Category Archives: Photography

Quik Pod DSLR/POV Monopod

Quik Pod DSLR/POV Monopod

The Quik Pod DSLR/POV is a handheld monopod that is made from aluminum and has the POV mirror to use the monopod for self-portraits but when fully extended it does not support a DSLR camera well.

Ease of Use, Performance:  1/5
Look & Feel:  1/5
Features:  3/5
How much I enjoy:  1/5

Recommendation:  1/5 Stars

Quik Pod DSLR/POV Monopod

The Quik Pod Monopod for the DSLR/POV cameras makes a nice monopod but for self-portraits using a full sized DSLR you may want to rethink this solution. The Quik Pod is an interesting monopod and does work well in the field to steady your DSLR cameras.

The Quik Pod is a four section pole with three quick release latches that hold each section in place while the swivel head quick release holds your camera. The quick release head has a small mirror to use for self-portraits along with a hand strap to help hold the Quik Pod.

Quik Pod Whats in the Box

The Quik Pod can be used to take portraits of yourself without help from someone else but a full sized DSLR may be a bit too heavy for the monopod. The first smallest section is about a half inch thick with each section being larger up to the inch diameter of the handle section.

This small size pole with the weight of a full sized DSLR camera bends the pole when it is fully extended which is a bit alarming. The pole dips several inches when the full weight of my Canon DSLR is on the end of the Quik Pod which makes it unsteady.

Quik Pod w/ DSLR

The Quik Pod makes it hard to use as a handheld monopod to take pictures of yourself unless you prop the camera up against something to take part of the weight of a full DSLR camera. The monopod does not work well to hold a DSLR and take pictures of yourself just because it is not sturdy enough to take a twenty two ounce camera and hold it at arm’s length.

The Quik Pod does work well with smaller cameras like point and shoot ones or those small point of view action cameras to take shots and video of yourself. The Quik Pod DSLR/POV comes with a mount adapter for the GOPRO as well as a quick release for the common 1/4 inch thread that works well but the sections latches and the quick release are made from plastic.

Quik Pod Camera Mount

The pole sections are made from aluminum while many of the other parts are ABS plastic with stainless steel pins and bolts for corrosion resistance even in salt water. A better quick release and parts made from metal would make for a stronger monopod and a sturdier handheld pole but the plastic parts make me concerned for quality over time.

The Quik Pod as a monopod to hold your cameras upright and take pictures works well and I could recommend it as an inexpensive monopod if it cost less. The Quik Pod to take pictures of yourself while holding heavier DSLR cameras at a few feet from you does not work well.

Quik Pod w/ 2.5 pound DSLR

I just cannot recommend the Quik Pod for use with a full sized DSLR camera as a handheld monopod for taking self-portraits. The Quik Pod DSLR/POV costs about $70 which is quite a bit for a monopod and for that price I was expecting a bit better build quality.

Quik Pod DSLR/POV @ Quik Pod

Quik Pod @ Amazon

Self Portrait w/ Quik Pod

Pros
Lightweight Monopod
Comes with Quick Release and GoPro Mount

Cons
Plastic Parts could be better quality
Does not hold up four pounds of DSLR without bending

Video Editing with Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate

Video Editing with Corel VideoStudio X6

Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate is a fantastic video editing software suite that includes some great new features like NewBlue Color Fixer and proDAD Mercalli SE Stabilization for professional videos.

Ease of Use, Performance: 4/5
Look & Feel: 4/5
Features 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Recommendation: 4/5 Stars

Video Editing with Corel ViedoStudio X6
Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate is a fully featured video editing software for movie creation using either a fast and quick Movie Wizard or detailed step by step editing where you can change and add effects, titles, chapters and more. Corel has added a few nice features to their latest edition of editing software that helps video creation and adding some finishing touches as well as making things easier to edit.

Working with Titles Corel VideoStudio X6

New features include Motion Tracking where your view will follow a moving object or objects like titles or thought bubbles can follow a moving object while other new features include several effects filters. One handy filter is NewBlue Color Fixer that allows brightness and color adjustments that are easy to adjust and create your own style to each video segment.

proDAD Mercali SE is also a new filter that helps in image stabilization but this filter will vary on your video in how much stabilizing and smoothing to jerky or jittery action when used but I found it worked well to edit out those jerky smaller movements using a biking action video. I tested this filter with a video where I took an action cam on top of a remote control tank then to a bike and then on top of a car and it did a good job of smoothing out the small jerks and bumps but still obviously being action cam footage.

NewBlue Color Fixer Corel VideoStudio X6

Other new features include support for 4X Ultra HD, customizable motion and stop motion, subtitle editor and customizable random transition effects but the NewBlue and proDAD Mercalli filters are a few of the better new features. VideoStudio includes some older but fantastic features in filters and effects while the Movie Wizard is the easy way to automatically create a movie using a set theme.

Corel VideoStudio X6 works fairly well to automatically create chapters and titles but for better control and more of a personal touch editing and making sure your chapters and effects are where you want them the regular editing works great. You have three modes with Capture, Edit and Share as major themes to your interface with each having separate menus and choices for editing for an easier workflow.

Motion Tracking Corel VideoStudio X6

Effects are easy to use and most of the editing features simply open a smaller window or a menu choice to add and alter effects and are added to clips for better control of each effect. You can render the entire movie and change things later like putting the entire video through another filter or effect which will take more time because rendering does take time depending mostly on your computers specifications.

Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate is for Windows computers only and the better your processor and graphics processing power as well as memory the faster your video will be rendered but the program does work on computers with processors as low as 2 GHz. I had no problems with video importing and format acceptance by the program for a variety of formats such as those form cheaper camcorders that use an odd video format that is usually compatible with most software.

Stabilization Effect Corel VideoStudio X6

Corel has done an excellent job with keeping features you need like easy to use automatic movie creation for simple home movies like vacation videos as well as professional videos for websites like mine. Corel VideoStudio has enough new features in Corel VideoStudio X6 with just the stabilization and color filters that it would make a good purchase or upgrade from a previous edition and does have plenty of format and device support to make a fully featured video editing software.

The Pro edition of VideoStudio does not include the NewBlue and stabilization filters but still includes plenty of features and lots of filters and effects for home videos and those vacation movies that cost $80. I highly recommend Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate for an excellent and easy to use video editing program that costs $100 and includes all the new effects and filters along with the full suite of video editing features.

 

Pros
Large Selection of Tools and Filters
Two New Tools to correct color and clarity of videos
New Effects Work Easily
Easy Video Editing, Create Full Movies Including Chapters & Titles

Cons
No 64 bit support & Windows PC’s Only
Slow Rendering But Not Too Bad

VideoStudio Ultimate X6 @ Corel

Life-Phorm Tablet Stand, Smartphone Stand & Camera Stand

Lethal Protection Life-Phorm Tablet Stand

The Lethal Protection Life-Phorm is a unique tablet stand for use with tablets, smartphones and cameras but simple solutions do not always make for sturdy ways to hold expensive electronics.

Ease of Use, Performance:  3/5

Look & Feel:  3/5
Features  2/5
How much I enjoy 2/5

Recommendation:  2.5/5 Stars

Tablet Stand, Smartphone Stand & Camera Stand

The Life-Phorm by Lethal Protection is a unique stand for tablets, smartphones and even digital cameras but some cautionary use and common sense does come into play when using it. The Life-Phorm is an electronics stand that has six moveable legs that each have three joints so the legs can be adjusted in a variety of configurations.

The base of the stand has a common 1/4 inch threaded bolt and a tightening nut that is easy to use with your hand to secure your electronics or the two metal and rubber coated tablet or smartphone clamp pieces. The clamp holds either a tablet or smartphone using the simple single screw on the back and sliding the clamp pieces against your smartphone or tablet to hold it in place.

The legs all have a screw so you can tighten the leg joints and increase the holding power of each joint and the ends of each leg has a rubber coated hook for holding onto surfaces and uneven objects. The stand can only be used about six inches above a surface so the Life-Phorm does not take the place of more traditional camera tripods.

Tablet Stand Life-Phorm

The Life-Phorm can be used in a lot of varied situations and odd places but the stand should have some kind of tension to hold tablets as I am just not confident enough that it held my tablet well enough. The stand does not use tension to hold the tablet or smartphone so it can slide out the side when working with the stand trying to place it on odd situations.

Unlike some stands that use some kind of tensioned or spring loaded clamp the Life-Phorm simply uses the clamps with the main screw holding them together so the tablet is not held in secure enough. I would be hesitant to secure my iPad tablet that costs several hundred dollars in the Life-Phorm and then hang it in a tree using the clamps that only hold the tablet with the single connection point and no tension.

The Life-Phorm does hold my PlayBook or Next5 tablet but only in portrait view with the clamp only being long enough to hold the longer side of the tablet and not the shorter side. The clamps one piece does have a hinge and opens to about 8 inches to increase the length of the one piece but for some tablets you are out of luck to hold your tablet in the landscape view.

The Life-Phorm is a great concept but a little more design and engineering would have made the device a more secure way to hold your expensive electronics. The Life-Phorm can be used to hold digital cameras but the box shows some disturbing pictures like the camcorder being held to the windscreen of a boat or the iPhone on the handlebars of a bike.

Tablet Stand on Shelf

The Life-Phorm makes a nice way to prop up your tablet or smartphone in some odd situations like on a piano or on a shelf in my kitchen but there is no way I’m trusting a stand like this with my expensive camcorder other than setting it on a table. The stand works well but for the price of about $50 I think it should have some sort of tension clamping system instead of just two clamps that slide together and hold the tablet between their curved ends.

The stand works well enough for a digital camera in a few situations but I found very little use for it while out for a convention recently other than as a stand to prop up my tablet. The Life-Phorm does hold my DSLR securely for taking shots from a table or hanging from the back of a chair but I really am not trusting this stand to hold my thousand dollar camera on the side of a tree.

If you have the money to spare and have found that you just need a stand for your tablet, smartphone, DSLR or point and shoot-camera for odd situations the Life-Phorm may just be what you’re looking for. I just cannot see spending the money on this as it just does not hold my tablet securely enough for the odd situations I was interested in or in the orientation I wanted.

Tablet Stand Life-Phorm with DSLR

The Life-Phorm may fit some situations for some devices but I am looking elsewhere for an all in one stand and DSLR holder that is more secure for my expensive electronics. I just cannot recommend the Life-Phorm unless you have a specific situation in mind with it that holds your device in the orientation you need.

Life Phorm @ Lethal Protection

Life Phorm @ Amazon