If I’m being honest, I have gone through way too many tripods over the past several years. When I found the Fotopro X-GO Max last year, I immediately was hooked. It offered a perfect solution for nearly every photography situation I found myself in.
So when I had the chance to review Fotopro’s new X-AIRCROSS 2, I was intrigued. It was suited toward lightweight cameras, and it was by far the most compact tripod I had tried. Would it hold my battery gripped Sony a7 III camera, with a big full-frame lens on it? Would it be stable enough in the wind?
Editor’s note: As a Fotopro ambassador, Fotopro provided me with this tripod for review. This review is written completely independently. All thoughts expressed are my own. I’m telling you telling you this, as we always want to be honest with you.
- Very sturdy, especially compared to other lightweight tripods
- Carbon fiber makes the tripod very light, weighing just over 2 pounds
- Can fold up to just over 14 inches, making it easy to travel with
- Can hold up to 22 pounds
- Lack of multiple leg knobs means a quicker setup
- Included hook for center column adds stability in strong winds
- Center column is removable for a view as low as 6.8 inches
- Leg expansion method can take some getting used to
- Only expands as tall as 4.9 feet, with the center column extended
Finally, a stable, compact, lightweight tripod
One of the biggest complaints I’ve had in the past with lightweight tripods are the fact that they aren’t stable. Their legs can physically be bent and they just don’t conceivably hold a lot of weight.
This isn’t the case with the X-AIRCROSS 2, though. I was pleasantly surprised when the tripod stayed stable throughout various different environments. I pushed down on the legs, and while they gave slightly, they were much sturdier than other tripods I had used of this nature.
I used the X-AIRCROSS 2 with a variety of lenses (including the somewhat bulky Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 and Sony 90mm macro), along with my Sony a7 III, which had a battery grip attached to it. It was rock solid throughout my time using it, which made me comfortable putting heavier glass on my attached camera.
I took a couple long exposures with the X-AIRCROSS 2, and they were all tack sharp, meaning that there was no shake present. That’s not to say you might not experience shake, say, on a bridge, but rest assured you should have no problem getting sharp images.
Quick to setup and start shooting
One of the best qualities of the X-AIRCROSS 2 is its quick method of getting setup. Gone are multiple knobs per leg, you simply twist the lowest section of each leg and expand it out. It cuts setup time in half (if not more), and lets you get started shooting.
This came in quite handy while photographing a bus that was approaching me at night. I wanted to get the bus light streaks, along with a car, in the frame, which had a lit up restaurant behind. I was able to get it setup with time to spare. I know that if I had used a more traditional tripod, I probably would have missed the capture.
I originally found the legs might not have been loosened fully, as they were somewhat difficult to expand. I quickly learned that if you click the legs loose four times, they’ll allow you to expand each section. Likewise, when you go to tighten, you’ll also want to listen for those four clicks.
This takes a little getting used to, but after a few times of using the tripod, I felt right at home.
Who the X-AIRCROSS 2 is for
If there’s one photography genre this is really geared toward, it’s travel photography. The X-AIRCROSS 2 can fold down to just over 14 inches, making it perfect to fit inside a suitcase. Coupled with the fact that it weighs only two pounds means that you can walk around with this tripod attached to your backpack without any added back pain.
Because of that it’s also great for landscape and macro photographers. The included ball head is flexible enough to let you change angles. You can even go from horizontal to vertical with ease, and the included level makes it easy to tell if the tripod is on stable ground.
The fact that it can take up to 22 pounds in weight means you can load it up with quite the heavy lens, if you need to. Plus, the center column is removable, meaning you can get some super low angles. This will be perfect for the next time I’m catching waves at the beach!
If there’s one genre the X-AIRCROSS 2 doesn’t fit in, it’s portraiture. This is simply because the tripod isn’t tall enough to be at eye-level for most people.
Stability in a lightweight package
After spending some time with the X-AIRCROSS 2, I can confidently say that this will be a tripod I’ll regularly use in the field — especially when my work involves travel or hiking to get to a view. The X-AIRCROSS 2 is perfect for anyone looking for a lightweight, compact tripod that offers a surprising amount of stability.
Fotopro X-AIRCROSS 2 Tripod
The X-AIRCROSS 2 is an ideal travel tripod for anyone looking for a lightweight, compact, stable setup. Its removable center column lets you achieve low angles, while its weight capacity of 22 pounds will hold nearly any camera setup.