If you’re a fairly serious videographer, you may well use a mini tripod, a brace, a camera stabilizing rig, and a monopod. Well, VariZoom’s new Stealthy combines all of those functions in one folding device.
The Stealthy is made from aluminum, and can support camcorders, DSLRs or point-and-shoots weighing up to 3 lb (1.4 kg) – although an optional adaptor boosts that limit up to 5 lb (2.3 kg).
When used as a brace, you extend its single leg horizontally, so that the foot rests against your chest while you hold onto the Stealthy by its handle. You then grab the camera itself with your other hand and there you go – three points of contact, as opposed to one shaky extended arm.
If the Stealthy is placed on a flat surface in that same configuration, it can serve as a table-top tripod.
Tilt its leg down and extend it farther, and it becomes what the company describes as a “lap monopod.” This means that you can rest it on your thigh while shooting from a seated position. A longer leg is also available, should you wish to use it as a full-length monopod.
By disconnecting the bottom end of the handle from the rest of the unit, the Stealthy becomes a Steadicam Smoothee-like stabilizing rig. The leg serves as a counterweight, while the handle’s gimbal mount allows it to be jiggled around without causing the camera to jiggle with it.
When not in use, the device folds up and can be hung from an included hip hook. Additionally, while in that folded configuration, it can also be used as a pistol grip-style camcorder handle.
Stealthy is available through the company website, for US$299. A limited-edition fancier StealthyPro model is also currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of $424 will get you one, when and if they reach production – the planned retail price is $589.
A demo of the basic Stealthy can be seen below.