In hindsight it seems like the most obvious way to design a folding tripod's centre support column, but Giottos' new Silk Road YTL series are actually the first to use a clever three-way, Y-shaped post making the whole package about 30 per cent more compact when collapsed.
Compared to the traditional design which simply uses a round tube, the new Y-shaped column lets the tripod's legs hug a little closer when folded away. And the new design doesn't compromise the tripod's stability or strength either -- it's win-win all the way around, particularly for photographers looking to slim down their kit. Giottos will start rolling out the redesign in January, with the low-end aluminium models starting at around $US160, and the lighter carbon fibre models starting at $US350. [Giottos via DPReview]