Hey, it’s Jay P. here. We’re down on the Sixth Street Bridge here in Los Angeles. I’ve got with me the Ulanzi Fotopro X-Aircross F38 Tripod. When we were at NAB Julene’s going, “We’ve got to find a lightweight video tripod.” And when we went through all the different booths we ended up with Ulanzi’s booth and we found this tripod. So we asked him to send us one. They sent it. We’re going to review it because this is probably the smallest, lightest weight video tripod you will ever find. So let’s see how it does.
So the X-Aircross is a really lightweight tripod. It’s like 2.38 pounds. That makes this tripod quite a bit lighter than either the Heipi tripod or definitely the Peak tripod. It’s a very lightweight tripod made to travel. So it’s a lightweight tripod. It will only hold about six pounds with regards to cameras you put on the ball head. But the actual tripod will take 22 pounds. So if you want to put a heavy bag or something on here you can use that to give it weight and stability. But as far as payload for the top, about 6.6 pounds. So I’ve got on this the Panasonic S52 X with a Kondor cage. That together is way less than that six pounds. So this video tripod is made to be able to handle this kind of a mirrorless camera and lens. I could put a little longer lens on this and it’ll work out just fine. So we’re going to work with that. I’m going to shoot some with that and just see how it works, how the panning works, how the tilting and everything. And just give us a kind of a rundown on the ball head because that’s what’s important. How does the ball head function? That’s what we want to know. That’s what we want to see. So as far as the weight goes, 2.3 pounds. So lighter than most of the travel tripods out there.
Height is always an issue when you’re dealing with a travel tripod because you want them to be small and compact, but you want it to be tall enough to be able to work with. They’re generally not as tall as a studio type tripod because you’re condensing on weight and size to be able to travel with it. This tripod is about 14 and a half inches with the video head off. So with the video head on it’s about 18 and a quarter or 18 and a half inches. Which is small enough it’ll get into my SKB backpack, barely get in. But it goes up to 61 inches. So it goes up pretty good. It goes up to my eye level and I’m just under six foot. So it gets up to about my eye level, which for a travel tripod is very respectable. For a video tripod is pretty good. So that’s it, about 61 inches high.
And you can also take it down to about six and a half or six and a quarter inches off the ground. Or you can under sling this underneath and you can really get the lens right down on the ground, on the dirt. When it comes to height it really checks the two boxes that I look for and that it is compresses enough, it folds down small enough to get into my backpack and it gives me a working height that is high enough. That’s 61 inches gets it up high enough where I can use it. And for a travel tripod I think it checks both those boxes.
So really, the value of the tripod is in the ball head. How good is the ball head? You know, it’s very, it has great tension both in your vertical tilts and in the panning. It has really nice tension. It’s got enough tension to be able to give you a nice smooth pan and tilt. And I think that’s really important. You can increase the knob tension on the side if you want to increase it a little bit. But I find it’s pretty good. I wish I could balance it a little better where I could move the plate back. But the plate is really set up with this system. This is the F38 plate. A lot of companies have gone to this since Peak design started with this square kind of ARCA Swiss plate. We’ve seen it on the Peak Design, we see it on the Heipi. Now this is, F38, is what it’s called on Ulanzi’s. It’s really a great design, I think, because it allows you to have a small plate and it slips right into the side here and locks into place. There’s a little knob in the front you turn and when you turn that knob it can’t come back out. You pull that knob out turn the knob a little bit, push it and it slides out. At first I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that. But after I did it a couple of times it was pretty easy to make that happen. Pull it and tighten it in the front. It has, of course, on the side, so you can drop the handle just like a good any good video tripod for storing. You can drop that handle out of the way. So bring that up to where you want it to be able to use it. It’s got a leveling bowl head. Just a tiny little thing which is really nice. That is so critical when you’re using this type of tripod and you want to be able to level it. You need a leveling, a bowl kind of ball or bowl on there that’s going to let you level it. And this has that exactly, which is perfect. It’s got a little level on the back so you can tell when it’s level. Now you can work your pan and your tilt off from a level tripod. So for a head this small to have that bowl leveling is really pretty amazing to me.
