Review Sunshine micro tripod (chestpod) review

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Peter
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#1
Ordered from eBay for about $30, I think it's a pretty good value, particularly for stabilising the viewfinder image when you can't use a proper tripod/monopod.
Despite its name, it's just a small monopod with a flexible, foldable 'foot'. It can be fairly comfortably put against one's chest or belly and act and stabilise a bit, certainly enough to be noticeable for me. You can find it on eBay if you search for a 'chestpod'.

It comes in a fairly neat box:


Dimensions specified (not verified, I saw no need for that) are:

Closed height: 25cm
Maximum height: 38cm
Minimum height: 22cm
Weight: 0.2kg (I can barely feel I'm holding something)
Maximum load: 2kg

It comes with a bag and a strap:


It can stand by itself, but I wouldn't put anything on it:


Fully extended next to my Sigma 70-300 mm APO DG macro:


The head up close:
 
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Slapo
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Peter
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#3
Crops at 1/125 of a second, F18, ISO 200. They are the sharpest images I got from two bursts of three shots, so each of the following is the best from six shots I made with the settings above and below (six without a chestpod, six with it).

Without the chestpod:


With the chestpod:


Note that shooting in bursts will give you better results for both, as it is more likely to capture a moment where your camera and lens are shaking less.
 
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Slapo
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Peter
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#4
I have been searching for optimal techniques of using the chestpod and experimented a little. I arrived at the following conclusions:
- I've been using the chestpod in a less than optimal way, the strap that comes with it really should be hooked to one of the rings you can see in the photos of the product in my previous posts in this thread, I hooked it to those on the head
- coiling the camera strap around my wrist isn't as uncomfortable as I thought it would be (I read about it and thought about doing it before, but I've never tried it), although there still is a small discomfort and manual focusing my be impossible if one's camera strap isn't long enough (it isn't in my case)
- if you coil the wrist strap around your index finger (and perhaps the middle finger as well), you get less stabilisation without the chestpod, but you can manually focus rather well
- shooting in bursts is still the best way to get one sharp shot
- coiling the camera strap around my wrist gave me results comparable to those I got when I added the chestpod; with the chestpod, however, I was able to wrap the strap around my index and middle finger for stabilisation and manually focus fairly easily, the image in the viewfinder was very stable and the resulting shots almost as good as with the strap coiled around my wrist using the chestpod as well

This is another test shot I made so I could verify the difference (parameters are the same as before):


Conclusion
The chestpod is nice and easy to use, it stabilises the image in the viewfinder and the output well, although it depends on your shooting technique how big an effect it is going to have. I would buy it again :)
 
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