Review: QuikPod Pro camera extension arm

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quikpod beach
The QuikPod is an easy-to-use extension arm that is designed to let you take your own photo in front of sites you’re seeing. Rather than stick out your arm, and look like a goofball trying to encompass you standing in front of the majesty that is the Grand Canyon, or try to find some suitably flat surface on which to rest your camera, or God forbid ask a stranger to take your photo, you can attach your camera to your QuikPod, extend the arm, and take a photo.

The Details
Using the QuikPod is extremely easy. 1) Attach the camera to the QuikPod:
quikpod-use_1
2) Extend the arm. It has three levels of extension, so you can get up close and personal, or farther away for a wider shot. Be sure to set your camera’s self-timer so that it’ll snap a photo automatically.
quikpod-use_2
3) Line up your shot. This isn’t terribly hard, but it does take a little practice to figure out how to align the camera for the best shot given the scant few seconds before the self-timer on your camera activates.
quikpod-use_3a

To help you line up your shot, the QuikPod includes a tiny little “self-image” mirror:
quikpod-mirror
It’s a nice idea, but in reality it’s too small to be terribly effective. I found myself aggravated trying to use it, and ended up just guessing how to align my shots.

Similarly, the QuikPod Pro+ Precision includes a level attachment, so you can ostensibly tell when your camera is aligned properly horizontally and vertically:
quikpod-level
Again, I found this too small to be very practical. And depending on the lighting or environmental conditions in which you’re shooting, this thing won’t help much. Besides, everyone knows that a slightly skewed photo is more dynamic than some boring straightedge photo. And if the skew is too much, just tell people you were going for the Dutch tilt.

The Good
The QuikPod Pro+ Precision is small, lightweight, and easy to include in any camera bag. It’s super easy to use, and stays out of your way when you’re not using it. The feet attachment make for a nice addition, giving you a fairly complete tripod without the usual bulk associated with even small tripods.

The Bad
As previously mentioned, the self-image mirror and the level aren’t terribly useful. Save the $10 and skip the “Precision” model.

The construction of the QuikPod itself was a little less than I had expected. It’s basically a plastic tube. As soon as I opened the package, I thought that perhaps I had been sent a Swiffer Duster instead of a QuikPod:
swiffer
The Swiffer and the QuikPod are essentially the same basic product, with a different head unit.

I did try to put my DSLR camera on the QuikPod, just to see if it could handle it. I could tell almost immediately that the weight was too great for the plastic shaft. If you have a DSLR, you could get the QuikPod DSLR, but really: if you’re using a DSLR then the chances are high that you care more about your photos and are more likely to have a real tripod for your shots.

Bottom Line
The QuikPod is a nice little addition for the casual photographer. It’s an easy way to get a better photo of yourself, or a small group of friends. At $25, the QuikPod Pro isn’t a bad deal. For an extra $5 you can get the QuikPod Pro+ which includes the adapter legs to convert the QuikPod into a tripod. That seems like a pretty decent price to extend the functionality of this thing. The $35 for the QuikPod Pro+ Precision seems overkill: the level just isn’t worth it.

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Bonus
I hooked up my Flip video camera to the QuikPod and took it for a spin on the Oval at The Ohio State University. I imagine you can find several more creative ways to use the QuikPod in your own content production efforts.

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