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See this thing above that looks like some kind of little mini, futuristic nano robot bug? It’s called the Pocket Series Camera Support and it’s the world’s smallest tripod.

Maybe it’s not the smallest, but it’s certainly the coolest, most functional, and most rugged. Manfrotto unveiled the new design of the Pocket Series line at PhotoPlus Expo last week.

Basically, it’s a solid metal baseplate for your camera that happens to have retractable legs. Stick it in, fold up the legs and go. Pretend it’s just a slightly large quick release plate and forget about it.

Then, when you need to brace your camera somewhere with no hands, like for a landscape, a self portrait, an HDR series, or a time lapse, simply unfold the legs, adjust them accordingly, based on the surface or terrain, and voila! You have instant camera support. Since the legs operate independently of each other, it gives you a wide variety of view angles and options.

The new Pocket Modos come in two sizes: one for DSLRs and one for compact cameras and point and shoots. Also come in black or gray. I see it being a pretty useful gadget. Sure, it adds a bit of weight to your camera, but if you go sans tripod, you’re already saving that much more weight. It’s built like a little nano tank and is sure to come in handy in a variety of photography situations.

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Senior contributor Dan Bailey is a professional adventure, outdoor and travel photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.