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Beanbags are a tried and true camera support that photographers have been using for years to help steady big lenses on objects such as fences or cars. THE Pod takes the basic idea of a beanbag and has refined it to become an improved option.
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These small, round bean bags are flat on the top and bottom and have a quarter inch tripod screw so you can mount a camera or flash unit on them. The company makes six different versions designed for a variety of uses. There's even a pod that's large enough to support a professional video camera.
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THE Pod's filling chamber is accessed by opening a Velcro closure. While it comes filled, you can remove all or some of the plastic pellets used for stuffing (for travel) to shape the unit as desired or to use a different filling substance (backpacking photographers frequently use dried beans or sand as filling for beanbag devices during long hikes). THE Pod is sturdy (the company claims "virtually indestructible") and support a considerable amount of weight. One big advantage of it is that you can frequently use one in places where you're not allowed to use a tripod or monopod. This light weight product is made of nylon and comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty. Certain versions come with a nylon strap that can be used to affix the lens to THE Pod for a more secure attachment to it.
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Price to ValueRating
THE Pod is a useful device, particularly if you need to travel light and don't want to lug a tripod with you. It won't take up much space in a camera bag or could even be carried in a coat pocket. It can even be left attached to the camera and carried that way. THE Pod is decently constructed and will make a nice accessory for the photographer who hates tripods. You can also use THE Pod to brace against a wall while handholding the camera. Prices range from $11.99 to $37.49 depending on which version you want.