The Steadify claims to replace all your tripods and monopods

Aug 1, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The Steadify claims to replace all your tripods and monopods

Aug 1, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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This is an odd one, and I’m curious what you guys think. When I first saw this, I thought “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen”, but a couple of friends said it looks quite useful to them. The more I thought about it, I could see potential uses. But some of the claims made in the Steadify’s Kickstarter campaign are a little off-base.

The first of those being that it is “the first wearable stabilizer”. You can see what they mean by “wearable stabilizer” from the photo above. But that not really true, as this idea’s been floating around for years (and you can find similar for about a third of that price on eBay).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/650610026/steadify

I’m sure there will be some people for whom this is a useful method of supporting your camera. This is pretty obvious as they’ve already smashed their $30K goal with $105K in pledges. But if anything, it’s an addition to your tripod, monopod, and all the rest of it. It’s just another tool in the arsenal to use when most appropriate. But it certainly can’t replace them.

Tripods on-the-go weigh you down

My most used tripod has been the Manfrotto Element Carbon pretty much since the day I got it. I’ve never really felt that it “weighed me down”. In fact, a couple of times I’ve left the house and then had to check I’d actually put it in my backpack (yes, it fits in a backpack) as it’s so light. So, some tripods might weigh you down, but certainly not all.

And a system like this obviously can’t replace a monopod for things like composites, long exposures, or other situations where keeping the camera in a fixed position is vital.

They’re also claiming this is their “new universal stabiliser”, but it’s been around for at least three years, as their YouTube channel shows – and not for photography. So, it doesn’t really that new to me. They’re just moving a product from one industry to another. And, as I mentioned up top, the idea has been around for a while and already being commercialised by others.

A graphic on the campaign also states that all monopods require two-handed operation and are clumsy. Well, I’ve been using a Manfrotto Neotec 685B monopod for over a decade now. It works just fine one-handed and certainly isn’t “clumsy”. I got it specifically because I needed something that offered a rapid response for photographing birds of prey hunting. It’s worked flawlessly.

I’m curious what the “multi-directional movements” are that they’re talking about, too. I mean, there’s three axes. X, Y and Z. Commonly known as roll, pitch and yaw. Well, pitch and yaw are pan & tilt in the world of photography. And unless you’re doing those horrible “Dutch angles”, then roll isn’t really a thing. So, yeah, “multi-directional movements”? What?

It seems that in their comparisons, they’ve taken a very limited view of available tripods and monopods. There are quite a few setups that don’t really fit into their stereotypes for those two categories. The lengths of each segment in the chart above to impress their importance or ability are also quite arbitrary and subjective.

As I said, it doesn’t look completely useless, and I’m sure it has its uses cases. But it’d be better if they marketed it as a new support tool in its own right, rather than an attempt to usurp the two other methods that it definitely cannot replace – at least, it certainly can’t replace them for me. And I really can’t think of any situations I shoot in that a monopod or tripod couldn’t handle where this might save the day.

If you want one, though, their early bird pledges start at only $99 through Kickstarter. But I’d have a look on Amazon & eBay first if I were you.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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11 responses to “The Steadify claims to replace all your tripods and monopods”

  1. John Havord Avatar
    John Havord

    Whilst it will help, to a degree, the base (i.e. the user), will still be unstable and therefore I don’t see any great benefit.

  2. Ian Hecht Avatar
    Ian Hecht

    I know a photographer that just wears a big belt buckle, then tucks the foot of the monopod into the back of the buckle outside of jeans to get the same effect…

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      that is called being creative… and that does work too… ;)

  3. Franco Kailsan Avatar
    Franco Kailsan

    it will replace my clown shoes and red wig because all I need is the Steadift to look like Bozo The Klown !

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      LOL!

  4. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    So John… I think the fact that they identified a potential market and moved it there is an awesome idea… i know for a fact that it is a very feasable product to use… specially in weddings and events. where slow shutter speeds and steady hands after being all over the place are far from being abundant.
    I do agree with you that it would not replace a tripod but heck yeah it would find use to the on location and event photographer… I like it.

  5. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    I use my mini monopod this way…. pock it to my belt porch

  6. Andrew Sharpe Avatar
    Andrew Sharpe

    It certainly won’t help for macro and closeups, and they already said it won’t help for long exposures, so what other uses of a tripod will it replace? Perhaps concert photography, where slower shutter speeds can be a problem. Besides, no matter how many glasses of wine I’ve had, my Gitzo is still stable. Me, not so much.

  7. John Skinner Avatar
    John Skinner

    Although I use a technique close to this with a monopod and my ThinkTank speedbelt and 400mm+ optics. This reminded me of one of those blood pressure medication commercials that never end — and have a lot of side effects.

  8. Mark Niebauer Avatar
    Mark Niebauer

    More toy gadgets. Ill stick to my carbon fiber tripod.

  9. James Avatar
    James

    Can just imagine that ground level shot… There are way too many of these ‘quick fix’ gadgets in the photographic world, best photo product is and will always be experience !