Friday, March 7, 2008

Quik Pod DSLR (recommended by Cali Lewis)

I recently purchased the Quik Pod DSLR directly from their website store. I decided on this one based on a geekbrief.tv episode where Cali "advertised" it.

Watch video clip

For my use, I wanted to attach a Canon HV20 camcorder with a Rodes Videomic. This weighs exactly 2 pounds so I thought it would be the perfect light weight extender and monopod. Since the mic changes the center of gravity towards the front of the camera, I was concerned that this might be to much for the QP.

The specs says that the Quik Pod can handle a DSLR of that weight and that usually means with the additional of a telephoto lens. To my surprise the "pole" was strong enough to handle this weight, however the tilt mechanism decided it needed to either droop forward or fall backwards as if it were falling asleep as I filmed. I know I do some pretty boring stuff, but I didn't need my equipment to start making comments on my work.

My first attempts at tightening the butterfly nut caused me to worry about the stress on the plastic assembly. No matter how much I tightening the nut, the droopiness remained.

Since this was the only issue, I decided to look into the construction a bit.

But first the things I liked about the Quik Pod are:

  • very compact
  • very light
  • very strong
  • quick release head
  • has a rubberized foot for monopod use and a wrist strap connector for "pole" use. (Although it would be better if there were a quick release for these to change between them)
  • the tiny mirror was unexpectedly useful when the Quik Pod was not fully extended. (it was just a bit too small for my ancient eyes when QP was at its longest.)
  • holding it at half length extension was not a problem, holding it at full extension required hand and hip combo.
  • one problem I expected but never arose was having the whole thing tilt side to side. I guess there is enough balance to not allow this.

Now, back to the droop. I disassembled the tilt mechanism and discovered the surfaces inside were all smooth plastic, meaning that its ability to hold weight locked in a position would require more tightening than the plastic might tolerate. Since I was going to write this review, I decided to write Cali and give her some feedback on the QP issue. She in turn forwarded my note to Wayne at QuikPod and they instantly (and I mean instantly) responded with the following reply.
We have just completed a factory fix and I would like to send you a new
DSLR head that will solve the problem.

In a few days, I received the new mechanism and now the QuikPod DSLR is PERFECT.

The fix was the additional of teeth on the inside that allow the surfaces to lock in place when the butterfly nut is tightened. It was no longer required to tighten this excessively, so no more worries about stressing the plastic.

The Quik Pod is an excellent additional to any camera or camcorder. A great way to perform "self" shots as well as creating those really low altitude aerial shots. Enjoy!