Mogopod’s claim to fame is that they are the “world’s most versatile monopod“. This is quite a heavy claim, so I was pretty excited to get one to try it out. The short story is – I love it! for an in depth review, dive in.
Why A Monopod
But before going into the goods and the bads of the Mogopod, let me back up a little and share my view on monopods in general.
A monopod is roughly a third tripod. It has one leg with one end that rests on the ground and one end that can accept a camera, a tripod head or any other accessory that supports standard 1/4-20 or 3/8 sockets.
While it is nowhere as stable as a tripod it carries two major advantages:
- It is lighter, smaller and faster to setup that a conventional tripod. And it has a smaller foot print. That means that if you are shooting in crowded places a monopod only takes a square inch on the floor, where a tripod takes a full square yard. It also means that you can move around with it more easily that you would with a tripod.
- It offers some stability (not as good as a tripod) but something about 2 stops of stability. In a low light environment it 2 stops can make a lot of difference.
Back to the Mogopod….
What is The Mogopod?
The Mogopod is basically a monopod, only it has more features and bells that you could imagine. This makes it a pretty good value on space investment in a kit.
Overall Look & Feel
This thing looks and feels great. The material is anodized aluminum but the finish is solid providing a very nice sturdy feel to it. It is striped with red color marks here and there (the twist lock, strap holders and so on) which seems to be very fashionable with gear makers right now.
Grip handle aside, there are no plastic parts – even the D ring for the utility strap is made from metal. Definitely an object of desire. While I did not use it to fend off any knights, I think it would have survived such a test.
The Mogopod (it comes in two sizes, S and M – I am talking about the M model). Collapsed, the Mogopod is about 68 cm, which is similar in size to most tripod. The magic being that it only has one column reducing the overall space, the weight (about 750 grams) and most importantly the footprint. It is unlikely to get tangled or caught in anything while attached to a bag.
The Mogopod also comes with a small utility strap which I found useful when moving around from location to location.
This is probably one of the nicer features of the Mogopod, it has three sections but only one twist lock (and a shiny red one too). That means that you can open the entire Mogopod to full length – about 1.60 meters – in one swift motion: untwist-> extend -> twist.
I found it extremely helpful that it has marks on the sections so if you know that you usually use a monopod at 60 inch, you can open the Mogopod to that exact position without trial and error.
Of course if you are looking for a shorter monopod (for low angle) you don’t have to extend it all the way.
As with any other monopod the Mogopod is as stable as you can make it. All tricks are allowed. If there is a wall you can lean on it, If there is a rail you can connect the Mogopod to the rail with one hand and shoot with the other.
All in all, I could get about two stops of stability compared to hand holding the camera.
If you are looking for some extra stability, you can buy the TSD-2 mini-legs extension and mount them on the bottom of the Mogopod. They open up to provide a small light-stand-like base.
One thing I noticed is that when I lean on it (as sometimes happens in a shoot) it may give a bit. This was not consistent and may have been due to me not locking the twist-lock all the way. I also probably significantly outdo the 5kg capacity on the thing.
This is where the Mogopod really shines. I found so many great things I could do with it, and I did not even used the threaded grip.
One of the best features on the Mogopod is its reversible mounting thread. There is a small plate that can be flipped to be either 1/4-20 or 3/8. I found this pretty innovative and useful as most tripod heads (I and using it with the Manfrotto 488RC2 ball head) have a 3/8 thread while lighting accessories usually have a 1/4-20 thread.
Aside from how it can function as an everyday monopod, I think it would make a great VAL (Voice Activated Lightstand) accessory. The bottom rubber can be removed and mounted on the top part so the thick, heavy side of the Mogopod rests on knee or hip while a small strobe is at the other side.
We also tried it as boom. The fact that it’s light made it easy to hold. We did not actually record anything, but it seem more than capable of handling our small Zoom H1 that we used a makeshift on location mic.
The only thing that I fount to bit a bit annoying is that the flipping place attaches to the ball head more firmly than it attaches to the Mogopod. I wish those plates were also sold separately.
- Good looking and solid build quality
- Adds about 2 stops of stability
- opens in one swift motion (and closes in one too)
- Low footprint
- Uber versatile
- Flip thread plate sticks on the wrong end
- Folds under heavy pressure
All and all I think this is a great addition to anyone shooting in dense environments where a tripod is an overkill. I love the build quality, and looks. In terms of space/weight to value I think it is a hard kit to beat and for $120 is it practically a no brainer.