After reviewing more and more of the Benro tripod range we have noticed that there is a distinct lack of information out there about their products while at the same time, there also seems to be a steadily increasing number of people reaching out for advice on their tripods. Due to this, we have decided to publish our very own Benro FGP28A review to cover the tripod and help any of our readers looking to pick it up.
Now, the Benro FGP28A is slowly carving out a market for itself and steadily increasing its solid reputation within the community too. That said, we would rather get this out the way at the start of the article then have our readers read the full review only to see us recommend another tripod over the FGP28A. We really feel that the Zomei M8 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is a better overall tripod and a much better addition to your camera accessories.
We feel that the M8 not only outperforms the FGP28A while also having the same feature list as it as well as a very similar build quality but its price tag is also much lower too! In addition to this, the M8 has a much better reputation within the community than the FGP28A at the time of writing and we don’t expect this to change moving forward.
User Interface And Control System
Although we would say the Benro FGP28A is currently priced at the mid to high intermediate price point, we know that there may be a few people looking at the FGP28A with it potentially being the very first tripod they have ever purchased. Thankfully, if this is the cast, the vast majority of features on the FGP28A are extremely easy to use, even if you have never used a tripod before.
Now, it is a pretty well-known fact that Benro tried to offer some increased utility to the photographers and videographers who use this generation of their tripods by using a fully adjustable central column as shown in the image below.
Although the theory was good on paper, in reality, it king of split the community and although most people did like the adjustable central column, a fair few people have voiced opinions about it being too much of a faff to adjust and how there are easier way to implement the system. Although we can’t fault that logic as the Manfrotto and Zomei adjustable central columns are much easier to adjust as required, we feel that after a little practice, the FGP28A system is still pretty easy to adjust and doesn’t take much longer than the other systems.
The image above shows the leg angle selectors on the Benro FGP28A and although not many people seem to share this opinion, we feel they could have been implemented much easier. Although the locks work perfectly, we just prefer the standard click, adjust, release system that most other brands use.
As we said though, we have not seen anyone who owns the Benro FGP28A comment on this to date. At the end of the day, provided the leg angle selectors are going to lock correctly and keep your camera rig safe when mounted on the tripod, it really doesn’t matter. Thankfully, we have not seen anyone complain about the angle selectors failing or giving way when using the FGP28A giving us confidence that there are no underlying problems with them and it is just us being picky and preferring a different system.
Our regular readers will be aware that we prefer the twist lock leg lock system over the flip lock leg lock system and thankfully, the Benro FGP28A uses the twist lock system as shown in the image above. Now, unlike the leg angle selector issue covered above that is down to personal preference, there are actually reasons behind people preferring one leg lock system over the other.
The twist lock leg lock system is easier to use while also allowing you to build and de-build your tripod quicker than a flip lock leg lock system. Although this may not seem like much, if you are having to travel around and rebuild your setup multiple times a session it really adds up and is why we like it.
That said, traditionally, the flip lock leg lock system would age better than a twist lock system. Although this tends to hold true for the entry-level sub $50 tripod market, any modern twist lock tripod above the $50 mark these days will have modern twist locks that age much better.
Anyway, when it comes to the user interface, we feel that the community have a valid point on the variable central column that could have been implemented much better. The leg angle selectors and leg locks are more down to personal preference but each does their respective job very well.
Performance And Functionality
Now, the number one reason for any photographer or videographer adding a tripod to their collection of camera accessories is to get some much-needed image stabilization for their sessions when they need it. Although the Benro FGP28A does this perfectly, you have to factor in its price point in the market and the fact that it is also a little dated now and more modern tripods from Manfrotto and Zomei offer the same feature set for a lower price tag.
That said, we have made the list below covering some of the key features of the Benro FGP28A that we feel our readers will want to know:-
- 30.9 pound maximum load capacity.
- 4.23 pound net tripod weight.
- Maximum usable height 65.16 inches.
- Minimum usable height 15.35 inches.
- Folded length 19.5 inches.
- Aluminum alloy build.
- Versatile 180-Degree center column.
- Detachable monopod leg.
As you can see, the Benro FGP28A does offer you a pretty solid maximum usable height and upper payload capacity that really does help keep the FGP28A stay in the game but we just feel its price tag is too high for what you get getting.
Build Quality And Design
To keep the manufacturing costs and the price tag of the tripod down, the majority of the central column and tripod legs are made from an aluminum alloy. This is not a negative point and it actually pretty common in the intermediate price range as it is a cheap and efficient alternative to carbon fiber. It ensures that the tripod remains as robust as possible while also being pretty lightweight.
Benro have done a solid job of putting the FGP28A together and we have not seen a single report from anyone negatively commenting on the build quality of the tripod. The last thing that you want to be worrying about when trying to focus on getting the photographs of video footage that you need is the tripod giving way but the FGP28A has an excellent track record of supporting camera rigs the world over.
Although it may seem that we have been a little hard towards Benro and their FGP28A, we really can’t fault it when it comes to the build quality of the tripod and feel that Benro has done a great job.
That concludes our Benro FGP28A review and we are up in the air when it comes to this tripod. It does its job well and it has a solid build quality while also having earned a decent reputation for itself within the community. Our main issue with it is the price tag, we feel that it would need around a $50 (25% of the price at writing) price reduction to be truly competitive against the other tripods in the price range.
Although the FGP28A can definatley be a great source of image stabilization and make a decent addition to your camera accessories, we would recommend that you also check out the Zomei M8 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) as it is a very similar tripod with a much lower price tag.