Take better pictures of yourself
Weighing less than 4
ounces, and measuring only 7½" long and
1" in diameter when collapsed, the Quik Pod is an
ultra-portable gadget that primarily (but not exclusively)
helps you take better pictures of yourself.
Many of us hesitate before
asking a stranger to take our picture - in some parts of the
world, there's every chance that the stranger might even run
away with the camera, and even if they don't, you can never be
certain how effective their picture taking might be.
The Quik Pod is an ingenious
solution to this problem, and can also be used for other helpful
purposes, too. For example, the next time you're straining
to see what is in the front of a crowd of people, all of whom
are blocking your view, you can simply use your Quik Pod to
raise your camera over the crowd and get a great picture of
whatever it is you're all looking at.
This is a very simple - but
also very sensible - gadget that will cause us all to think 'I
wonder why no-one thought of this before'.
Costing only $29.85 from
Magellan's, the Quik Pod is fairly priced and easy to
use. What's not to like? Almost nothing. You
should get one.
The Fromm Works Quik Pod - what
The Quik Pod comes simply
packaged in a plain white box, inside which is a complete set of
goodies. There is, of course, the main Quik Pod
unit itself, a hiking clip to attach the unit to a belt, a wrist
carry strap, a miniature tripod and a padded nylon pouch to
carry everything in, with a drawstring closure on the top.
There is also a one side one
page sheet of instructions on how to use the Quik Pod.
To make immediate
comprehension of how to use the Quik Pod even easier, there are
a series of adhesive labels attached to the unit, pointing out
The miniature tripod is a $5
option - the basic Quik Pod is priced at $24.95 and is termed a
Quik Pod Pro; with the addition of the tripod, it is referred to
as a Quik Pod Pro+ and is priced at $29.85 (available from
Most people will agree that the $5 tripod is a sensible upgrade
to the basic unit.
The Quik Pod is small and light.
When telescoped shut, it measures about 7.5" long and about 1"
in diameter. It weighs a mere 3.6 ounces with no
accessories. The complete Quik Pod Pro+ kit in its carry
pouch weighs 6.2 oz - still very light and compact.
When the Quik Pod is
extended, it measures almost 18" from end to end, and is
made up of four high strength plastic polycarbonate sections.
The largest section has a grip for your hand, and the furtherest
away section has a swivel ball joint standard sized screw mount
that fixes into the base of almost all cameras. The ball
joint swivel piece has a butterfly screw tightener so you can
move the ball joint around to align the camera and then tighten
it firmly while using the unit.
A miniature convex mirror
('objects in the mirror are closer than they appear') gives you
a vague approximation of if you are likely to be in the picture
or not, but this is dependent on you aligning the camera body in
the same direction as the mirror is mounted. This is
helpful, but not essential, because with almost everyone using
digital cameras nowadays, you can simply check the picture taken
immediately after taking it and retake the picture if you had it
Although 18" long from one
end to the other, the Quik Pod
doesn't give you a 'real' 18" extension, because you're
comfortably holding the Quik Pod's handle on its grip. The
Quik Pod probably moves
the camera 15" or more further away from you. This could
mean the difference between having a camera 18" or so away from
you (without Quik Pod) and almost twice as far away with Quik
Pod - it makes a big difference in terms of how much picture you
can include (see samples below).
The Quik Pod is rated at
being able to support cameras weighing up to 16 oz (1 lb/450
gm). We experimented with both a typical compact
lightweight camera (5.7 oz) and a larger heavier camera (15.9
oz), and then torture tested it with an overweight 18.3 oz
camera as well.
The Quik Pod flexed quite
noticeably with the two heavier cameras, and the ball swivel
joint had to be tightened very tight to prevent the camera from
pivoting and 'falling over' at the end of the Quik Pod arm.
With the over-weight camera, the ball joint couldn't be
tightened sufficiently to hold the camera exactly in place, and
it struggled to hold the 15.9 oz camera securely too.
The weight of the camera is
more apparent when held at the end of the Quik Pod too, and this
may also be a limiting factor for some people. Suffice it
to say that the Quik Pod itself is capable of working with most
normal weight modern digital cameras, and that - of course - the
lighter the camera, the more convenient it is to use with the
The Quik Pod includes a
pocket carry clip - the same sort of clip that most pens have.
While it could be used to carry the unit in a pocket, of course
the Quik Pod is way too big to fit in any normal sized pockets.
It's other use is to clip the Quik Pod to your belt, but I
didn't find this very comfortable and worried about it being
dislodged and lost, so I removed the clip and didn't use it at
all. You might want to do the same.
Why Do You Need a Quik Pod
A Quik Pod can help you take
better photos in several different ways.
The most obvious way in
which a Quik Pod can help is when you want to take a
self-portrait. No longer do you have to find a helpful
stranger who will agree to take your photo (and not run off with
your camera!), and no longer do you need to clumsily hold the
camera out in front of you yourself. It also means that if
you're in a crowded area, you don't have to wait until there is
no-one between your photographer and yourself, simply stick the
Quik Pod out and take your picture from much closer.
photographers know that you don't get good pictures when
shooting a person from very close up, and with a very wide angle
lens. The Quik Pod allows you to take a picture from
nearly twice as far away as when you're just holding your camera
in front of you, and also allows you to reduce the zoom setting
from maximum wide angle to something more moderate. This
improves the picture and the proportions of near and far objects
in it greatly.
The Quik Pod has other uses
as well. One great application is to use it as a way of
holding your camera high above you. This is particularly
helpful if you have other people in front of you blocking your
view. With the Quik Pod, you can use it to get your camera
way above other people and get an unobstructed view of whatever
you're hoping to see.
