Here is one of the weirdest products we’ve seen. It’s called the Platypod, and it’s the world flattest tripod. The Platypod is a small flat metal plate that hs a few features that makes it a pretty cool device if you don’t require the height of a tripod. Actually for some low-profile uses, it even better than a tripod.
What is the Platypod?
It’s a phone-sized metal plate, made from aluminum, and anodized black. The only non-flat feature is a small thread. You can use this thread to mount a ball head or mount the Platypod on a tripod. It’s incredibly small for what it does and incredibly flat, about 4.5mm flat. Definitely small/flat enough to fit in your pocket. Being stealth is one of the features I like about it. You can put it in your pocket and get it in museums or other places where full tripods are not allowed. The caveat is that you are limited to ground hight.
There are two flavors for this plate: Platypod Ultra ($59.00) and Platypod Max ($99.00), each of them can be complemented with an accessory kit ($30.00). According to the company, the ultra will take a load of 45 kilos, I have no idea what 45-kilos load you would use with it but it’s good to know. The Max version can carry 135 kilos, which is just an exuberant number. that does mean, though, that a camera is not an issue at all.
Both flavors come with 4 little titanium screw leg thingies that can balance and tilt the plate on various surfaces.
The Ultra also has a small strap that you can use to hook it on a pipe, a rail or a branch
There are a few more mounting options: screw holes, carabiners, on top of a tripod (for easy access), and if you are a
creative experienced grip, I bet you can find a ton more ways to mount it.
Value for money
The ultra will set you back $60.00 and the Max is $99.00. You also get a small Santa colored pouch, the titanium legs and for the Ultra you also get a short strap. I found that strap enough for most pipes around here. but if you want to mount the Platypod around bigger pipes or big branches, I suggest getting a cheap ratchet strap.
The accessories kit is $30 and it adds a non-slip pad (super useful!), a 1/4-20 to 3/8 adapter, a small riser, a stud and another strap. I wish it was included in the original package as far as value goes. The good news is that if you already know that you want it, getting the kit as part of a bundle is only $20 more on top of the Platypod (see here: ultra, max).
What’s out there for competition
If you are feeling particularly handy, you can go for a DIY pan-tripod.
- Holy-Molly, that thing is small. It’s about the size of my Samsung Galaxy 7, and weight nothing. Between this and the fact that it’s flat, its the perfect EDC.
- Lots of cool mounting options. OK, its a tripod, but its also a wall plate, a car mount, and many other creative uses.
- You can sneak that thing anywhere! (take that no-tripods-in-the-museum-rule!)
- If only this was 100% flat. I know, it’s not trivial, but that would be so much easier on my jeans fabric.
- The black coating kinda wears off. I saw no impact other than aesthetic, so if it’s only functionality you are looking for, I would just ignore this.
- For the price, I wish the accessory kit was included (if you bundle it on initial purchase is not that bad, but still).
Overall, we were incredibly impressed with the kit, and we have to give a high five to the design team. The Ultra made it into our standard production kit. It has zero footprint and it can save the day if you need to mount a camera in an impossible location.