Matterport Photographers: Tripod, Leveler and Bubble Level Solution

Matterport Pro 3D Camera mounted on Desmond DLEV-1` Leveler Level attached to a Manfrotto MT190XPR04 4-Section Aluminum Tripod | Image by Dan Smigrod

Matterport Pro 3D Camera mounted on Desmond DLEV-1` Leveler Level attached to a Manfrotto MT190XPR04 4-Section Aluminum Tripod | Image by Dan Smigrod

If you are about to buy the Matterport Pro 3D Camera – and are starting to look at related Matterport gear and accessories – I recommend the following Tripod, Leveler and bubble solution:

That is instead of the:

By pairing the 4-section tripod with the Desmond Leveler, I can:

  • lower the Matterport Camera to a lower eye-height
  • level the camera easier and faster without stressing the tripod legs

Now that my Atlanta-based company, We Get Around – a Matterport service provider – has converted multiple Matterport 3D Showcase models to Matterport VR Showcases, it's apparent from doing hundreds of virtual reality demos that the Camera height is too high.

The 4-section tripod is a better solution than the 3-section version for optimizing height and as well as for Camera stability.

The Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level still needs the addition of a bubble level. (The tripod bubble is not the right solution for Matterport Pros. It's awkward, at best, at helping level the camera. (I use a bubble level on every scan.)

I also bought a Manfrotto 438 3/8 Ball Camera Leveler ($82.95) to compare to the Desmond DLEV-1 level.

Unfortunately, with the Manfrotto Leveler adjusting handle can not move freely with the Sunwayfoto MAC-14 60mm Clamp.

I did not test using the Clamps recommend by Matterport. (though looking at pictures I would anticipate the same problem.) 

The Desmond leveling solution is simply better, easier and faster to do the adjustment and you do not need the Sunwayfoto Clamp (since the clamp is built into the Desmond DLEV-1 leveler.)

PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo

I attended PhotoPlus on 21 October 2015. I looked at many tripod solutions from Manfrotto and other brands.

Based on my DSLR and Matterport camera experience with using Manfrotto tripods and based on a reasonable price point, I feel like – at least at the moment – the best value for Matterport Pros.

In future generations of Manfrotto, I would like to see "notches" or "lines" so that it is easier and faster to adjust the length of tripods at a non-fully extended length. Seems like this feature would add a lot of value and barely cost Manfrotto to implement.

Manfrotto Warranty

I have bought five Manfrotto tripods because of their free 10 year warranty for "all Manfrotto Photo Products (Pro-Hobbyist)," 

So you can imagine how I was surprised and disappointed when I sent one in to be repaired (defective in my opinion: a loose bolt) and learned that because I bought via Amazon from on online retailer that is not an authorized dealer, Manfrotto would not honor its warranty despite the claim of "all."

It cost my company nearly $150 for shipping and the repair (the repair was $49 of the $69 charge.)

You can read comments about the tripod and leveler in this thread on the Matterport User Group Forum.

Dan Smigrod is the Founder, CEO and Chief Photographer of Atlanta-based We Get Around. He is also the Founder of the Matterport User Group and the Founder of the We Get Around Referral Network of Matterport Pro 3D Camera Photographers and Real Estate Agents.

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Dan Smigrod

Founder, CEO & Chief Photographer, 3527 Knollhaven Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-1908, USA