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I have a Canon 1Ds Mark II with various lenses but none of them are very heavy. I usually shoot in indoors where tripods / monopods (church, weddings etc.) are not allowed. There are enough chairs, small fences, wall decorations, small cabinets etc. that may be used.

I don't use flash as much as possible, so I'm searching for a camera stabilizer - perhaps something like a bean bag. For the time being I found three possible solutions:

  1. The Black Pod with The Cube
  2. The Pocket Pod XL
  3. Omnipod

Perhaps someone has anything to comment to the above solutions which is better and why?

Also if someone has a better suggestion, feel free to jump in.

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Related but not a duplicate: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5 –  mattdm Mar 25 '11 at 0:37

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Never heard of any of those but I support my cameras in such places with a Gorillapod.

These are small flexible tripods that are easy to tie on poles, benches, stop signs, tree branches, etc. They come in versions supporting different weights. The one I own is the SLR-Zoom which supports 3kg.

I am a maniac of precise framing and cannot stand a camera without a 100% viewfinder so I got frustrated at first with the Gorillapods because they are not easy to control precisely since they work by being highly resistant to movement. To cope with this I have added a Manfrotto 484 Mini-Ballhead which can support 4kg. From what I see looking at the products you suggested, they look very hard to precisely adjust too.

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Yep, I thought about it. But I heard that it's a very springy platform and it will vibrate to the slightest touch, so if you're in a low light situation and need to use a stable platform, you'll need to use a cable release or use the 10-second delayed release timer. Is it true? –  John Thomas Mar 25 '11 at 6:28
    
Also really it can sustain in (almost) any position (let's say) 2.5 kg? –  John Thomas Mar 25 '11 at 7:14
    
It vibrates more than a good tripod, I agree, but it really depends on how you place it. It actually takes practice to learn which positions are more stable for it. The more support contact area you give it, the more stable. Then it depends how low-light it is. I never had a problem with exposures less than 1s or so, but for longer ones I use a remote to catch moving subjects or the 10s self-timer to be absolutely sure. Note: Do not wrap it on stop signs, those vibrate to much, particularly it is is windy. –  Itai Mar 25 '11 at 13:57
1  
It is extremely flexible but it is not equally stable in all positions. I had no problems with it holding 1.7kg but the ball-head is key to be able to point your camera almost anywhere while keeping the Gorillapod in a stable shape. –  Itai Mar 25 '11 at 14:00
1  
Actually, using a cable release (or the self-timer) is compounding the problem, letting the resonance of the platform run wild and free. When you are holding the camera, you become part of the support system, and become a very effective mechanical damper. There's no wedding picture I know of that involves capturing star trails -- you're just looking for an extra stop or two beyond what you can effectively do hand-held, and (support + photographer) is only second-place to (wooden tripod + mirror lock-up + leaf shutter) in the critical 1/15 to 1/4 second range where resonance kills. –  user2719 Mar 25 '11 at 16:02

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