ePod Diversity [Review]

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A brief review of the ePod Diversity light studio tripod and laptop tray from Studio-Flash.com by Simon Pollock

If you’re going to place your laptop and camera on a tripod, you want it to be stable, you want it to be functional and you certainly don’t want it to fall over and smash the life out of your pride and joy / tools of the trade, right?

Meet the ePod Diversity from www.studio-flash.com

Weighing in at just under 3kg with the ball head, and able to easily hold up to 8kg of camera and laptop, the ePod isn’t a “carry around” tripod, it’s a studio tripod and a good solid one at that! Now, I’m not a studio photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and I’ve only used a tethered setup a couple of times – once when I was doing some portraits for the company that I worked for, and totally forgot to bring my memory cards – stupid! and another time, just for fun. But having to keep your camera and laptop together and keep it all stable and still, I found that interesting.

You’ll note that’s not my set-up above, it’s Danny’s.. you all know I break out in a itchy red mess when I use Nikon (breath people, it’s a joke!) So, the ePod has a working height without the ball head of 0cm – 163cm and the Monopod working height is 54cm – 135cm, again, without the ball head which adds about 8cm

The tripod has three section legs that bend in many (two) directions and are finished with rubber feet and / or spikes, depending upon what you’re in to! The legs can be set so you’re shooting from as good as on the deck, flat, lying down… OK, so you have most of the spec now, you get what this tripod is used for, you’ve seen a couple of pictures – but is it any good?

Well, The first thing you don’t want your tripod doing is sliding down / over when you stick your kit on the top… So, what was the first thing I did when I took it out of the box? I slid down it like a crazy, Canon shooting pole dancer! Did it move? NO, was it graceful… certainly not! Sturdy it was, yes. A very solid piece of kit with a set of spirit levels built in, the ePod diversity is a very well built bit of kit. Easy to adjust and, for some crazy reason, has a compass built in too! (maybe you want to take all your photos facing north, I don’t know)

The laptop tray has a rubbery goodness to it that will hold your laptop nice and tightly, and the ball heads are very precise, so you could as easily use this tripod for macro / still lifey / product type shots… and, I guess anything else that you’d choose to shoot tethered? Who shoots tethered, why? I’d love to know in the comments below.

ePod Diversity comes as just a tripod, or as a kit if you buy it all together – as “just a tripod” it is a very sturdy studio tripod, but when you add the platform it’s like a mobile work-bench. ePod comes with a zippered nylon carry case and is available on special right now for £125.00 (for the tripod) £150 with the beam / platform (down from £199.00 (be quick?!)

There’s much filler and bumpf you could write about any product, but honestly… it’s a tripod – it does what a tripod should do, it does it very well. The tray / arm set-up works very well. If you want a very well priced, light studio tripod… check it out.

Based on functionality, price, build and quality… the ePod Diversity picks up 5 of a possible 5 tripod legs (like stars, but different)

Find out more about it here.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
ePod Diversity
Author Rating
4

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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, www.gtvone.com and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • chris

    great review sime on the epod gear! I recon santa will be bringing the studio onr this year for sure.\

    . You asked “who shoots tethered and why” well i think it would be a god sent for all who are taking hundreds shots of “mums little darlings” in the shopping center baby studio, and want to see the shots NOW not on the back of the trusty Nikon but on a 17″ Mac! …. Also looks like a much cheeper and faster alternative than setting up a Wifi link.

    keep up the great work
    Filmworks Photos Aust.

  • Rick

    Looks cool. The only reason I have found to run tethered other than the show-off-ness of it, is taking time lapse photos.

  • Burt

    Tethered shooting is a ‘must’ in a good studio. You can’t really tell if you have the shot as you want it by looking at the back of an LCD. Run Lightroom, which now supports native tethered, and you can see the images in full size, right there with editing tools if you really feel the need to tweak on the spot.

    And, of course, your images are then imported as soon as the shoot is done. No waiting for a card to be imported later. I do shoot both on card and tethered, as a backup myself, but then I’m paranoid about getting “the perfect shot” and having something go wrong with capture. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure it will the first time i try to avoid that backup…

  • More gagets to buy – oh all right then. 🙂

  • I shoot tethered in the studio – it’s easier to check the hi-res after a few shots than it is to go through all your images at the end of a long shoot. Shooting tethered also means you (and your art director) can decide whether or not you have a “keeper” before moving on to the next layout; sometimes what looks good on the LCD of your camera doesn’t quite look so good on a large monitor – or vice versa.

  • A.Leach

    Hi youall, I recently got epod, not the tripod but the laptop tray and arm, the best build quality I think, as good as manfrotto !!!! Pretty good : cost £25 + postage thought at was pretty cheap, but definitely not the build !!! Give it a try : my net book sits on the table and 7d on the other side on the arm : brill setup : I was knocked out by the quality,and the arm has a zipper case too!!! I use a red snapper tripod it’s also a well built item : very sturdy too:
    Well done the epod system, had I not gotten a tripod I’d have got theirs !!!
    By for now snappers:
    Regards : Ant :(uk)

  • ed

    They were pretty quick to put up the cost of the tray/arm combo, now £30 plus £7 UK delivery

  • The price has not changed. It was £25 for the beam and platform if purchased WITH the ePod. That an error has been made and somebody has only been charged £25 is lucky for them! It was removed as an additional option as soon as we sold out and is currently unavailable.

