A good idea for light photography.
As a photographer, I find myself in a lot of different shooting scenarios. One of my favorite subjects this time of year is wildlife and in order to get those once-in-a-lifetime shots, you have to be willing to wait it out in a single spot. That can get very tiring – especially when you don’t have a good seat with you. Fortunately, there has been a lot of portable seating options emerging into the consumer market in the past several years. One of those options is the Seatpod Portable Folding Camera Mount by VidPro.
The Seatpod’s base and camera mount are made out of aluminum while the seat itself is made of plastic. The camera mount has a fully adjustable ball head connected to it for easy use of a camera while you are seated. The SeatPod will fold up to a compact, portable size so that it’s easier to carry. The seat is designed specifically for remote areas and will work with any tripod-mountable device – cameras, camcorders, telescopes, etc. My goal was to use it as a stable place to rest my camera while shooting various animals.
When I first saw this product, I thought it might be a good solution to my portable seating problem. Not only would it provide me a place to sit, but it would also give me a stabilizing arm for my camera. I was hoping that it might eliminate my need for a separate tripod. So, to test this out, I packed up my camera bag and walked out to a local slough. There is an observation deck about a 1/2 a mile away from a parking area. So, we trekked up to the deck and set our gear up.
Carrying the Seatpod wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t super comfortable either. I carried it to the deck and my fiance carried it back to the car. We both agreed that the Seatpod could benefit from some sort of carrying pouch. We felt that would make the Seatpod similar to a camping chair at that point. That would be easier to pack around than carrying a folded-up seat. Our thought was that if someone wanted to take this seat on a longer trip/hike, they could simply sling it onto their back and go. Right now, you have to fold it up and carry it by hand, which can be cumbersome if you have other gear with you.
Getting the seat set up isn’t hard either. The legs pop out and lock into place and the stabilizing arm folds out to the position you want it to be in. While I thought this seemed like a good option for me when I saw it online, seeing it in person was a different story. The seat is smaller and designed more for a slender person. It is also hard plastic, so I’m not entirely sure if anyone would be 100% comfortable for a longer period of time. The Seatpod has a weight limit of 200 pounds and that is quite a bit less than my current weight. That said, I did attempt sitting on it – as did my fiance – and the seat was able to hold both of us successfully.
Another issue I had was that the stabilizer arm ended up being substandard for my specific needs. It could work very well for someone using a point-n-shoot camera or a DSLR with a small lens, but I was attempting to use my Canon EOS R5 with a 100-500mm lens on it. That ends up being quite a bit of expensive weight and I didn’t feel comfortable attaching my camera to that super lightweight arm unattended.
Overall, I think the Seatpod isn’t a bad product, but I would love to see some overall improvements made to it. I think that photographers who are shooting wildlife would get the most use out of it and in order to capture wildlife from a distance, you need to use larger lenses that weigh quite a bit.
For more information, visit vidprousa.com.