Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sticky Pod Mini Setup and Review

-- This is an old post I wrote last December. Since then I've used my Stickypod many times and I love it. --

Some years ago I wanted to shoot video while riding the motorcycle. There were guys doing it on YouTube using self-made mounts but at the time I wasn't able to make one and I couldn't find a secure, ready-made, affordable mount, so I moved on to other things.

But recently I bought a new Fujifilm Finepix S4500 point-and-shoot camera that does video too so I wanted to try it again but this time in the car. I tried it first with my camera setting on a bean bag on the dash but there was some video shake and it wasn't secure - I was afraid the camera was going to roll whenever I made a turn.

So I did a google search which took me to the Sticky Pod website and the Mini was in my price range (inexpensive) so I ordered it and a few days later I'm on the road taking video.

But after seeing the first couple test videos, I saw I had to solve the problem of shaky camera (really bouncing camera).

The Fujifilm S4500 weighs 15.8 oz and with the 4 rechargeable NiMH batteries and memory card add maybe another 4.5 ounces, so all together, well over a pound. When I drove over anything but an absolutely flat surface, the rubber suction cups allowed the weighty camera to bounce.

So for some smooth video I realized I had to tie down the Sticky Pod Mini. And this is what I finally came up with.


I started with a length of paracord and tied a bowline knot to make a loop at the top to hold one side of the platform. At the other end, I wrapped the paracord around the car hand-hold and just made a knot. The video was greatly improved, virtually no shake, so I added a second piece of paracord to hold down the other side.

But I needed a way to slightly tighten or loosen the paracord lines while keeping them both taut. I googled some more and found the Nite Ize Figure 9 Small line tensioner.


I bought these from a nearby REI store. Check out this video when I first tried these out on my way home from the store.


The Nite Ize tensioners aren't really necessary though. You can use an Adjustable Grip Hitch Knot or something similar to keep your lines taut.

But I do use the Nite Ize Figure 9 tensioners because of the cold nights.

Now the Sticky Pod suction cups are strong. And boy, do they securely hold onto the window while I'm driving! You can go to the Sticky Pod website and YouTube channel and see for yourself. I completely trust those suction cups to hold the glass... except through a cold night parked in front of the house.

It's December here in Michigan and when I've gone to the car in the morning, the Sticky Pod Mini has come loose from the window and is on the front seat. So the Nite Ize Figure 9 tensioners let me quickly and easily remove the lines then reattach them. If I used an adjustable hitch, I would have to untie and retie both knots. So the Figure 9 tensioners make it easier.


I also use the Sticky Pod on the front window and luckily there's a hand-hold right there to use as a tie down. But if there's no way to tie the Mini down, you could try a bean bag underneath on the dash to stop the camera bounce.

One problem I've found with shooting out the front window is the sun glare that causes a reflection of that front vent and speaker on the video. But I've got a solid black t-shirt I lay down on the dash to solve that.

One nice benefit of the Sticky Pod Mini is that your camera does not attach directly to the platform. So I don't have to take everything apart if I need to take some quick still shots.


The Mini comes with this black plastic piece (see below) that screws into the camera's tripod mount. And it's not so thick that I have to remove it to put the camera in my small camera bag. (...though the way my Fujifilm S4500 is constructed, I have to loosen it to remove the memory card and batteries. Not a big deal though.)

See the beveled end on the right (above) - when slid into the platform, that angle helps hold the mount down.

And those two circles on the left (below) are magnets.


When you slide the mount into the platform, the magnets hold to the metal pieces in the platform.


So I highly recommend the Sticky Pod Mini as an inexpensive solution to driving and shooting video. It arrived quickly and came nicely packaged with clear instructions.

If you came to this page first to check out the Sticky Pod Mini, please take a look around at the many videos I've shot using this setup. If you've come by way of the videos, well, now you've seen how I've been able to create that smooth video, even on the damaged, pot-holed, streets of Detroit. Search on the Labels for "stickypod."

Friday, November 15, 2013

Near the VA Hospital in Detroit

I was driving near the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit and a couple blocks north on Brush and Frederick there's this parking structure with some nice graphics on the side.





Across the street is this park...


and I parked next to this old Checker car!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...