Top positive review
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Handheld camera holder with long reach
on August 27, 2009
Xshot 2.0 competes for the space occupied by Quikpod. Both units merit consideration.
Briefly, the Quikpod Pro comes with a set of tiny tripod legs which convert the unit into a surprisingly useful tabletop tripod. The Quikpod also comes with a useful case and belt clip. It has a mirror like device that permits some attempt at composing your frame. It is a worthwhile unit.
The Xshot, however, has some advantages. First of all, the Xshot will hold a slightly heavier camera, up to 24 ounces as opposed to the Quikpod's 15. More importantly, the Xshot extends to 37", twice the length of the Quikpod. That extra distance has a great impact on how much of the background you capture in the shot, especially with the wide-angle lenses of many recent point 'n shoot cameras. The extra length also makes a big difference with cameras that have the equivalent of a 35mm lens. (The much more expensive Quickpod DSLR will handle cameras up to 8 pounds and extends to 53".)
The Xshot is made of telescoping tubes, which permit you to easily choose the amount of extension you want. The camera mount has a rubberized surface and a thumbwheel for tightening. The head itself has a substantial wing nut for tightening. I had trouble getting the unit absolutely tight, though the slight play left did not allow the camera to flop forward from the position I set it in.
The Xshot collapses to about 9" long. At that length, it lends itself handily to be used as a camera grip in the left hand, with the right being used for zoom and shutter controls. Extended out by one or two sections, the unit can also be used - if you are careful - as a chest pod, which could come in handy for longer exposures. But be careful: the tubing sections collapse easily.
Overall, the Xshot is a nice unit and a strong competitor to the Quickpod Pro. The Quikpod has more features and more secure extending tubes. The Xshot, however, offers longer reach. Both serve the purpose of allowing you to include yourself in your pictures on your terms, rather than trusting to the mercy of strangers.