind of a panoramic. So in my mind, the HEIPI definitely wins.
So let’s talk about that center column. Why a three pillar center column? Well, a couple of reasons. One, you can take it out and make it into a tripod. But two, it gives incredible stability to the tripod if it’s hit. If the winds blowing, it doesn’t wiggle, it doesn’t continue to kind of shake. Whereas a single column design, if it’s hit and the wind is blowing, it has a little bit of a shake to it. So that three column design, even though it’s very unique for tripods, it’s an advantage because it gives you really good stability.
So is there any difference between these two plates for Peak and for HEIPI? Not a lot. They’re very, very, very similar. But the one thing that really kind of drives me crazy is that the Peak Design has to have a hex tool to put it on. Versus the HEIPI has got the slit that you can use. I have a device I carry on all my key rings to be able to tighten it and it does also have the hex wrench. So when it comes to the plate HEIPI wins.
Let’s talk about the center column design of these two different tripods. The HEIPI tripod is very different, unique in this way. It has a three legged center column that allows it to go up and down. You can tighten it there to give you the tightening that you need at whatever height or it can loosen it all the way and this goes straight down to the ground. That is a unique tripod setup. Why would you do that? Well, because this comes all the way out. And now this becomes a tripod in and of its own. It’s got a secondary tripod inside this one. So I now can twist this off. And I always carry a small ball head with me anyway to use on different platforms where I want to get super low. And this now will give me, I can take the HEIPI tripod ball head back off and put it on here. Or I can put a secondary ball head on there. I can swap these. And now I’ve got my secondary ball head on this small tripod and this goes right down to the floor. Super down on the floor.
Peak Design has a knob on the side that allows us to release this column. It gets up here, I mean, it’s very small, but it’s pretty secure. I don’t find this unsecure. So there’s a difference in those. So that thought who wins when it comes to the center column? Well, the HEIPI is pretty revolutionary when it comes to that center column. And I think it gives you now two different tripods rather than just something that elevates your camera by a few inches. So the winner for me would be the HEIPI.
When you have a compact tripod like this, that takes a lot of adjustment with hex wrenches. I’m not always in love with hex wrenches. I mean, I love them because it’s a great way to tighten things but you have to have them. You have to keep track of them. So on the Peak Design, they’ve got a great little kit here. It’s a tool that goes right into a little holder on the tripod leg. That tool has the two hex sets you need to use to be able to make all your adjustments on here if you want to take anything off or apart. That’s the tool right there. That little tool right there just collapses, comes out and that just goes right into its little holder right there.
Now the HEIPI tripod has three wrenches that come in the case. Those three wrenches come in the case and allows you to do everything you need to do here. But it’s three loose wrenches that come, they have a little compartment in the case you put these in. And that always scares me. I’m not going to have those when I want them. When it comes to wrenches tools to take care of these two tripods, then the Peak Design definitely wins.
So let’s talk about how low these tripods will go. The Peak Design, if I come out, I can get this thing down into here. All right, so in order to be able to get this to go as low as I want, I’ve got to take the center column apart.So you got a screw that comes off, loosens in there, five or six times, that’s going to loosen this up, and it will come out. Now this comes out, this goes on, that’s pretty dang low. When I put a tape measure on that I’m about, I’m going to say 6 ?”. The problem is that I can’t use the ball head here, when this is tight. There’s no, I’ve got to move the ball head up to be able to get myself to a place where I can move the ball head. I certainly can go into a vertical unless I get this up quite a bit higher. So a lot of the advantage of the Peak going down to the ground is now just a platform that I can’t adjust my camera on. So for the low mode, the sub tripod, the sub tripod is right on the ground. And with that small ball head on there, I’m really getting a nice height, I’m getting about less than four inches. So now if I take the main tripod out to its low mode here. So now that’s the lowest that the main tripod will go. And I’m going to get somewhere in the mode of 8 1/2 inches at that point, eight and a half inches. So the Peak does get lower than the HEIPI on the main tripod. But the sub tripod from the HEIPI gets right down on the ground and gives you a very low view. All right, when it comes to getting lower, the Peak Design certainly gets lower on the main tripod. That really sleek kind of low profile ball head allows you to get very low. But the HEIPI sub tripod pulls out and goes right to the ground and just gives you a really super low, you’re on the ground. I think the HEIPI tripod wins.
A feature that both of these tripods share is that they both have a cell phone adapter. Now the HEIPI tripod, that cell phone adapter comes straight out of the ball head. Which is so easy to deploy. Pull it up, drop your phone and bring it over to the side. You’re really ready to go. So I mean, that’s really a fascinating, quick solution for your cell phone.
So the Peak Design has a little device here. So the hook on the wall in the camera, turn that and inside of here is a little cell phone adapter. And it’s got an Arca Swiss, which is pretty slick. You got to put this in here, lock that into place. And then that allows me to bring my phone in, bring it up and set my phone into place. So now that Peak Design does not allow me to, I can’t get this in just any place. I have to really drop it over to the one side, it doesn’t spin on a ball, like the HEIPI tripod does. But once you get it in the right spot you can get it in a vertical mode. So which one of these wins? As innovative and cool all these little things are on the Peak Design, the easy, quick deployability of the HEIPI makes it much better.
