It’s been around a year ago that I first got my hands on a cool little gadget called the Platypod. It’s an extremely portable camera support that can usually take the place of a traditional tripod.
The device requires you to add your own ballhead (I use a cheap $39 ballhead I bought on Amazon for the Platypod Pro) and it all fits nicely in a carrying case that fits easily in your camera bag or can be worn on your belt.
Time after time I’ve been in situations where security won’t let me set up a tripod or where it would be unsafe to do so or simply in cases where I didn’t have the tripod with me. In those cases I’ve substituted the Platypod with great results.
But what really makes the Platypod valuable is the ability to tie it off on to any variety of surfaces. Take this chair for instance. The chair has a small arm rest that is not square and which wouldn’t be a stable place to set the Platypod on its own. But using conventional zip ties (and any other thing you have laying around) you can make it so that the camera support can work almost anywhere.
I wanted to photograph these flowers but didn’t have a tripod with me. I ALWAYS have a Platypod with me and a few zip ties, etc. As usual, the Platypod provided a stable, solid platform from which to shoot and I got the shot.
I have tested a half dozen different methods of securing the Platypod to everything from arm chairs to fences and even a goal post.
My two favorite methods are simple zip ties (I use the Cable Matters package of 100 Self-Locking 12-Inch Nylon Cable Ties in Black & White – $7.99 on Amazon and the Acrodo 18-pack Reusable Rubber Gear Twist Ties, 3, 6 & 12 inch – $19.97 on Amazon.)
I also carry a small pair of wire cutters (I like the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Soft Wire Cutter – $5.99 on Amazon.) I use these to shorten the zip ties.
I usually use one zip tie and one of the rubber ties but in cases where I am using heavier/longer lenses, I might use two or even three zip ties to make sure things are safe and secure.
With more and more restrictions on photography (and especially tripods) being the norm, small, easy-to-use and transport camera supports are more important than ever. I find the Platypod to be a very versatile product and can’t imagine leaving home with my camera but not the Platypod.
Latest posts by Scott Bourne (see all)
- Holiday gift guide for photographers & those who love them - November 24, 2018
- It’s the picture that matters — not the process - September 29, 2018
- Traveling abroad? Things U.S. photographers need to know - August 17, 2018