ProMaster's new XC-M Series Tripods - a first look

I have been testing out The ProMaster XC-M ("X"treme "C"ompact - "M"odular) 525 tripod for the past two weeks, and I am pleased to say that it will be joining my kit.




Let's start with the new features — First is having the option to use any of the three legs as a monopod, no more searching for the one leg that unscrews. This new feature is convenient for fast and ready use on the go.  Another new feature is the leg angle lock, which is now more "snappy" and larger which is useful while taking photos in the dark.

When testing tripods, I find that the twist locks are an important feature. The older XC series locks felt "spongey" and would stick if overtightened. When testing the new series, the twist locks fix the previous problem, and lock in place with no issues. There's no longer a need to go back to make sure the locks are tightened.

One feature that I don't use as much on a tripod is an extending center column. However, if you use one, you will love the new two-stage center column. This new feature makes the column twice as high but remains compact.



The ball head is a brand new redesigned for this tripod series. You will notice that grips are added to the knobs, compared to the smooth knobs that you could not tighten on the previous model. You will notice on the tension knob, that ProMaster added a friction lock to the tripod. The knob is small, but works efficiently. The QR plates are still arca-swiss, but now use two safety bolts, compared to the safety latch on the previous model. I personally liked the safety latch feature, because it gave me a sense of security when using my tripod. However, the safety bolts work well when preventing my camera from sliding off the ball head. The plate also has a cutout to add a small strap or attachement like a Peak Design Anchor link.    



    The XC-M series comes in two sizes: 522 and 525. I was hoping for a 528 series to be released, but nothing has been announced yet. This series come in both aluminum and carbon fiber, offering a variety of colors as well. In the aluminum series, the colors available are black, silver, yellow, red, orange, and blue. The carbon series only offers black and silver. The carbon pattern has changed from spiral pattern, to a more traditional weave pattern. I find the traditional weave pattern more pleasing to the eye. I'm happy ProMaster added colors to this series, making it more customizable to your liking.    


The 525C packs down to 15inches and has a maximum height of 70 inches. It weighs in at 2 lbs 14 oz, while the aluminum weighs in at 3lbs 5oz. The maximum load capacity is 17lbs 10oz, which is plenty for my everyday use. This is one of the main attractions of the XCM series; it is light, and very compact. You no longer have to think about bringing your tripod along.

Final Thoughts:


If you are in the market for a tripod I would highly consider this series, especially if you are always on the go. Under 3lbs, and under 15 inches when folded up, it easily fits into my bag, and barely adds any weight to my load. I no longer leave the 70-200mm in the car. If I bring this tripod, I can now carry both. From getting it wet at the beach, to cold windy nights, this tripod held up to its standards. 

Lastly, the price. At $259.95 for the carbon, and $179.95 for the aluminum, these tripods are the perfect option for any level of photographer.

Stay tuned for another blog post with this tripod series soon, this time going over the "M" part of the tripod - modular.