The Perfect Travel Tripod? We Review the Falcam TreeRoot

The Perfect Travel Tripod? We Review the Falcam TreeRoot

The market for compact and lightweight tripods has exploded in recent years. Well, Falcam has decided to stir the pot with their new TreeRoot carbon fiber tripod that challenges the big leagues in a compelling way. Is it the right choice for you? It certainly offers plenty within its portable frame.

The Competition Is Clear

I would mainly compare the Falcam TreeRoot to the Benro CyanBird and the Peak Design Travel Tripod. All three aim at the traveling photographer or filmmaker who wishes for a compact, lightweight, yet capable tripod. They all deliver in their own way, but the newest Falcam has many tricks up its sleeves that may even make or break your decision. I’ve been using it for a few days now, and I have to say, it has grown on me considerably.

Slim and portable

Compact Yet Packed

When folded down, the tripod measures a mere 47 centimeters and weighs a decent 1.5 kilograms. Its profile is nicely slim thanks to the unique inverted shape of the center column. Unlike the tripods mentioned above with oddly shaped leg tubes, the Falcam TreeRoot features three round sections fixed in place by well-designed twist locks. I’ve seen the lever locks of the Benro CyanBird break a little too often when I used to work in a camera store, and the Peak Design ones occasionally loosened up and lost tension. Yes, they allow for slim profiles, but their repairability and sturdiness suffer. Twist locks, on the other hand, allow for great on-the-fly fixes. You know for certain the lock is tight, and they’re easily operated by one hand all at once. I especially enjoy the fact they stop when loose enough to release the sections. The number of times I had to explain to my customers not to unscrew twist locks too much and not to lose the internal shims is just too high—great design choice from Falcam here.

As I’ve already mentioned, when collapsed, it is slim. I was able to carry it comfortably in my Shimoda Urban Explorer’s side pocket with all three legs neatly tucked in.

Falcam TreeRoot fully extended

Interesting Head

The head is peculiar but in a good way. It’s a ball head design merged with panoramic where the entire mechanism is in the top section of the head as the bottom part is only the center column. This allows for compact height when tucked in. Yet it does not seem limiting in any way. You get full ball head motion, including a 90° vertical position, a tactile and clicky friction adjustment knob, a very simple-to-understand locking lever, and a lock for 360° rotation of the plate section after the head has been leveled. Perfect for panoramic shots.

The quick-release mechanism caught my attention instantly. It is Arca Swiss-compatible and comes with Falcam’s own F38 plate which is also Arca Swiss-compatible. I was even able to use it with a Peak Design Capture plate, which is great. But it does not have the traditional Arca Swiss-style tightening screw. Instead, you attach and detach the plate using a quick-release lever and a click-on mechanism that, for example, Gitzo owners have enjoyed for years now. It honestly offers the best of both worlds.

Falcam TreeRoot three head locks for panoramic rotation, friction, and ball movement

Get Low, Get High, Do It Fast

The tripod can extend up to 155 centimeters, or 61 inches for my friends across the Atlantic. But it can also get as low as 16 centimeters. This is all done thanks to a unique mechanism for shortening the central column on the fly with no need for any tools. In fact, that is one of the many things I have grown to truly enjoy about the tripod. Everything you need is already built into it, and you do not need to carry any spare tools. The central column mechanism simply lifts up in two separate motions, separating it into two sections, getting it out of the way should you open the individual legs to their widest position for shooting from a low angle. And if the above-mentioned 16 centimeters aren’t enough, the central column is also reversible.

Center column quick-release mechanism

Accessorize, Modify, Don’t Fiddle With Screws

Being able to attach different kinds of arms and accessories to tripods isn’t anything new nowadays. But it usually comes in the form of a ¼” or ⅜” thread with or without ARRI pins. Anything heavier risks getting unscrewed when at an awkward angle. You even risk overtightening and stripping your threads if you overdo it. The TreeRoot offers Falcam’s proprietary, but widely adopted, F22 mounting point we’ve come to love on their camera cages and subsequent accessories. Simply attach a magic arm, a mount, a tilt adapter, and pretty much anything right away with a quick click. Detaching is just as easy. For example, I’ve used the Falcam Magic Arm to mount my small but mighty Nanlite Pavotube to have a bit more light in my scene. I can imagine this feature being extremely useful for people using teleprompters, any kind of diffusion, microphones, and even other cameras for BTS angles.

