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Field Review: The Platypod Pro Max

Oh Platypod, I’m not going to lie. I love my platypods. I received their original version last year and it quickly replaced using a tripod 90% of the time. Yes, 90%. I still needed a tripod if I wanted my camera up higher or using heaver lenses and extra gear.

Welcome Platypod Pro Max

When Platypod announced they were making a bigger version of the original called the Platypod Pro Max I was over the moon with getting one into my hands. The biggest reason is I do a lot of night sky and time-lapse photos in which I like using my Atomos Ninja Flame. The Atomos monitor is too heavy to have on my camera on the original Platypod Pro.

How it Works

The Platypod Pro and Max are straight-forward.  You attach your bullhead to the plate for support.  You can then use the feet to level it or even spoke screws to hold it in place. Here are a few occasions in which I have used my original Platypod:

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Arches National Park in which you hike around a lot to take pictures.

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Here’s in Omaha, NE in which I wanted a nice lower angle image of the building.

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This was Monument Valley in which the wind chill was below zero. Not having to mess with a tripod was so nice especially when it was that cold outside.

Testing Out Max

With the new Platypod Pro Max, I originally wanted to show off doing night sky and star photography using the Platypod for the first time. But like all great plans, I got bumped by Mother Nature as  the weather and clouds did not allow for such adventures However, I was out camping and here’s an example of where I was able to securely have the Platypod Pro Max in which there’s no way I would have been able to use a tripod. Here’s the behind the scenes and the photo that came out of the experience.

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Here you can see that I was able to safely get an image with the smooth water right in the middle of the river.

I was recently traveling and found myself out in LA and knew there’s no way I would get any night sky photos due to light pollution, however when storm clouds roll into LA, you make your way to the beach for sunset. Here I’m at Santa Monica Pier watching the amazing clouds roll in during Sunset. On top of my camera(a Panasonic GH4) I have my Atomos monitor and I’m using a SLR Magic 10mm lens.

I was so happy the Platypod ProMax  is durable enough to allow for me to capture low angle timelapses and videos while being able to use my external monitor. In fact, when I turned around I found 4 other photographers impressed not only with my monitor but that I’m able to quickly get a low angle without a tripod to lug around. If you haven’t tried walking on the beach with tennis shoes and gear, it’s not an easy feat. Just eliminating a tripod makes carrying gear across a beach, so much easier.

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Bottom Line:

Will the Platypod Pro Max be a great tool for your gear bag? YES! The light weight, the durability, the convenience will allow you to shoot more, carry less weight and be creative in various setups. The more you use it, the more you will find uses for it.

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