Sunday, August 19, 2007

An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.

WHAT: The Quikpod Pro+, an extendable hand-held monopod.

AIMED AT: Photogs aiming to get themselves in the picture.

HOW MUCH: $29.95.

BUT DOES IT WORK? A photographer who wants to be in any of the pictures she shoots can hand off a camera to a complete stranger; set up the self-timer and hope no one snags the equipment; or pull the old holding-the-camera-out-at-arm's-length move, which generally leads to a huge face in the foreground and a tiny, say, Eiffel Tower or Great Wall in the background. Now there's a fourth option.

We attached this extendable rod to the bottom of our point-and-shoot (most models under about 16 ounces and with a tripod mount will work) and set the self-timer. Feeling rather conspicuous, we held the Quikpod out in front with the camera pointed toward us (it added 18 1/2 inches to our reach when fully extended), caught our reflection in the tiny mirror on the monopod's far end and flashed our pearly whites. Instead of an uncomfortably up-close-and-personal shot of our forehead, we ended up with a balanced image good enough to hold on to. Be on the lookout for camera shake, though.

The standard Quikpod Pro comes with a hiking clip, wrist strap and carry bag ($24.95); the tripod legs and belt clip that come with the Pro+ version are worth the upgrade. This is one lightweight (3.5 ounces) gadget that has just earned a place in our camera bag.

-- Anne McDonough

The Quikpod (800-567-0878, is available at, and the company's Web site.

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