The Pod is a camera support which is so ridiculously simple in design that it's a wonder no-one has ever produced one before. For £14.99 you get a 10cm diameter flat beanbag which has a tripod bolt fixed to it. It comes ready filled with plastic granules and so is ready to use immediately. The filling opening is a Velcro fastening flap but it is worth taping over this for added security. The Pod small, lightweight and flat enough to be easily carried in a pocket so it can always be with you.
When bolted to the lens, whenever you move the lens, the beanbag comes with it too. No need to worry about dropping the bag or leaving it behind. The makes it great for ground level photography or where you use fence posts, car roofs, walls or rocks.
| ||Does it really work? |
I shot for a full day with the Pod with long and short lenses, both of which were attached to the lens mount. When shooting from a wooden hide and holding on to the camera with my hand over the barrel of the 100-400mm lens, the Pod was very good indeed and I got sharp shots down to 1/20 second. I would recommend you finger tighten the mount as a loose mount tends to cause wobble.
You can attach the camera directly to the Pod but only landscape photographs are possible. When used this way the point of balance is directly beneath the camera and so the Pod works best for shorter lenses. Of course you can always turn the bag over and use the Pod unattached for vertical shooting as well.
Although I tested the Pod freehand shooting with mirror lock up and a cable release I would not trust it to support a long lens unless the Pod was directly on the floor. When the lens was pointed up or down slightly the whole kit tended to creep out of position spoiling the composition.
Jessops are currently selling the Pod, although I'm sure other suppliers will follow as this excellent value for money beanbag gains popularity.
I never thought I'd need another beanbag until I saw the Pod Camera Platform!
test by Peter Madeley
More details here: www.thepod.ca