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Old December 11th, 2003, 06:19 PM   #1
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Hi-Pod Check it out!

Similar to the Sky pod, but this one you can tilt.

http://www.hi-pod.com
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Old December 11th, 2003, 06:38 PM   #2
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Greg,

Have you actually used one? Curious to know about weight and the rigidity of the pole when extended. Was also disapointed to find the link didn't offer any price info.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 10:50 PM   #3
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I'll take one of both...the girl and the hi-pod!!! But seriously, does anyone have any input on this?

...Hey, if she can operate it, maybe I can...or on second though, I think I will hire her to do it!
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Old December 11th, 2003, 11:02 PM   #4
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I saw this at a trade show in October. The company was literally parading the thing around the exhibit hall...you couldn't not see it! My reaction, as well as that of others, was tepid. It might be quite handy to cover an event where you needed to get over a crowd. But it's certainly no substitute for a jib.
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Old December 12th, 2003, 09:42 AM   #5
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Not to mention that it is a monopod....a very high monopod. Place any sort of weight at the top, a very small base, and a low center of gravity and you've got a potential problem on your hands.

What happens when the camera leans too far out or gets blown by a gust of wind and exceeds maximum tippage (for lack of a better word)? Bye Bye camera, Bye Bye Insurance for the people you hit, and Bye Bye ever getting hired to do that type of work again.

Now to be fair, I have seen a lot of footage these guys have shot with it. Not just highschool football games, but celebrity stuff (red carpet/movie premiere), and the footage looks good and unit seems to work as expected. It is a two person jobber that is for sure.

Still, I wouldn't put any camera heavier than a PD-150/XL-1S on it, and even then i'd be nervous.

I have several pictures of it that I took for my NAB feature articles last year, but only ended up using one. The company links to my article on their site.

BTW: Cost $2500
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Old December 12th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #6
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Stephen,

Thanks for the additional info. I suspected that the "tippage" issue could be a real problem. Don't think I'll put my DSR500 up there for sure!! Prices seems a bit steep too, especially considering I already have a LANC Controller and a LCD.
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Old December 12th, 2003, 01:29 PM   #7
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Hi-Pod Demo.

The Hi-Pod folks are supposed to be at my office next week to demo the unit for us. While it looks great, I do have some reservations as to mobility under extreme shooting conditions and as Stephen mentioned, the balance issue.

We just covered the FTAA Trade Talks protests here in Miami last November. We went with four Sky-Pods from Studio 1. We were extremely successful in covering the event with VX-2000s and TRV-950s mounted on the Sky-Pods. Combined with the VZ-Rock and ProZoom camera controllers, the units were lightweight, mobile and very adaptable to a constantly changing shooting environment.

You can see a couple of the SkyPods in action at http://www.studio1store.com/skypod2.htm

I'll let you know how the demo works out next week.

RB
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Old December 15th, 2003, 11:26 AM   #8
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Anyone know how heavy the Hi-Pod is? I have a friend who is looking at one, but he is concerned about the weight and the fact that it's 6ft when collapsed.

I went with the SkyPod because it's only 3.5 lbs and it can collapse to 4ft. I've found that extending it to 10ft is high enough for me. I've had great results using it with a PD-150.

Rob
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Old December 16th, 2003, 12:53 PM   #9
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DEMO Completed.

Rick Morales from Hi-Pod brought us a fully operational unit for us to try out...very cool piece of equipment.

One of my concerns as stated in my previous post, was the stability of the unit when fully extended. All things considered, it wasn't as bad as I might have thought, although there was some degree of sway at the very top. Today's winds were 10-15mph, so it was a good day to test the extension, also, movement is somewhat exaggerated at the camera head due to the height of the extension.

As Stephen stated, it IS a monopod, and as such has its own unique set of problems. Having to hold the thing in an upright position for hours at a time, for example, could become very old, very quickly.

As far as mobility in extreme shooting situations...the jury is still out. My main concern is its weight, about 20 pounds total and the complexity of the mechanisms themselves. While shooting during FTAA, we easily walked 2-3 miles at a time, in full gear, in 80+ degree weather, while dealing with protestors. The extra 20 pounds would be easier to deal with if we were "wearing" them as opposed to carrying them.

We also went as far as having Rick from Hi-Pod dress out in full riot gear, including helmet and gas mask to give him a better feel for some of the conditions we sometimes work under.

I feel that the unit would have been too cumbersome to use while operating as part of the arrest teams, so I think I'll stick to the simpler Sky-Pod solution for the run & gun shooting where speed and mobility are essential. (Also cheaper if you have to drop the whole thing and run for your life!)

I do see a Tactical application for the Hi-Pod, so much so, that I am having it demoed for our Special Response Team tomorrow.

Now, as far as regular production is concerned...the Hi-Pod Rocks!

Very well designed and produced. Thankfully, it doesn't look or feel like someone's science fair project cobbled together in the garage. The whole thing is slick, solid and professional.

The tilt control was smooth as was the pan, of course, it takes a little getting used to as you are operating on different planes. I also expressed to Rick, that I would like to see the tilt cables automatically retract and extend as you change the height of the pole.

Lastly, I would also like to see the battery, even if it is a smaller one, incorporated into the rig itself as opposed to having to wear a separate belt or pack.

All-in-all, I can live with some of the little things that bothered me. I can safely say that we will purchase at least one of the Hi-Pods, probably within the next few months.

Kudos to the Hi-Pod folk.

RB
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