SteadePod, Pocketsized stabilization for iPhone and other digital cameras…
© 2012 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
One of the pitfalls of small cameras, whether they be an iPhone, Flip or other pocket digital camera, is that they become somewhat difficult to hold, much less pan or tilt, and still maintain a steady image. Naturally, a tripod eliminates such issues, but then that negates the benefit of quick, on-the-spot documentation that pocket photographic devices offer. SteadePod offers an interesting alternative to the traditional tripod.
The SteadePod is a pocket-sized device that attaches to your camera with a normal 1/4” x 20 thumbscrew mount. Since most smartphones have no tripod thread the iStabilizer, discussed in a previous article, would be required. Once attached, a built-in, adjustable cord with footpad, anchors to your shoe’s sole, lace or even a belt loop. Since the cord is adjustable you are easily able to attain the ideal height for your shot. When attained, you simply lock in the adjustment with the side-mounted lever.
(TIP: The side-mounted lever adjustment has three positions; LOCKED, does not permit any adjustment; ADJUST/RETRACT, allows the cord to be continuously adjustable in either direction and until locked remains flexible; EXTEND, allows extending the length/height without the immediate possibility of retraction. In most applications the ADJUST/RETRACT and the LOCKED positions would be the most used combination)
The SteadePod works very well for “straight-on” shots and especially well when panning or tilting. Headshots are rock solid and pans are smooth and therefore can be slow, a technique that gives videos that professional look. Time exposures and extreme telephoto shots are now easily possible, too. Considering size, portability, cost and ease of use the SteadePod is a good addition to your smartphone or digital camera, no matter what the size. It certainly beats a homemade device a friend of mine made for me several years ago. It consisted of a screw on one end, attached to a short string with a large washer at the other end that provided weight and served as an improvised footpad. Fortunately, these features are now designed into this compact accessory.
(TIP: Panning should generally be slow. Fast pans result in out-of-focus or blury scenes that quickly cause the viewer to tune-out. Since the SteadePod provides for smooth camera movements your videos will tell a story and be more enjoyable to watch.)
Available on line and at various retailers. For more information:
GADGETEER’S RATING: *****
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.