(Yes, Yet Another Tripod Thread) From time to time there are threads here from people looking for small tripods for hiking, travel, or whatever. Maybe I have just not been paying attention (which my wife says is common), but last week I discovered a class of tripods that I didn't know existed. They are close enough to the size of a beer can that I'll call them "beer can tripods." The two higher-end mostly-aluminum models I found are the FotoPro M-5 Mini and the Velbon Ultra Maxi Mini. At the low end is the plastic Slik Mini Pro. You can find all these on eBay. Basically they are miniaturized "real" tripods. Multisection legs positionable at several angles, center column, ball head, etc. I have never been too interested in table top tripods with the bendy legs or the fixed-length legs, but I decided to try one of these. The Slik gets good reviews at B&H, but I have learned the hard way to avoid junk tools and I'm afraid of a $35 plastic tripod. So my choices were between the Velbon and the FotoPro. I decided on the FotoPro because it has legs that fold upwards and back over the ball head, minimizing folded length, like a number of the higher-end travel tripods. It came today. This thing is really neat! Quality is high; the only plastic piece I see is the column locking knob. Everything works smoothly. The leg locks are the same system as Gitzo uses, with a metal catch that locks the leg in one of three positions. Extending the legs takes 15 seconds or less (I just timed it). A lucky thing for me is that the quick-release matched the Velbon system that I use, a system where the camera automatically locks into the QR base when it is inserted, unlike the Arca-Swiss clamp bases. Operationally I can already see that it will be useful. Obviously it is a table top tripod, but with one leg fully extended it is a monopod that brings my GX-7 nicely to eye level when I am seated and rest the tripod leg on my upper leg. With two legs left short and one partially extended it is a chest tripod that adds quite a bit of stability. With all three legs extended I can sit on the ground, tilt the GX-7 EVF about 45 degrees and shoot very comfortably. I am too lazy to take photos and type specs when they are available on the 'net. Here is the manufacturer's page: http://www.fotopro.com/en/?page_id=1160 (Note that the QR clamp looks more like Arca Swiss, so YMMV if you buy one.) This video, beginning at 1:08 is not great but it is the best I've found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjidfUtMbrk The tripod in the video has the QR system that looks like Arca-Swiss to me. Mine does not have level vials either. There is no USA distributor. I bought mine from the Canadian distributor for a total delivered cost of just under USD$100, considerably less than the eBay offerings. I ordered around lunch time and they shipped the same day: http://www.digitectrading.com/?product=fotopro-m5-mini-compact-tripod As they say, the best tripod to use is the one you have with you. This thing is so small and light that I think I'll have it with me most of the time. I hope this post helps someone out.