  • Brian

    I saw an interesting tethered shoot this past summer in Chicago at the American Girl Place store. They had blocked off the sidewalk to the north of the store and had different sets of model moms and daughters that would walk along the sidewalk with the dolls. Photographer was setup low to the ground and was tethered to a MacBook Pro where the director of photography and a few other folks would then look at every shot. Sometimes they would see that a pedestrian was in the shot. Sometimes the light wasn’t right, or a model’s hair or clothing wasn’t right. But having the MacBook Pro tethered allowed them to zoom in and see everything about the shot and then make adjustments before the next shot.

    I took two photos of the shot and they are in my Flickr feed at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hubster/4850097554/in/set-72157624504778985/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hubster/4850099674/in/set-72157624504778985/

  • A compass might prove extremely useful to our Chinese friends who follow feng shui and would like to know the best orientation before setting up props. It would also help out landscape artists who want to shoot tethered. Or not. Still seems like a pretty cool tool and ranks r?ght up there on my tripod wish list, along with a manfrotto cx550.

Some Older Comments

  • Phil December 5, 2010 05:13 pm

    A compass might prove extremely useful to our Chinese friends who follow feng shui and would like to know the best orientation before setting up props. It would also help out landscape artists who want to shoot tethered. Or not. Still seems like a pretty cool tool and ranks r?ght up there on my tripod wish list, along with a manfrotto cx550.

  • Brian December 4, 2010 10:22 pm

    I saw an interesting tethered shoot this past summer in Chicago at the American Girl Place store. They had blocked off the sidewalk to the north of the store and had different sets of model moms and daughters that would walk along the sidewalk with the dolls. Photographer was setup low to the ground and was tethered to a MacBook Pro where the director of photography and a few other folks would then look at every shot. Sometimes they would see that a pedestrian was in the shot. Sometimes the light wasn't right, or a model's hair or clothing wasn't right. But having the MacBook Pro tethered allowed them to zoom in and see everything about the shot and then make adjustments before the next shot.

    I took two photos of the shot and they are in my Flickr feed at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hubster/4850097554/in/set-72157624504778985/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hubster/4850099674/in/set-72157624504778985/

  • Elemental December 4, 2010 09:38 am

    The price has not changed. It was £25 for the beam and platform if purchased WITH the ePod. That an error has been made and somebody has only been charged £25 is lucky for them! It was removed as an additional option as soon as we sold out and is currently unavailable.

  • ed December 4, 2010 01:45 am

    They were pretty quick to put up the cost of the tray/arm combo, now £30 plus £7 UK delivery

  • A.Leach December 3, 2010 08:28 am

    Hi youall, I recently got epod, not the tripod but the laptop tray and arm, the best build quality I think, as good as manfrotto !!!! Pretty good : cost £25 + postage thought at was pretty cheap, but definitely not the build !!! Give it a try : my net book sits on the table and 7d on the other side on the arm : brill setup : I was knocked out by the quality,and the arm has a zipper case too!!! I use a red snapper tripod it's also a well built item : very sturdy too:
    Well done the epod system, had I not gotten a tripod I'd have got theirs !!!
    By for now snappers:
    Regards : Ant :(uk)

  • Luis Garcia December 1, 2010 11:35 am

    I shoot tethered in the studio - it's easier to check the hi-res after a few shots than it is to go through all your images at the end of a long shoot. Shooting tethered also means you (and your art director) can decide whether or not you have a "keeper" before moving on to the next layout; sometimes what looks good on the LCD of your camera doesn't quite look so good on a large monitor - or vice versa.

  • Steve November 29, 2010 02:10 am

    More gagets to buy - oh all right then. :)

  • Burt November 28, 2010 05:11 pm

    Tethered shooting is a 'must' in a good studio. You can't really tell if you have the shot as you want it by looking at the back of an LCD. Run Lightroom, which now supports native tethered, and you can see the images in full size, right there with editing tools if you really feel the need to tweak on the spot.

    And, of course, your images are then imported as soon as the shoot is done. No waiting for a card to be imported later. I do shoot both on card and tethered, as a backup myself, but then I'm paranoid about getting "the perfect shot" and having something go wrong with capture. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure it will the first time i try to avoid that backup...

  • Rick November 28, 2010 08:46 am

    Looks cool. The only reason I have found to run tethered other than the show-off-ness of it, is taking time lapse photos.

  • chris November 28, 2010 08:11 am

    great review sime on the epod gear! I recon santa will be bringing the studio onr this year for sure.\

    . You asked "who shoots tethered and why" well i think it would be a god sent for all who are taking hundreds shots of "mums little darlings" in the shopping center baby studio, and want to see the shots NOW not on the back of the trusty Nikon but on a 17" Mac! .... Also looks like a much cheeper and faster alternative than setting up a Wifi link.

    keep up the great work
    Filmworks Photos Aust.

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