3Pod Orbit 4-Section Aluminum Photo/Video Monopod with Fluid Base and Tilt Head with Quick Release (Review)
3Pod Monopod (3PVM4A)
3Pod T1 Tilt Head with Quick Release (3PSHT1)
3Pod Monopod with Tilt Head Bundle
$59.95 Monopod only
$32.00 Tilt Head with Quick Release
$79.95 with Tilt Head with Quick Release Bundle ($12.00 savings)
If you’ve searched high low for a monopod that you can use in just about any situation, stop looking, this is it. The 3PVM4A Monopod by 3Pod, sold by Adorama is one fine piece of photographic machinery. And for under, a lot under, $100, it’s the best I’ve seen. At a whopping 65.5 inches high (max), it’s comfortable for taller photographers to use, without having to crouch or bend down. I should know; I’m one of those taller photographers. This one also quickly adjusts from two feet high (23.5 inches, to be exact) to any height in between. The fluid base allows you to make smooth panning movements when the feet are down. Without the feet in the down and locked position, you have a standard monopod featuring three fast open/close flip locks for quick and easy height adjustments.
Joseph Butler and I review the 3Pod Monopod with Tilt Head.
The best feature of all. Wait for it. Look at the picture and see if you can figure it out. That’s right! It can stand on its own. At the very bottom of the monopod, you can fold down three locking legs to steady the monopod while you walk away to get yourself on camera, have an interview, or just to check focus. Sure, you can use it like a standard monopod, but those three little legs make this the bringer of the best of both worlds. Frankly, since receiving this, I haven’t used a traditional tripod again. Which in part is some of my excuse for the delay in posting this review.
I suggest purchasing the bundle. You save $12.00 by buying the Tilt Head with Quick Release, so why not make a frugal choice? For $79.95, you get the Monopod, the 3PSHT1, bag, and adjusting wrench. Even if you decide to buy another monopod head, this one will serve you well.
If you’re worried about camera weight on the monopod, let me put your fears to rest. It has held a Canon 60D with 18-135 zoom lens and a shotgun microphone without any issues.
What I really love about this setup is that it’s built for the run-n-gun photo/videographer who also might need to jump in front of the camera to narrate or to introduce a guest. You can walk away with confidence that you’re not going to end up with a smashed camera in the process. For photographers and videographers on the move, the monopod has a large padded handle that’s easy on your hands, plus it’s non-slip feature keeps your equipment safe while you’re running for the shot. The three quick-release height adjustments allow you to keep moving while you adjust the height of the monopod too. And if you don’t want to run with the monopod feet in the down position, they have “step-on” releases so that you can pick up and run without hesitation.
The Tilt Head with Quick Release is a ‘must have’ item because you can remove your camera from the monopod without disturbing the monopod’s position with just a snap of the silver lever you see at the right of the quick release mount. You can also come back and place your camera on the monopod without twisting, turning, or fussing with a ‘pod screw mount. Just place your camera back onto the monopod and turn the lever to secure the quick release mount and start your scene. It is literally a one-two movement and you’re back in business. Plus the Tilt Head stays gravity-centered for vertical shots.
I love the 3Pod monopod. It is the perfect ‘pod for me. It’s not bulky and cumbersome like a tripod, nor is it awkward and always in hand like a traditional monopod. It’s also not a pain to setup and adjust like most tripods are. To me, it’s the best of both worlds. It is the monopod that I wish I’d invented, but for $80, who needs the headache of prototyping, crowdfunding, begging for supporters, and wasting a bunch of energy when 3Pod has created the perfect ‘pod.
- Material: Aluminum
- Max Height: 65.5 inches
- Collapsed Height: 23.5 inches
- Weight: 2.2 lb
- Max load: 18 lb
- MountingReversible: 3/8 and 1/4-20
- Leg Lock Type: Flip lock
- Leg Sections: 4
- Tilt Head Tripod mount: 3/8
- Tilt Head Camera mount: Standard ¼-20
- Tilt Head Movement: 180° tilt on a single axis
- Tilt Head Weight: 9.4 oz
- Tilt Head Max Load: 11 lb
Why it’s Frugal: If it isn’t already obvious, the 3Pod monopod-tilt head with quick release is extremely frugal. First, you can buy the pair and save $12.00 (frugal). Second, you don’t have to carry a tripod and a monopod everywhere you go and fumble around with them–you have a monopod that can stand alone (frugal). And third, you don’t have to have another person with you to handle the camera while you go stand in front for an introduction, an interview, or a focus (frugal). It’s the best $80 you’ll ever spend on photography equipment.
As you can see in the video, Joseph and I both love the monopod. We fight over it and it’s hard to pry it from our grubby hands once one of us has it in possession. Seriously, it’s that good. For serious photographers and videographers at any level, this monopod beats any that I’ve ever used or seen. And yes, I’ve used the one that you’ve heard of (Sounds like a character from Lord of the Rings) and this one beats it many times over. The build quality is excellent. The quick release latches are easy to use and quick to adjust. No slips, no tips, and no lost cameras.
Recommendation: Buy the bundle, save a small bundle, and enjoy your new favorite and essential accessory.