Update: Since writing this article, I bought the AFAITH Q555 and tested it extensively during a few week period, in a variety of environments, and I’m going to write a review soon, but if you want the short version: This thing is great, I love it, and I’m extremely happy with the purchase.
I’ve been planning to get one of those compact MeFOTO tripods for a while, but I’ve sort of been dragging my heels. One reason is that I can’t decide whether to go with the Backpacker, which shuts down to 12 inches, or the Roadtrip, which is 15 inches long – and a bit wider – when it’s at its smallest size. Originally, I thought the smaller Backpacker was a no-brainer, but then I realized that limiting myself to a 5 foot shooting height (instead of 6 feet with the Roadtrip) might wind up frustrating me down the line.
In the end, I decided I’d probably go with the Backpacker, since I already have a large, very nice Manfrotto, and the whole point of getting a MeFOTO was just it’s small size and weight. I started keeping an eye on Amazon to see when it was cheaper, because its price does occasionally fluctuate on there for some reason. I’ve also toyed with the idea of getting one of the Dolica travel tripods that come in similar sizes to MeFOTO, but at much lower prices.
Well, yesterday I loaded my browser, searched for “MeFOTO” and I noticed that in the first 10 or 20 results, there was something called the AFAITH Q-666, selling for a good deal cheaper than those MeFOTOs, so I looked into it.
After reading the reviews and looking around, it turns out that AFAITH are essentially less expensive tripods, heavily inspired by MeFOTO, but what’s cool is that the reviews for them are actually very good.
Their 2 main models seem to be the Q-555, which is very similar to the MeFOTO Backpacker, and the aforementioned Q-666, which is closer to the MeFOTO Roadtrip. The heights and weights of these line up very closely, and the AFAITH versions have pretty close feature parity – for instance they have detachable legs you can use as a monopod in close quarters and that sort of thing.
The first difference that really jumps out is of course the actual look and colors. The MeFOTO tripods are known for coming in a range of really nice colors, and they do look really, really good. The AFAITH models are primarily black, with some gold parts, and look fine. I would personally say they don’t look as great as the MeFOTOs, but that’s not a big deal to me personally (and I think they look nicer than the Dolicas, although I’m judging all this from the photos, since so far I’ve only seen MeFOTOs in the flesh.)
So the main thing that really intrigued me about these was the reviews. Although there are only a handful (all 5-star) for the Q-555, there are over 50 for the Q-666 right now, and there are a couple that are really good, in-depth and give me good confidence in this tripod.
Oh, and here’s a very interesting thing – If you ignore the AFAITH brand name and just search for Q-666 on Amazon, or search for Q-555, you’ll see that whoever manufactures this tripod in China sells it to many different companies, who brand it under their own names. What’s sort of cool is that you can actually browse these versions under different names, and who knows, maybe you’ll find a cheaper price (although the AFAITH are the cheapest as of right now). What’s really nice is that these branded versions also get great reviews, so you can tell it’s not just a case of people in a certain reviews section getting into some kind of groupthink.
So, long story short, I’ve ordered a Q-555 for myself. I did think about getting the Q-666, which is a lot more versatile, and shocking only $6 more expensive right now, but my priority right now is size and weight – yours may be different. As I mentioned, I have a super solid Manfrotto setup that I love (but that weights 10 lbs and is huge), and if I were buying this as my only tripod, I’d definitely grab the Q-666. I’ll post my review (and try to remember to link it from here!) when I get it and run it through its paces.