On the head they’ve got a little hex key in the back that allows you to be able to put the F38 plate on or to make some other adjustments on the head. I love the fact that it’s built in and it’s got a magnet there to hold it into place.
So for a video tripod that’s this small I am very impressed with the tilt and the pan. I think it’s really great and smooth. I like the video I’m getting from it. I’m going to do a video shot right now.
So it has a 360 degree radius if you want to pan with this. It also has quarter twenties on the side which is really nice if you want to put a magic arm on this and put some kind of Atomos recorder or something on the side. You’ve got that quarter 20 on both sides which allows you to attach things to the ball head. Which is fabulous. I love that. To be able to attach things even if it’s just a phone for doing time lapse or any kind of device it’s nice to have that quarter 20.
So it has a lock for the bowl, obviously. So you can lock the bowl in place. You’ve got a lock button here for the pan. Got a lock for the tilt. So the tilt goes from 90 degrees down to 55 degrees up. So it’s 145 degree range, which is a really good range for a small ball head like this.
So an F38 plate is compatible with both with Heipi and also with the Peak Design. It’s that same square style ARCA Swiss plate which is becoming very popular. Because they’re easy to use and compact. Just simple to slide in. This is very proprietary though because it has grooves. This plate will not accept a Heipi plate or a Peak Design plate because it’s got a small groove for a pin that allows it to lock into place. So even though this may go on the other tripods, other tripod plates won’t go on this one.
One of the most unique aspects of this tripod are the legs and how the legs collapse. So I’m going to take my camera off from there. They are a collapsing, you turn the bottom and it releases all of them. And then you tighten it. About three or four clicks, it releases each section. It’s like click, click, click, click and that all comes out. Then you go back and that’ll tighten it. So you can get it all the way out in one turn. Which is really, for quick deployment that is a really great way to deploy it. When you get it out to here you got to turn it several times. You’ll hear them click, click, click, click and then it’ll go all the way in. So that’s a unique, really a unique feature. This is really a quick release, easy way to deploy your tripod. I actually kind of like it. I could sit here all day long doing this.
So you can remove the top part of this column. And once you do that, now I could pull this column out. And I can drop this back in, tighten it and now when I really, when I drop these legs all the way in and I pop it up, that gets me pretty darn low. Actually, I go even lower than that. It goes up one more. I’m down almost right on the ground there. That’s a nice little setup actually. I’m going to do a quick shot there.
So the center column has a couple of things that are interesting about it. It’s got the hook that’ll allow you to put weight on the tripod, like I say up to 22 pounds. But also, this twists out and inside of here it has a cell phone holder. This comes off, and now this holder will go right on to the top of the tripod so you can hold your phone. Well, that’s a neat little device that just tucks away in the column. I thought it was pretty ingenious.
So the tripod base itself has a quarter twenty if you want to put a magic arm on it. It also has a nice silicone grip for when you’re carrying it. It’s pretty easy to under sling this here. I can just take that center column and drop it. I can still use all my, all of my pans and tilts even though I’m down here. Pop my screen out and see exactly what I’ve got going. Well that’s a fun shot. Take a look at some of the footage we got down on that Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles.
So let’s wrap this up. I’m super impressed with this. Julene and I have gone back and forth about who gets to use it. It just is really good for us because it’s a lightweight tripod that gives us a great video, smooth video type of operation as far as panning and tilting. It’s going to be excellent for us to carry around with us because it’ll fit our backpacks. What’s the best tripod? Well it’s the one you’re going to carry with you. This is lightweight enough that you’re going to carry it with you. I love the way the legs deploy. It’s very quick, easy to set up, easy to collapse. I love the fact I can under sling it. I’ve got quarter twenties. It really has been thought out in a way that makes this a really excellent travel tripod or for some people every day video tripod. So if you enjoyed this, look at some of the other lessons we’ve done. But keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.