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Good for Pictures, Bad for Action (GoPro) Video (Too Shaky along shaft axis!)
on December 26, 2011
A little background first. The Pocket Xshot is the 3rd retractable monopod I've tried to use with my GoPro HD camera. The first one I used was some cheap "vidpro" and the second being the "quikpod compod". They both had the same issue of the shaft being able to rotate freely around itself. This caused a huge problem when trying to record video while snowboarding, as the weight of the GoPro would often cause the camera to rotate along the shaft (yes I know you can record upside down but I personally do not like to do that).
Enter the Pocket Xshot. I was quite excited to see that the Pocket Xshot has these "Channels" running through the entire length of the telescoping shaft. This prevents the shaft from rotating on axis! However, the unfortunate thing about this, is that there is a bit of play along the that "channel", as well as a bit of play in the plastic head that's mounted in the shaft. Now this bit of play can get quite annoying with videos, as it looks like the camera is being shaken on axis many times a second. This isn't as apparent in 60fps mode, because the image is more smooth, but it is VERY obvious in any 30fps filming modes.
This would be fine for taking pictures, as you would only need one frame for a picture. However, if you plan on using this to record any action video, the bit of play will be too shaky for some.
Note 1: The play in the shaft will increase over time, I've noticed these "channels" have gotten looser over the course of the last year (from vibrating back and forth) and now the play is even more excessive
Note 2: I ordered another new xshot, to compare the amount of free play between a new one and a used one. The new one still has excessive play in the main joint where the plastic pivot head is connected to the metal shaft
Note 3: the small cover on the handle-end had popped off my original one. I needed to put a self-tapping screw into the shaft to hold that cover in place.
Note 4: Seems that the company noticed that small cover popped off on the earlier models, so they are using a different cover on the newer models. Still didn't solve the issue of the shaft having free play =(
Please, if anyone can make a better suggestion on a telescoping monopod, that 1 - does not rotate along the shaft, 2 - no free play in the shaft and/or joints to prevent shaking (by use of locking joints or anything!), 3 - can fit in a pocket when retracted... PLEASE let me know. I've been looking for one for the last 2 years and still have not found a suitable product. The only ones I can find that have the locking shaft are regular sized monopods (minimum of 20") which are not pocket sized!