Almost everyone has access to a digital camera or video camcorder. While most people just take pictures by holding their camera with one or two hands, more serious photographers rely on tripods. Unfortunately, tripods can be clumsy to carry and useless in certain situations. If you want to take a picture out a skyscraper window or under a bridge, a tripod won’t do you any good. To mount a camera securely and aim it in different directions, take a look at the Smart Pod.
This device consists of two main parts: a clamp and an 18-inch flexible arm that lets you mount a camera on the end. The clamp is a standard C-clamp that lets you attach this unit to any edge such on a door, a sign, a tree limb, or piece of furniture. Just tighten the clamp around any edge, secure the arm on the clamp, attach your camera to the other end of the arm, and you’re done.
Now you can twist and turn the arm in any direction to aim your camera in the direction that you need, which may be impossible to duplicate with an ordinary tripod.
This product’s greatest strength is its solid construction. The clamp is tough enough to hold this unit in place even if you stretch the flexible arm horizontally and mount a heavy video camera on the end. The flexible arm bends easily, but not willingly, which lets you twist it in the shape you need without worrying if it might droop, sag, or unravel at any time.
Conversely, this product’s greatest weakness is partly due to its solid construction. Trying to twist its mounting arm into your desired position can feel like trying to bend a steel rod in a cruel isometric exercise. When you get the arm bent in the shape that you need, you can be sure that it will hold that shape, but struggling to force it into that shape is the hardest part.
Since this product needs to clamp around an edge to secure it in place, you won’t find this item very useful in wide open spaces. In that case, you’ll be better off with an ordinary tripod and save the Smart Pod for when you can clamp it around a tree or street sign.
For any photographer who needs to mount a camera, but finds ordinary tripods too limited, the Smart Pod may be what you need. With its ability to clamp on to any edge and twist its arm in various directions, the Smart Pod is a versatile mount for any type of camera.
- Sturdy construction
- Ability to twist and aim a camera in any direction
- Can securely clamp to any edge
- Arm can be difficult to bend
- Needs an edge to mount this product
Update: Stan from Smart Pod contacted us and pointed something out. The version we reviewed is the strongest and most robust Smart Pod designed to handle the heaviest of cameras. They also make a lighter version (a child could bend it) which is much easier to bend and manipulate.
The Smart Pod is available here for $50