— Digital Cameras
SteadePod provides a pocketable alternative to the monopod
The SteadePod is a camera-stabilizing device, that holds the camera steady using upward tension on a retractable cable (Photo: Photojojo)
When most of us want to steady a camera for a long exposure or telephoto shot, we look for something that will accept the camera's weight, such as a tripod or a handy flat horizontal surface. The pocket-sized SteadePod, however, uses what could almost be considered the opposite approach - it requires the user to pull up on the camera, the upward tension serving to stabilize their shot.
The main body of the SteadePod attaches to the screw-mount hole on the bottom of any camera that has one. A foot pad is attached to the body, via a retractable cable - not unlike a tape measure. Users simply step on that pad (or hook it to their shoelaces or belt loop), pull the camera up to the desired height, then engage the cable lock lever. As long as they maintain some upward pressure on the camera/SteadePod, their shot will be considerably steadier than if it were purely handheld.
Needless to say, a tripod would give much better results, but this device is clearly intended for situations where tripods would be too bulky or impractical. A traditional monopod could also be used in these same situations, although the SteadePod is still considerably smaller and cheaper than most of those. Also, it allows the camera to be independently tilted up and down - when using a monopod (the less expensive headless variety, at least), the entire pod must be tilted back and forth with the camera on top.
The SteadePod weighs three ounces (85 grams), extends up to six feet (1.8 meters), and fits in a pants pocket when not in use. It has been around for at least a couple of years, but is newly-available via Photojojo, for US$24 plus shipping. Other retailers are listed on the SteadePod website.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
Old news, guys - Google \"string tripod\", and the Steadepod has been commercially available for ages (I heard about it in around Feb 2010).
Kirk has been doing its \"Strap Pod\" for even longer.
Great idea! I think it would work even better with any of the small, handheld video cams out there. These are notoriously hard to hold steady. Can\'t wait to try it out.
go to hardware store, buy one eyebolt with thread that fits the tripod hole on bottom of camera, buy one 6ft length of braided nylon rope, attach to eyebolt, screw into camera, voila - $1 and you have the non-retractable version. Save $23...
(Replace nylon rope when dirty....)
...and any scuba diver out there probably has a spare \'Retractor\' in their box of spares, which has a spring clip at each end. So either using an eye-bolt (as suggested earlier), screwed into the tripod screw hole - or spare tripod adaptor attached directly to one end of the retractor, we have a dual-purpose device in our dive-bag - and save $25...
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