You can’t judge a book by its cover, it’s true! Sometimes our first impressions can be ‘off the mark’ as mine was when I first saw this new little creation, The HandlePod. We get a bit of gear through dPS to review (disclaimer : provided at no cost for the review) and some of it is really very bad, whilst other things are very simple, yet functional and super handy – as can be said for this little guy.
HandlePod is $29.95 (With free shipping if you’re in the US of A) and is so SO versatile! You can put your compact or smaller dSLR on it and use the HandlePod to hold your camera still on a wall / pole / table for a lower light shot (Say in a massive, typically dark cathedral with an awesome ceiling that you want to photograph) You can use the included elastic / bungee cord to strap it to pretty much anything (Including a 3 year old when he holds still enough… no three year old was harmed in the testing of this product, honest!) You can use the HandlePod as a handle for your Sony Action Cam or GoPro to hand hold and film stuff… You can get a good idea of what people are doing with HandlePod via this link.
If you can’t take a full size or travel tripod out with you when you go for a walk / holiday / shoot / dinner, etc, you could always find a spot for The HandlePod in your bag / big pocket / hand? The HandlePod is pretty small when folder over on itself, not a whole lot longer than my iPhone, a little bit wider and maybe an inch and a half deep… (Would you believe I can’t find ANY of the 5 or so rulers in our house!) …it isn’t very big, and that’s what makes it very appealing!
I didn’t have an actual shoot to take HandlePod on, so I attached my very new (fresh out of the box TODAY) Sony RX 100 onto it via the 1/4-20 built in and strapped it to the nearest upright, which as you can see above was a nice tree thingy… The HandlePod attached to anything I took it near, and I do mean anything…..! (I won’t post the picture of the HandlePod attached to my head, but yes – it happened!)
I typically take any one of my 3LeggedThing tripods with me when I need a sturdy working platform, but there are time when you’re either not allowed or it’s just not practical to (concert? fancy dinner?) take a full sized tripod, and this is the perfect chance to slip the HandlePod in your bag / pocket / camera bag and take it along.
There’s not a lot to say about the HandlePod – I initially though that it wouldn’t suit me for anything – I was happily wrong, it’s a great addition to my camera bag. For Photographers that don’t use tripods, but would like to potentially capture a behind the scenes of themselves working – strap HandlePod to a tree / post / person / car – etc. The HandlePod easily takes all of my smaller point of view / action cameras – the GoPro and the Sony Action Can sitting on it easily. The Sony a55 SLT sat on it nicely, and I felt quite comfortable attaching it to a pole four feet above the ground, too. I will admit, I didn’t attach my week old Canon 5DMKIII to it – maybe as I get less precious.
Here’s what the HandlePod looks like when sat beside an iPhone 4… Just for comparison
There’s only one change I’d like to see for the HandlePod, and though after a few uses, I felt comfortable with the elastic strap idea, and it does work just fine, I can’t help wonder if a long, somehow able to wind up velcro strap would make the user feel more secure?
I want to break down my score this time – because the unit is built well, it’s light and compact by comparison to my smallest tripod (A Brian from 3LeggedThing) and goes right into all the bags I have, including my thinkTankPhoto Retrospective 5 which is quite small!
So, build / size etc… 9 stars BUT, for not always feeling totally comfortable just with the thin elastic attachment strap, I’ll take off another star – so, all in all Eight stars from a possible Eleven. (Very good!)
I’ll leave you with some potential usage situations! Fun! –Sime
And one last one, if you happen to be near a cool old rusty gate!
Get your HandlePod on Amazon for $29.95.