There are often times when I am out in the field and I have an incredible encounter with a wild animal and wish that that I could share those special moments back home with friends and family. So when Manfrotto sent me their new Off Road GoPro pole I couldn’t wait to go out and try it!
One of the key features I look for in a product is the weight. As a wildlife photographer we are always looking to decrease the weight of our kit as much as possible. Long lenses carry enough weight themselves and the last thing I want to do is add to that weight. So I was really pleased when I hand the product in my hand and felt just how light it was, only 900g ! The size is also very compact and can easily be strapped to a backpack when not in use, I found that it would actually fit inside of my bag and this helped when going on shoots which involved a lot of walking to the location.
The foam handle was also a nice comfort to have, allowing for a strong grip and stable filming when moving around.The build quality is very compact and strong for its size. The ratio of handle to pole when fully closed is fairly equally, meaning that it doesn’t feel as though you are filming with a flimsy pole like some others that I have seen online.
As I mentioned before one of my favourite features of the pole is how light it is. The compact and lightweight feel to it gives it the edge over other pole on the market and when extended it gives a really good reach meaning that there are no “heads cut off” when you are filming. This coupled with the wide-angle view of the GoPro means that you never miss a shot. As for downsides I would say that the tripod screw at the bottom shouldn’t be used in strong winds. I found that when I used it to film wild carp I attached the pole to a monopod and found that the strong current pulled the bottom of the pole out of the pole. I would assume that the same would happen in strong winds.
One of the personal benefits to me is that I have been able to start filming a few more behind the scenes clips, clips that I can share with others. Wildlife photography can often be a solitary affaire but now thanks to the Manfrotto Off Road pole I can share my experience with others, by doing so I hope to inspire others to get out into the outdoors and have their own wild experience.
Already an award-winning photographer, Joshua loves capturing local wildlife on camera to show his family and friends the amazing nature that is on their doorsteps. He recently embarked on his first serious photogrpahy projects close to home, working with foxes in his garden to earn their trust and understand their behaviour.