I have never, in my life, been excited by a tripod. Three prongs of metal and a screw to put your camera on top – what's there to be excited about?
The closest I came to excitement was when the Peak Design Travel Tripod launched. Now, though, there's a real reason to care; now there's something actually worth being excited about.
Meet the Cam De Cam Triponcho, a truly inspired accessory that transforms your previously one-note set of camera stilts into a free standing storage unit to keep all your kit safe and to hand while you're out shooting (or, indeed, if you're in the studio shooting).
A clunky portmanteau of 'tripod' and 'poncho', the Triponcho is the brainchild of Japanese camera equipment manufacturer Etsumi. It's essentially a photography vest that your tripod can wear, turning it into a storage unit to store anything gear you need to hand.
Need to keep a couple of lenses handy to shoot wildlife at different distances? No problem. Photographing trains or planes, and want to have a magazine handy for the downtime? Sure thing. How about binoculars or spotting scopes to help you scout wildlife? You got it.
How about a flat tabletop to place a lantern or flash, your phone, or your drinks and snacks? Right here, baby. Heck, this alone makes my tripod way more useful – and means I have an extra little table with pockets in my editing room, rather than propped up in the corner somewhere.
The canvas fabric of the poncho is treated with paraffin to make it extra water repellant, as well as giving it a distinct vintage look, so it's extra durable for outdoor conditions.
The Triponcho was successfully funded and pre-sold in October, on Japanese crowdfunding platform Makuake. Now the product is going on general release in Japan – and it feels like only a matter of time until Etsumi brings it to the west (or until somebody else rips the idea off and starts selling it over here).
Available in two colors, Army Green and Lavender Grey, the CDC Triponcho is available in Japan for ¥9,900 (approximately $71 / £59 / AU$105). For more information, visit the Etsumi product page.