You can also use the Quik
Pod to take pictures from awkward angles. Maybe you want
to photograph the underside of your car, or its wheel wells
(don't ask me why you want to do this!). Put your camera
on your Quik Pod, angle it as necessary, and then poke it down
to wherever you want to take your picture from without needing
to get on your hands and knees.
Maybe there are other out of
the way places where you would like to take a picture from that
the Quik Pod can help you and your camera conveniently reach as
Using the Quik Pod
The unit is easy to
understand and fairly easy to use. You extend the Quik
Pod, affix your camera, switch your camera to operate on timer
mode, then push the shutter button, hold the Quik Pod and camera
in front of you, relax, smile, and wait for the camera's timer
to complete its countdown and take your picture.
Hopefully you haven't
forgotten how to work your camera's timer.
Some cameras these days
offer you a choice of various different timer lengths between
when you push the button and the picture is taken. We'd
suggest choosing a moderately long time - that gives you
sufficient time to get 'organized' and pose; enough time to hold
the camera in front of you, get comfortable, make sure you're
likely to be in the picture it takes, relax, smile, and wait.
It took a while to adjust to
using the Quik Pod correctly - instead of stiffly holding it out
as far in front as possible, you should relax, and hold it out a
comfortable distance, allowing you to stand and look more
I 'torture tested' the unit
for an extended period, slamming it roughly open and shut,
wiggling weights on the end, bending and flexing it, and it came
through with flying colors.
These sample images have
not been cropped or significantly edited in Photoshop (other
than for a bit of exposure adjustment, an issue unrelated to
the Quik Pod).
By not cropping, you get
a feeling for how much picture can be fitted into the frame
when holding a camera either at the end of your arm, or at
the end of the Quik Pod.
The first image is a
typical self portrait type image taken with a normal type of
digital camera, with its zoom lens set to fullest wide
As you can see, there
would barely be room in the picture for two people, close
together, and the closeness of the camera and wide angle
tends to slightly distort things - perhaps my nose appears a
bit larger here than in the next picture.
You also see a hint of
my arm reaching out, holding the camera.
The second picture is
an attempt to duplicate the image in the previous picture,
but with the Quik Pod and setting the camera's zoom to a not
quite so wide value.
This is a slightly more realistic picture.
This picture has the
camera on the same wide zoom setting as in the first
picture, and is intended to show how much more coverage you
can get into a picture just by holding the camera at the end
of the Quik Pod rather than by simply outstretching your
first picture was slightly distorted and barely had room for
two people, this picture is not so distorted and would allow
for at least four and maybe even five people.
One last sample image.
This one simply attempts to show how you are not limited to
straight on head and shoulder shots when using a Quik Pod.
Here's a three quarter
The Optional Tripod
The optional tripod adds
neither much weight, space, or cost to the complete kit.
It measures about 4" in length and 1" in diameter, and weighs a
mere 1.6 oz. When the legs are collapsed they are each 3"
long, and when extended they are 6" long. With legs fully
extended, the tripod provides a marginally stable base on which
to mount the Quik Pod vertically - even moderate wind will cause
the total assembly to sway, but it is still better than nothing
and assuming a moderately fast shutter speed, a bit of movement
won't be a major problem.
Don't look upon this tripod
as a stable base from which to take slow/long exposure pictures.
In most cases, it will not be sufficiently steady for such
picture taking. It is simply another way of putting the
camera somewhere away from yourself, and then including yourself
in the photo.
The mount on the Quik Pod is
about 20" above the ground level on which the tripod is based,
so the tripod adds only about 2" of height to the Quik Pod
The heavier the camera at
the end of the tripod and Quik Pod, the less stable it felt, and
using a 15.9 oz camera (the Quik Pod is rated to work with
cameras weighing no more than 16 oz) the unit felt unstable and
likely to tip over with the slightest provocation. A 5.7
oz camera felt much more stable.
It was difficult to get the
tripod exactly level, with the result that the Quik Pod arm
tended to go up on an angle. This angle could be corrected
at the top with the swivel mount onto which the camera is
affixed, but the greater the angle of the Quik Pod (and the
heavier the camera) the less stable the entire unit was.
Of course, you can also
directly attach the camera to the tripod. This makes for a
more stable mounting, and as long as you can get the camera
level, is probably a better use of the tripod than with the Quik
You'd probably only choose
to add the Quik Pod to the tripod when you needed more height
than the tripod itself gives. But in total, the 20" of
height provided by tripod and Quik Pod doesn't allow you to
place the unit on the ground. In other words, the tripod
adds some flexibility but doesn't then give you a full universal
shoot from anywhere ability. However, to get this, you'd
need a massively larger unit, weighing much more, inconvenient
to travel with, and costing a great deal more too.
For only $5, the tripod is
probably a sensible extra option to buy. It won't add too
much to your carry weight or space, and might, once in a rare
while, give you some extra flexibility in the types of pictures
you can take.
And the preceding is
probably the most I've ever written about an item that costs
Related Product - Joby
If you're considering
portable tripods, we recommend the
Joby Gorillapod (see our review for more details).
The Gorillapod gives you a
great deal of flexibility and creativity in terms of where and
how you might locate a camera. It is a great unit and much
better than a traditional mini-tripod.
The Quik Pod is a simple little
gadget. If you take pictures - and of yourself - while
traveling, you'll probably find it useful and helpful.
And, at only $29.85 (including mini tripod) from
Magellan's, it is also definitely very affordable.
A great gift for yourself,
and also great as a little something to give other people too -
it is imaginative, practical, easy to use and affordable.
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7 Sep 2007, last update
28 Nov 2012
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.