If, like me, you find the weight of a camera or camcorder a problem, then there’s now a solution which looks to be rather better than my previous option, a monopod, or toting a tripod.
It’s the Neckpod, from Konig
The pic is from the 7dayshop.com website, from where I’ve ordered mine – since I’m directing traffic, and maybe custom, their way, they shouldn’t complain about my using their pic. It costs £9.49 delivered. It’s available from several sources, but this is the cheapest by several pounds
It’s impossible to see from the pic, but the ‘pod head is mounted on a tilt pivot, locked with a usefully large wing-nut (to pan, you turn yourself, of course), though in use the pivot would be left loose (otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tilt the camera), and has a quick-release plate. In use I’ll hang both round my neck – it’ll take seconds to mount the camera, fitted with the q/r plate, when it’s needed, and demount it afterwards (walking around with the camera mounted on the Neckpod is a recipe for grief, I suspect, and you’ll look like an idiot). The thing is adjustable for height via a standard tripod clip-lock on the telescopic arm, and the neckstrap is also adjustable. You can’t tell that from the pic, either, but I’ve done some research – am I good to you or what?
And there you have it – the ideal solution (I hope!), for photographers, like me, with weak arms. It would also be useful, I think, for a wheelchair-using photographer, when leaving the camera attached would be less of a problem, with a little juggling of strap lengths.
Update:- Well, mine’s just arrived, and my first impression is that build quality is poor. Stitching at several points is pretty haphazard, as is the assembly. And it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to remove the q/r plate from the head – it slides forward, but it’s quite stiff and doesn’t advertise which way it goes with any movement, even when the q/r buttons are fully depressed.
Like cheap tripods, the head isn’t removable, to fit something better, though anyone with modest DIY skills should be able to remedy that, if they feel it’s necessary. Personally, I can live with it, as the plastic from which it’s moulded is quite robust, and doesn’t flex in use. In fact, now I’ve seen it, anyone with home workshop facilities can build one with by using an old monopod, a neckstrap, a small block of wood and a couple of bolts. Still, it’s easy to be wise after the event! The neckstrap is narrower than it appears in the picture (that or it’s a very small woman with a long neck!)
The important thing, though, is that it will do what it says on the box, and when it falls to pieces – almost inevitable, I think, if it’s heavily used – rebuilding it rather more robustly won’t be a problem.
The q/r plate’s tripod screw is very short, so letting it dangle with a heavy camera attached may be unwise (likewise, I have no idea yet how robust the q/r mechanism is). Actually, though, with careful adjustment of the camera’s neck-strap length, you can fix it so the weight is taken by the strap, not the q/r plate/tripod screw.
The support weighs 200g, so will add very little to the burden of a heavy D-SLR/long lens combo. It packs away into a nylon bag.
Konig is a Dutch company, though the support is made in China. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I have several bits of hi-tech, high-quality equipment made in China, including my D-SLR, but Konig need to look to their quality control.
See also this post for more info.