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Sunpak FlexPod Pro Plus is a POS

August 2009

While planning a trip to photograph the launch of space shuttle Discovery, I decided to it would be fun to try to shoot a little video as well. To accomplish this, I purchased a Sunpak FlexPod Pro Plus. One of those little gripper tripods that are designed to clamp to things and provide a camera mount. The idea was that once my main tripod was positioned, I'd just clamp this thing on to one of the legs, mount my little point and shoot camera on it, flip it to video mode and let it roll.

Nice idea, but as soon as I tried to warp the thing around the tripod leg, one of its legs busted off.

A broken gripper tripod with one leg detached

I tried using gaff tape to reattach, but wasn't comfortable it would be stable enough to hold the camera still for the several minutes that would be necessary.

I ended up using another shorter one that has a similar type of legs, but is only designed to sit on something instead of attach to it. With no platform available to rest it on, the ground was the best I could do. The video turned out better than I expected in that "happy accident" way, but I would have much rather had it taken from above the weeds instead of in them.

TODO: Insert video from launch here

When I returned the broken FlexPod, the guy at the camera store asked me if I wanted to swap it out for another one. I suppose it's possible that I got the one defective one they had, but as far as I'm concerned it's just a crappy product.

Needless to say, I got a refund instead.

Time to get a Magic Arm

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