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Wilderness Photography The Wilderness Photography forum is for the discussion of photography (videography) gear, experience, and technique as it directly relates to wilderness photography. PBF members may also post self-owned photos that have been uploaded to the PB Gallery or as post attachments. Offsite links and offsite photos are prohibited. Please see ("sticky") instructional post located at top of threads.


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Old 06-27-2013, 04:38 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
ContainsImages Quik Pod ( Quikpod ) DSLR/POV & Explorer II Extendable Camera Pole / Monopod / Tripod

When I was a teenager, I wanted a way to include myself in scenic photos that I'd take while hiking in the desert. I accomplished this by fashioning a clamp system to the end of my hiking stick (eventually a saguaro cactus rib) to function as an attachment point for my camera. When others saw me holding the stick with the camera attached to it, extended out from my body, they'd ask "what are you doing?" and "what is that?"

I explained that I was including myself in the picture and proudly declared it's my "StikPod" (Stik Pod, Stick Pod). I came up with the name based on the fact that I was using a stick of sorts and attaching my camera to a "pod" (acquired from pod in tripod). [Note: I referred to this several years ago in another posted article.]

Today, there are more practical products for photographers to include themselves and others in their photos and videos. There are a few devices that can be connected to the end of a trekking or ski pole. These might be acceptable to those who don't mind switching the function back and forth from camera use to hiking or skiing use. These pole attachment devices are not as versatile as other options.

A practical, multifunctional camera extension pole system is the Quik Pod. It offers a wide-range of uses to photographers and videographers - especially those who do more than snap selfies (newbie term for self-portraits) or film their talking heads (aka video trail journaling). [Bonus tip: film what you're seeing/doing too).

The Quik Pod comes in several different models that are all suitable for self-portraits/video. But that's not all they can do. The following is an overview of two Quik Pod models: Quik Pod DSLR/POV and Quik Pod Explorer II. In this article, I'll share the specs along with my comments, tips, and experiences for these Quik Pod products.



Quik Pod DSLR/POV & Accessories

Quik Pod DSLR/POV Specs & Comments
  • Made from hard anodized aluminum. I'm satisfied with the materials. It's as light as it can be to safely hold a camera and stronger than some low-end tripods.
  • Waterproof. This is a great feature for use in the rain and underwater. I also appreciate the stainless steel screws. And it meets ASTM/ISO standards for salt water usage.
  • Color: black. I really like the non-reflective surface on this model.
  • Mirror. The tiny mirror is sufficient for positioning subjects in the shot. This feature is missing on other options on the market.
  • Rubberized grip handle. This makes a difference when holding a pole for a significant amount of time.
  • Retracted size is 18". This allows it to be attached to a shoulder strap or tucked into a front or side backpack pocket.
  • Extended size is 53". Every extended inch has come in handy to capture shots and clips that are out of my reach for a variety of reasons (discussed later).
  • Quik Release Camera Mount. I can easily switch cameras with the included standard and GoPro mounts.
  • Tripod Mount. Now that's versatility. "Look mom, no hands"
  • Accommodates camera or other device up to 4.4 pounds when handheld and up to 7.7 pounds when used in monopod mode.
  • Weighs: Reported: 9 ounces; Verified by my calibrated scale: 10.45 ounces (for the extension pole and the quick release adapter).
The Quik Pod DSLR/POV includes the following: "GOPRO compatible quick release adapter, 1/4" x 20 quick release adapter, tree bumper, pocket clip, rubber monopod adapter, built-in self image mirror, wrist strap, hiking clip, belly pad and carry bag."



Quik Pod Explorer II & Accessories

Quik Pod Explorer II Specs & Comments
  • Made from stainless steel. It feels very secure with my compact camera or GoPro attached.
  • Waterproof. This is a great feature for use in the rain and underwater. I appreciate the stainless steel screws too. And it meets ASTM/ISO standards for salt water usage.
  • Color: Chrome-like. I prefer the non-reflective black of the DSLR/POV model, but I haven't encountered any troubles associated with the stainless steel.
  • Mirror. The tiny mirror is sufficient for positioning subjects in the shot. This is a feature that is missing on other options on the market.
  • Rubberizes grip handle. Soft and doesn't slip.
  • Retracted size is 8.5". This allows it to to be easily attached to a shoulder strap or belt. It can also be tucked into a pants (cargo), jacket, or pack pocket.
  • Extended size is 39". I've found this to be acceptable for standard use.
  • Quik Release Camera Mount. I can easily switch cameras with the included standard, GoPro, and smartphone mounts.
  • Tripod Mount. This increases the versatility.
  • Accommodates camera or other device up to 16 ounces.
  • Weighs: Reported: 5 ounces; Verified by my calibrated scale: 5.05 ounces (for the extension pole and the quick release adapter).
The Quik Pod Explorer II includes the following: "GOPRO compatible adapter, 1/4" x 20 quick release adapter, padded carry bag, waterproof wrist strap, hiking clip, camera tightening tool and mini-smartphone adapter."



