The iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 is a lightweight and compact tripod at a very competitive price. Made out of carbon fiber and aluminum, I’ve been using this solidly build set of sticks for the past six months. Can the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 be one of the best travel tripods currently available on the market?
Disclaimer: Let me first say that I am not an iFootage Ambassador. Like every other article on cinema5D, iFootage, or any other brand, did not pay me to write this article. I bought this tripod with my own money, and this is my unbiased opinion.
iFootage Gazelle Uprise Series
The iFootage Gazelle Uprise series of tripods was launched in March 2019 and consists of four tripods. There are two models in the lineup, and two versions of each: TA5 / TC5 / TA6 / TC6. “TA” versions are entirely made out of aluminum, while TC versions feature carbon fibers’ legs. Below is a quick sum-up of the different versions and main differences between each of them.
When I first heard about this line of iFootage tripods, I thought that it could be an excellent replacement to a Manfrotto 755XB I was using for years. The primary use of this Manfrotto tripod was to support my slider and/or use it as my B-Cam tripod. While the Manfrotto 755XB performs great, it’s entirely made out of aluminum, so it is heavy. Here is my checklist of the things I was looking for while looking for a replacement to my current tripod:
- A lighter tripod with a center column and the possibility to level my camera/slider quickly.
- It must reach a decent maximum height of minimum 63″/1m60.
- A reasonable maximum payload capacity of minimum 13lbs/6Kg.
- A price-tag under $500.00.
So, in theory, the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 ticked all the boxes. I pulled the trigger, even if there was no review available at this time online. So does the TC6 holds all his promises?
iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 – Build Quality
The first thing that I noticed when unboxing it is the incredible build quality of the TC6 and how lightweight it is. The legs are made out of carbon fiber, which significantly helps to reduce the total weight of this tripod that tops out at only 4.2lbs/1.9Kg. Every other part of this tripod is made out of metal/aluminum.
The only part that is not 100% metal is the tiny adjustment tool that iFootage provides you to tighten up the buckles if needed. All in all, this iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 doesn’t feel cheap and can take some abuse from the field.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 is a 3-section tripod with a center column. On top of the center column, there is a built-in 75mm bowl head. There is a standard 3/8-16″ screw to attach your favorite tripod head on top of the center column. Also, a small bubble level allows you to level your bowl head precisely.
Just below the bowl head, there are two red locking knobs. The larger locking knob just behind the bowl head releases the 75mm bowl head for quick and easy level adjustments. The lower locking knob unlocks the center column so you can adjust its height.
While looking at the pictures of the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6, I was a bit skeptical of how tight they could hold a tripod head or slider. But I was wrong, and once you secure any of these two locking knobs, they are rock solid. In the first months, I even had some hard times unlocking them after putting too much locking torque.
At the bottom of the center column, there is a small hook. In windy conditions, you can attach your camera bag (or any weight) to anchor your tripod to the ground further. If you unscrew the hook by turning the red part above it, it extracts the tripod head. It is helpful if you need to set the Gazelle Uprise in “low mode” by flipping the center column 180 degrees. That way, the tripod head is in “underslung mode,” and you can put your camera close to the ground. This “low mode” feature is mainly useful for photographers, but it’s nice to have it just in case.
The three-section legs feature a minimum height of 19.5cm (7.6″), and a maximum height of 165cm (65″). When folded, the length for transport is 63.5cm (25″) without a tripod head, which is compact.
Each leg is held in place by a lever. If you pull this lever out, you can spread each leg from the initial 22° up to 80°. By doing so, you can go low to the ground. If you need to go even lower, you can flip the center column. In my day-to-day usage of the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6, I’ve never feel limited by the minimum/maximum height of this unit as it covers 95% of the shooting scenarios you can face.
There is a built-in 1/4-20″ threaded hole at the top of the tripod legs close to the tripod head. You can use it to attach a monitor or magic arm directly on the tripod. I personally never screw anything directly to my tripod, but it’s here if you need it.
At the bottom of the tripod, the feet design consists of rubber pads that you can screw-in to reveal spikes. These spikes are always helpful if you are shooting on uneven terrain.
As you can see from the picture above, there are round rubber rings on each leg section. Also, there is one rubber ring over the hook of the center column. These rings are here to protect the carbon fiber parts of the TC6 from hitting the metal parts. They will also avoid scratching your tripod.
Finally, all the latches are made out of aluminum, and they feel sturdy. You can adjust the tension of every buckle with the little adjustment tool that clamps of to one of the tripod’s legs.
The Perfect Travel Tripod?
Of course, no product is perfect, and the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 is no exception. A kind of locking mechanism to lock the legs together when the tripod is folded would be an excellent addition.
Also, I’d love to have a built-in Arca Swiss plate on top of the swivel head, like RRS’s tripods. I’ve put a Kessler Crane Kwik Release receiver on top of the tripod head, but it’s not as robust as a built-in one. I’m in the Arca Swiss eco-system, and I know it doesn’t fit everyone’s workflow, so it’s not a big deal.
The bag that comes with the TC6 is “okay”. However, the extension pouch is a bit small, and with my Manfrotto Nitrotech 608 tripod head attached to the tripod, it doesn’t fit inside the bag without removing the pan bar, which is a bit strange.
Finally, if you’re traveling a lot by plane around the world, the TC6 can be too big. It should be fine most of the time, but some airlines and some airports are strict regarding carry-on items’ sizes. In that case, the TC5 can probably be a better fit for you.
Pricing and Availability
The iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 is available now, and it retails for $299.00/€265.00. If weight isn’t a concern for you, the aluminum version – the TA6 – is $179.00/€160.00. If you’re looking for a smaller version, the TC5 retails for $339.00/€317.00.
To me, the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6 is one of the best bang for your buck you can get as a travel tripod.
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What do you think about the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6? For your slider/B-Cam, what tripod do you use? What is your travel tripod of choice? Let us know in the comments below!