Documentary and news videographers, especially those working solo, might find this camera support from K-Tek to be of interest.
The ProShot is a weighted single-pole support with handles which means it’s able to be configured into four positions: monopod, shoulder rig, low level high-hat, and stabiliser. All this whilst the camera remains mounted to the device on a supplied baseplate. The photo, supplied by K-Tek, shows what we mean:
The device weighs 6.5lbs / 2.9kg of which 3.8lbs (1.7kg) is ballast in the “foot”. Thus as a monopod it should be heavy enough to hold stable without too much effort; as a shoulder rig the same weight now acts as a counterbalance to the camera.
The company says the foot is “thickly padded” with neoprene to make it comfortable to use when shouldered, and Motocross handles ensure a good grip and control although we think you’d want your left hand free to operate the focus and exposure rings on any standard camcorder, so whether it’s possible to hold it single-handed in the shoulder configuration we don’t know. The specs say the handles can be rotated, so maybe…
Equally, we’re unsure whether the overall weight will simply make it too much of a beast to carry about, though it’s no more than many tripods to be fair and is presumably easier to carry than all that pesky three-leg business.
At its tallest, the ProShot is 4’8″ (1.46m) tall which isn’t quite enough so that you’re not slightly shooting up someone’s nose in interviews; the leg sections are individually adjustable and lockable with clamps.
We’re also a little dubious about the idea of it being a stabiliser because the camera doesn’t appear to be gimballed on the head but fixed. Maybe without seeing one we are perhaps judging it too hastily.
Anyway, it’s a neat idea that could provide a variety of uses to anyone who has to scramble quickly for shots in a variety of positions yet can’t easily lug a full-blown tripod around with them. We’ve asked for a review unit and will let you know if and when we get one.