Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
It seems that more and more places such as musuems and cathedrals are banning the use of tripods - or charging a small fee for their use. Personally, I have no argument with paying a small fee for using my pod, but only if I can then spend a few hours getting my money's worth and that is not always the case. It makes sense, therefore, to practice your camera hand-holding skills as well as considering gadgets such as the SteadePod, which sells for £24.99.
The SteadePod is small and light enough to be a constant presence in the camera bag. Keenly priced too, at £24.99, but more to the point, it can avoid camera shake in situations when monopods and tripiods are banned.
For more details, visit Intro2020's website by clicking here. Or to buy one from Warehouse Express click here.
Simple ideas are often the best. Just take a close look at the SteadePod, a slick updated version of an age-old idea, the string monpood. Believe or not, this simple device comprising a piece of string with one end attached to the base of the camera using a quick release plate and the other with a loop to put your foot into, can really steady your camera if you do not have a tripod or monopod with you. Or perhaps you might not be allowed to use one. It can mean getting sharp pictures at scarily slow shutter speeds.
As I said the SteadePod has brought the string idea very neatly right up to date. The unit screws into the camera’s tripod bush and you just grasp the footpad and pull it out to the desired length. The steel cord is 1.8m long and it can then be locked into position at the appropriate length. Step on the footpad, gently pull against the cord and you will find that you can shoot at slower shutter speeds than normal.
Once you have taken your pictures, move the switch to Adjust/Retract and the cord winds back into the body of the unit on its own. It works in a similar way to those DIY measuring tapes.
I tried the SteadePod on my Nikon D300 fitted with the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 superzoom, a lens blessed with Tamron's Vibration Compensation feature. For this test I photographed the ePHOTOzine test chart and handheld the camera at a range of slow shutter speeds (from 1/30sec to 1sec), with and without the VC feature turned on. I used a focal length of 50mm.
I ended up with four sets of images, which you can see below: with just camera and lens, with Vibration Compensation switched on, with the SteadePod and no VC and finally, SteadePod and VC in combination.
The first thing to say is that the SteadePod is better than nothing but only down to shutter speeds of 1/15sec in my test. Slower shutter speeds than that and there was camera shake so no real surprise here.
With Vibration Compensation on its own, even the shot taken at 1/2sec is sharp – that is quite remarkable and a credit to Tamron's VC technology. Interestingly, the combination of the SteadePod with VC is less good and that is probably because you are pulling against the tension of the SteadePod cable and that can induce some movement.
|With SteadePod: Click on the thumbnails below to view high quality images|
|With nothing: Click on the thumbnails below to view high quality images|
|With Vibration Compensation only: Click on the thumbnails below to view high quality images|
|With SteadePod and Vibration Compensation: Click on the thumbnails below to view high quality images|
From my test, having VC technology in your lens is a very good thing, but if you do not have that technology (or similar system in your camera/lens) then the SteadePod can make a difference and is definitely better than nothing. With practice and in real picture-taking I am sure I can get sharper shots slower than 1/15sec.
It is simple, reasonably priced and can save your bacon in a situation where the use of a tripod or monopod is banned. It is an ingenious device worth having in the gadget bag, just in case.
|Simple to use|
|It makes a difference especially if you do not have an anti-camera shake system|
|Locking control could be better|
|Needs careful use if combined with an VC/IS/VR system|
The SteadePod costs £24.99 from Warehouse Express. Click on SteadePod for details.