Falcam's proprietary F22 quick-release mounting point

LED light attached to the F22 QR plate using one of Falcam's Magic Arms

Simply Built Well

I’ve been using the tripod for a while now, and it is just impressive. Everything stays in place exactly where I want it to, nothing creaks, the entire thing is made of carbon fiber and metal, and I feel like I’ve actually found a replacement for my Manfrotto as much as I love their Italian craftsmanship. The Falcam TreeRoot just offers some interesting features whilst staying a truly dependable tripod. I know it’s just a tiny detail, but I like even the fact that the quick-release plate allows for a flathead/coin or an Allen key for attaching it to the camera. And if you have neither on you when needed, do not worry. The center column hook made to hold a backpack as a weight can be detached, uncovering a hidden key to attach the plate exactly in the shape of the Allen key/coin slot. It’s the little things.

What I Like About the TreeRoot

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Twist locks with stops upon opening
  • Compact profile
  • Well-designed head
  • Arca Swiss compatibility with a quick-release click-on mechanism
  • F22 attachment plate
  • Easily removable center column
  • Metal build with carbon fiber tubes
  • The center column can be reversed and entirely replaced by a flat mounting plate compatible with any ¼ and ⅜ head
  • Friction adjustment
  • Panoramic rotation
  • Padded bag

What I Don’t Like About the TreeRoot

  • Not as light as some other tripods in the category, but it at least offers more features

Quality twist locks. Miles ahead competiton's tiny lever locks


You can purchase the Falcam TreeRoot tripod here.
Ondřej Vachek's picture

Ondřej Vachek is a Prague based independent documentary photographer and photojournalist with multiple journeys to war-torn Ukraine where he covered everything from the frontline in the Donbass to the civilian life adapting to the new normal. Avid street photographer with love for writing and storytelling.

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$500 for a travel tripod isn't in my realm of thinking. My #1 criteria is - if it's lost, stolen, or broken, will I care? My travel camera is a Nikon Z50 and 3 relatively light lenses, so a light, small, basic tripod is my choice. I just spent a month in China shooting the usual stuff - including a B&B as a favor to a friend - with a Ubeesize TR50, that comes in at under $30 from Amazon. It did everything reasonably well, got home unscathed, and will likely go on my next trip. I'll probably add a ball head on top of the integrated pan/tilt next time.

I don't know where reviewers get the idea that this kind of money is affordable for the average photographer.

My main work tripod - mostly real estate - is a Manfrotto 058B Triaut with a geared (not Manfrotto) head, maybe retailing $800 and 16lbs. That's my livelihood. Vacation? Travel? In checked luggage? Any el-cheapo that will hold my Z50 and weighs under 2 lbs.

For one I have a closet full of tripods mostly Manfrotto tripods, back when I started with the non IBIS A7S and Canon T2i. Today with now mostly mirrorless cameras with IBIS there is really no need for a tripod except for long exposures and Astro captures. I learned by forgetting the plate on the bottom of my camera when I got to Antelope Canyon with my new A7RM2 and found that I could do bracketing 3 at +/- 2EV could be done when other cameras were on sticks. Even today I do sunrises/sets 5 at +/- 2ev.
A tripod comes into play with Astro MW for doing the ARCH but is also needed a panorama rig but for the ultra wide lens there is little Parallax problems so you can do it atop of a tripod. The problem is you have to look at the markings at the base as you turn to the next step or look for a land mark for each step. If there was a stepper at the base instead of the markings that would be a kicker.
I would not dismiss the Manfrotto travel tripods for they are lightweight and come with a bag, also a choice of flip or twist most under $200 or just above $100.
One function of a selected tripod is the one where the center can be pulled up and out to lay with the camera pointing up or down like for a stairway up or down say over a railing, better than leaning over.
Sometimes you just find yourself at a opportunity!!!