My Review of the Manfrotto/Bogen 724B
This is one of the tripods in Manfrotto’s “digital” entry level series. Not everyone needs or can afford a $300 tripod. This is where the digital series tripods come in. I would consider them higher quality versions of the cheap Silk and Velbon tripods found in Japan Camera and Futureshop. My 724B had fairly good build quality and wasn’t too bad for the money. But I did have some problems with it.
I originally went with the 724B because of the build quality, and I liked that it was black. It also comes with a carrying case which is useless for me since I carry my tripod around strapped to my Lowepro bag. The 724B also reached a height I needed, and it comes with a Ball head. The unit itself isn’t too bad depending on what you’re using it for. Weighing in at only 3.1 lbs it is actually 2 lbs lighter than my 486RC2 and 190Procombination. It actually is a few inches shorter when folded down as well, so portability is definitely a selling point of this little unit.
However this unit obviously isn’t as stable as my 190Pro and 486 ball head. This unit in fact cannot support my Digital SLR, coupled with 28-105 USM lens, macro adapter and 420EX speedlite. So it isn’t that suitable for when I’m doing macro photography. Where this unit shines is in its portability. You have to make sure you’re not using heavy lenses such as L glass, or long zooms with this unit.
Another disappointment is that the ball head can’t be detached and replaced. I would’ve liked to be able to use this small ball head on something like a monopod, but I won’t be able to use it. As an investment it is a dead end. If you read enough articles on my site, you’ll find investment value is a big selling feature for me.
I would recommend this only for times when you are going to be using a Point and Shoot camera, or you really need to travel light, but can’t afford a Carbon Fiber tripod. Otherwise it isn’t the greatest investment, and the small ball head and weak legs won’t be a great support for your equipment. If you are extremely tight on budget it is better than a cheap Velbon or Silk tripod though. I would spend the extra few dollars on the new Manfrotto 190 classic and 484 ball head. It’s not too much more, and a much stronger tripod and it’s a better investment.