Studiohut Hot Shoe Three Axis Double Bubble Level
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- Spirit level / bubble level for camera's hot shoe
- Crystal clear housing slips on a camera shoe mount
- Triple axis provides precise leveling
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A triple axis spirit level that mounts effortlessly to the hot shoe of any standard 35mm SLR camera to help achieve a finer degree of accuracy in capturing image content.
Top customer reviews
My opinion is 100% my own - good or bad. I hope you found this review helpful. If so, I'd appreciate you clicking the "helpful" button!
In addition to working in a hot shoe, this level can be used on a tripod head with a removable quick release plate if the area under the plate is flat. Or it can be used on the plate itself if the mounting screw is not too high. Or on a point and shoot camera without a hot shoe if the flat area on top is wide enough.
Alternatives to this level include post levels available in lumber departments, as these can be used on the tripod center column to verify setup is correct. Circular surface levels are also alternatives. However this level is a bit more convenient. It is also inexpensive for a dedicated photo accessory. And it's quite compact.
But this belies the drawback: compactness means the levels themselves are not as long as a typical level as used in the carpentry trade. So these levels are not as sensitive to tilt.
Four stars given all considerations: accuracy, price, usefulness. The faster one has to set up a camera and tripod, the more useful this gadget is.
I'm an architectural photographer and rely heavily on an accurate level to keep my shots perfectly aligned. Sadly this product doesn't do the job. Save your money and buy the more expensive, but infinitely more accurate 2-way level.
After I got an acceptable fit I put it in the camera. I had the tripod legs levelled. I got the camera levelled in 2 horizontal axis, then panned the ball head 90 and 180 degrees. The levels still showed level. I think that'll be good enough for me to do panoramic shots with.
I had tried one of the spirit level type of hotshoe levels but found that when I have the camera at eye level I couldn't see the spirit level on top of the camera. Duh. Consequently I got one of these that will be much easier to see even if the camera is above eye level.
Now I have this Studiohut level and so am in a unique position to do some testing. Given prices for these things (less than $2.00 ea. at Sinclair), I have to say all of them are pretty good. I've got all five (three in the Studiohut and 2 ea. Sinclair) about as lined up as one could reasonably expect for less than $50.00, and even at that price I doubt perfection would result. I'm fairly sure that were I to take some shots of buildings or just the ocean horizon, all would be level.
Although there is some variation between the side-mounted Sinclair and front-to-back (bottom level) Studiohut. Not much, but a little bit. Side to side is a match and the vertical on the Studiohut is almost dead center, certainly within the circle line.
I bought this knowing that it's intended for DSLRs or SLRs, while I have a Lumix LX3. The hotshoe on the LX3 will take it but not all the way in, just as I expected. Clips under the flanges of the hotshoe on each side seem to be preventing sliding the level in all the way, and I'm not about to force it. But it slides in far enough without forcing it. There could be just the slightest tilt, which would account for slight difference (referred to above) from front to back. That's okay since I have the one attached to the ball head to go by.
But for those thinking of getting this for anything less than a full-blown SLR-type camera (or medium- or even large format, I suppose) they might do well to bear in mind that it just might not quite fit. Thing is, any issue will be from front to back and so the horizon won't be affected. Side to side is most critical. A slight tilt forward or backward hardly matters unless shooting a building at an angle, in which case there are more problems than one with any camera that isn't an old Pentax with a shift lens or large format.
The vertical still strikes me as pointless, or at best repetitious. One might just as well go with a single centering-type bubble by itself, except that those tend to be unreliable if you haven't a microscope handy, or maybe a loupe. Who knows when it's dead center and just a little off can be a lot off.
This thing will do me when I need it, which won't be often, and now I've got what I think a fail-safe system if/when I really need that, and all for about $5.00 plus S&H, which was way more. And I can use it with my old SLRs too.