Quik Pod DSLR/POV & GoPro Hero 3

Some of the typical uses for a Quik Pod include:
  • Self-portraits/videos. No need to place (or attach) the camera on an out-of-reach object, or to run to get into the shot, or to ask someone else to take the photo (and perhaps even miss out on being in it).
  • Above a crowd. This can come in handy if you want a shot that is otherwise blocked by people or objects in front of you.
  • Underwater. This use is typically suggested for those shooting stills or video while swimming underwater.
  • Monopod/Tripod. A Quik Pod can be used as a monopod. This is particularly handy to help steady the camera in low lighting. They're also capable of being used in a standalone tripod mode.

Quik Pod DSLR/POV in Use at Tide Pool

Here are some of the other ways in which I've used a Quik Pod:
  • Low and aerial shots. I'll extend the Quik Pod at a steep angle (not quite straight up) to give a different perspective/angle for a clip or shot. I may also position it low to capture a clip of my legs and feet while hiking.
  • Rear shots. I can take a photo or video behind my back (showing front of backpack) while I'm hiking.
  • Underwater shots without getting wet. I enjoy filming the aquatic life in rivers, streams, and the oceans (see example clips in attached video). I can easily do this from the shore.
  • Otherwise out-of-reach shots. This may be a shot down an embankment or into a hole in a tree or the ground.
  • Safe distance shots. I've been able to get shots of snakes and other potentially troublesome subjects or conditions.
  • Less invasive shooting. I can get shots of flora and fauna without stepping on sensitive living things. For example, on several occasions I've recorded video in tide pools, and the Quik Pod allowed me be to be back far enough to avoid stepping on smaller, hard to avoid anemones and other living things.
  • Stabilization. The Quik Pod can also help to take out some of the bounce and shake when recording. Extending it out with one hand while using the other hand to offer additional support can help produce more stable shots.
My Video Clips of Quik Pod in Use




Personal Tips

If you use multiplle cameras, a spare quick release can help to quickly switch between cameras.

After use in water, wipe the Quik Pod dry, when its fully extended. Be sure to remove the quick release to get to any hidden water.

Tether your camera to the Quik Pod to protect it from loss if the adapter (...) is somehow compromised. [Note: I haven't heard of this happening and suspect it's very rare.]

Be mindful that your hand movement on the Quik Pod handle can be picked up and heard on your video's audio recording. Some practice and attention to detail will help. Of course, if you're adding audio when editing, then this will not be much of an issue. But it's still a good idea to steady your hand movements to help faciliate video stabilization.

I've found the Quik Pod's ability to adjust in a variety of positions significantly more useful than the mostly fixed position of a trekking pole add-on camera mount.

Beware of copycat or inferior camera extension pole (monopod) products. I've used other models and they're not as feature-rich and fall short in craftsmanship. Do a careful comparison to find a trustworthy option that meets your own criteria.



Quik Pod DSLR/POV

For most of my general outdoor excursions, I most often use the Quik Pod DSLR/POV. I like its features and tripod-like lever locks for section adjustments. It would be nice to see a model just like this (black, hard anodized aluminum with level locks) in a smaller version, exclusively for compact cameras.

I feel the DSLR/POV is worth every ounce of its 10 ounce weight, for the benefits it provides. It's sturdy enough for a common DSLR setup and it helps to get shots that would be very difficult to obtain without it.

For lightweight backpacking, the Explorer II may be more appealing at 5 ounces. That's approximately equivelant to a good swig of water or a couple candy bars. There's no problem stowing or quickly deploying it. It retracts to about the length of a water bottle.

A creative person may be able to think of some multiuses for a Quik Pod, to leverage its appeal for lightweight backpacking. I've tested it for spreading some mosquito netting and it got the job done. However, some things are simply worth their weight when used as intended. Over the years, I've spoke with several backpackers that lost their backpacking joy by leaving useful gear behind. Many hikers that enjoy photography will understand the benefits of using a Quik Pod - especially those that realize that weight is only a part of an individual's considerations when making gear choices.

The Quik Pod has become a useful part of my excursion and hiking gear, when capturing unique stills and clips is my objective. There may be times when I leave it home to reduce the amount of gear that I carry, but I hope not. Since I've been using it, it's missed when it's not on hand. It allows me to get some shots that would be impossible or difficult without it.

I hope to have more to share about the Quik Pod and my experiences with it in the future.

Reality
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