Both of these tripods have a hook. The Peak Design has a hook that you can reposition. That cellphone devise is in there. You can move it to another place and kind of move it around in different places to orient the direction you want it to go. And it makes it very easy to use. Just a small hook on there to hang a sandbag or something.
So now when it comes to the HEIPI tripod, the hook is up in here in the middle of this center column. I can’t really get to that. I mean the only way I can get to that is if this center column is deployed all the way up. Now I can get to the hook in here and I can hang a sandbag or something on it.But if this is down all the way, I really can’t get to that hook. I mean, I would have to carry with me a piece of paracord or something to hook onto that and maybe tie a loop to something, I can, you know, tie on the sandbag or something. So which hook wins? The Peak Design definitely wins. It’s too hard to get to the one here on the HEIPI tripod. The nice thing about the HEIPI tripod, and it’s unfortunate you can’t get to that hook a lot easier, is it, because it’ll hold 50 pounds or 55 pounds, you can put a 20 pound sandbag on this and your camera without any problem. Whereas you can’t do that with the Peak Design. But when it comes to using that hook, ease of use, Peak Design definitely wins.
This is a feature that I just do not understand why every tripod company, why every camera company, every company that makes any kind of photographic equipment doesn’t include threaded quarter 20 holes on their equipment. The HEIPI has six of them. If you open this collar up, there’s three on the center post. So we have three points where you can screw in some kind of attachment if you want to hold like your phone if I’m doing a time lapse. Or if I using my edelkrone slider I can use my phone to be able to run my slider and these just twist right in. And I’ve got three of them on the center column, which is fabulous. And now, I can use that for my phone, or any device I want to hook on here. It does have three on the tripod. But you have to remove this so it doesn’t scratch the tripod when you put your adapter in. But I love the fact that I can pop this collar up. And I can put all my devices right there that I want to use for whatever camera support I need. Does the Peak Design have that feature? It does not. So, boy, it’s definitely a win for HEIPI on this category.
So when it comes to ease of use, it’s kind of a tie unless you look at options for use in the field. Because you are kind of restricted without having a really good ball head on Peak’s system, you have a lot more options with the HEIPI system. You can put this onto the secondary tripod which gets it right down on the ground. You can carry an extra ball head and have two tripods. I have the ability to attach some kind of a secondary device, three or four of them because of the quarter 20s. I just think that use wise in the field that the HEIPI tripod has so many more options that I’d say for ease of use, they’re both very easy to use. But there’s so many more options with the HEIPI tripod, I say the HEIPI wins.
So both of these tripods come with great water resistant bags, these bags are going to keep your tripod safe and keep it dry as you’re packing around. So it’s kind of a tie on this one. They both come with great bags.
So let’s talk about spiked feet, or perhaps the lack of spiked feet. HEIPI comes with spiked feet built in. It’s built right into the foot of each of the tripod legs. There’s a little spike in there. You could pull that spike out and twist it into the bottom. Now you have spiked feet on all three of your legs.
Peak Design, you have to buy spiked feet. It’s an additional item you have to purchase to be able to get spiked feet with the Peak Design. Also that three eighths inch hole gives you the ability to twist in any other tripod’s 3/8” spiked feet. So spiked feet can be very useful in certain situations. And it’s built in as a part of the HEIPI. But something you have to buy additionally for the Peak Design. So I think HEIPI wins this round.
So before I talk about price, I want to make sure it’s clear that I am talking about carbon fiber in both of these platforms. They’re both carbon fiber. Now Peak does have an aluminum version of this, which is less money, considerably less money. But we’re talking about carbon fiber to carbon fiber. Do I feel like the Peak Design is a bad tripod? I do not. I think it’s an incredible tripod. I think it’s incredibly engineered. I think it has just great use, is small, compact, and it is really easy to travel with. I just feel like the HEIPI tripod is, because of price just far and away a better value. You’re getting 99% of what you’re getting with Peak Design, and you’re getting it in a compact, lightweight travel version really makes this a better value. So when I talk about price, I would have to say that the HEIPI tripod definitely wins when it comes to price. It delivers you great value and features for your money and edges out the Peak not just in price, but also I think in some of the features.
So there you go, you take a look at it. I’ve tried to be as fair as possible. I know this is going to blow up with comments about I didn’t say this or I didn’t do that or I discredited this or discredited that. Well fill up the comments. Let’s hear it. I want to hear your justification on why this tripod should be twice as much and what features that it contains that makes it worth $650 versus $400 without the Kickstarter and $299 with the Kickstarter. So leave us those comments. Make sure you follow us here at The Slanted Lens. Ring that bell and we hope to see you again soon. Keep those cameras rollin, keep on clickin’!