Unlike some camera manufacturers, Canon has yet to release a camera with IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). While they do offer lenses that have stabilization, from my use of them, they are not nearly as effective as cameras that offer it in body.
The recently announced EOS R5 has been confirmed to be their first camera with IBIS, however, I needed something now to help with stabilization while shooting video with my EOS 80D and my EOS M200.
When I’m shooting videos, especially for YouTube, I personally like the look of handheld movement when I’m shooting broll to place over top my talking head video.
While I like the look of handheld, because I think it can feel more intimate, sometimes the jerkiness can be a bit too much which then requires me to constantly be messing around with Warp Stabilizer in post drastically slowing down my workflow process.
This is especially true when my wife is helping me out because I need broll shots where I’m the subject. While I appreciate her help, rely on her constantly, and don’t know what I’d do without her, she doesn’t shoot near as much as me so doesn’t have the practice that I do when shooting handheld.
Who am I kidding…..
Even though I think I’ve improved dramatically in my own handheld skills, there are still times when I get in post and think to myself, “Did I shotgun 5 cups of coffee before filming this shit???”
So this video is a little bit of an unboxing and review of the monopod I bought, the Neewer Carbon Fiber Monopod, and a look at whether it can actually help you achieve a more stable handheld look and most importantly if it was worth the $60 investment!
Roll The Intro!
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Alright, with the formalities out of the way, let’s dive in!
The first thing I want to do is head in to my living room where I have everything setup to unbox the Neewer Carbon Fiber Monopod and show you guys exactly what you get if you are looking at purchasing it for yourself!
Alright guys, we are back in the office and now I want to give a bit of a review of the monopod after using it a handful of times and whether it accomplished what I needed it to, thus, making it a worthwhile investment.
The first thing I want to do is show you guys an example of not using the monopod versus using it. To do that, I’m going to put up on screen right now some broll that my wife shot of me playing a video game that was shot completely handheld.
We decided to use my EOS M200 to do this test as while I don’t think the image quality is as good as my EOS 80D, I do think the EOS M200’s stabilization is quite better and the whole point of this test, at least for me, was whether it would improve the handheld look or not compared to what I get via the camera’s stabilization.
Now on screen, I’m going to show the same type of shots but this time with the use of the monopod. The camera’s stabilization is still turned on, so nothing with the camera settings have been changed. Literally the only addition is adding in the monopod.
As you can see, almost immediately, using the monopod definitely helps with the shakiness while still allowing the footage to have the handheld look which is what I’m going after with my videos most of the time.
There was one additional thing I didn’t account for that I did end up needing in order for it to work how I was wanting to use it.
A ball head. The monopod does not come with a ball head attached and instead simply offers a fixed screw which means when using the monopod out of the box it doesn’t allow you to adjust the angle of your camera besides simply moving the monopod and hoping for the best.
In fact, without the ball head, we were not able to replicate a lot of the handheld shots when it came to different movements which required me to steal the ball head from my joby gorilla pod. This did end up working perfectly and then allowed me to use the monopod how I was envisioning the shots in my head.
This wasn’t a huge issue for me since I do have several ball heads lying around from different tripods and stuff, however, if you don’t already have one, for video I think it’s a necessity or you may not be able to get as many different shots as you’d want.
Outside of that, I think the build quality of the monopod is great. Everything seems well made and I’m actually really glad I paid extra for the carbon fiber model as it’s not only strong but super lightweight.
As I mentioned in the unboxing, the tripod base is removable and can be replaced with either the metal spike or the rubber rounded spike, however, I actually really like the tripod base and don’t see myself ever removing them.
They grip the ground spectacularly and provide a bit more stability then just a single spike does which I’ve used on past monopods. Also, the ball socket for the feet works great allowing for very fluid movement from our testing.
One tip I will mention is that I noticed it does help to keep one of your feet on one of the feet of the tripod base to stop yourself from accidentally causing a jerking movement when you take the monopod too far and come up off the feet.
Also, I know a lot of people like the clip locks instead of the twist locks as they allow for quicker use of the extension tubes, however, this isn’t an issue for me and personally I prefer the twist locks. For whatever reason, especially with budget friendly tripods and monopods, I’ve not had much luck with the clip locks as they wear out and just won’t stay tight.
This may be different for higher quality, more expensive monopods, however, I was not looking at spending $200 – $250 dollars for a Manfrotto or similar brand monopod as it’s just simply out of my budget right now.
Overall for about $60 dollars, I don’t think it’s a bad deal, however, I do wish maybe it cost an extra $20 bucks and came with a decent ball head. Personally, at least for me, it’s unusable without one.
And, because of that, in less you are specifically looking for a monopod that includes the 3 foot tripod base, I think you can find a better deal if you look around a bit.
For example, Manfrotto does offer some simple monopods like this one that are made from aluminum instead of carbon fiber and also don’t have the tripod base which run about $50 bucks on Amazon.
Like the Neewer monopod, it doesn’t come with a ball or fluid head on it but if you already have one, I think it may be the better deal.
Again, that’s if you aren’t specifically wanting the tripod base. If you do, then I think this is a great deal as there aren’t many options in this price range that offer a tripod base and are carbon fiber which is a lighter material than aluminum.
With that said, thanks so much for watching this video guys, if you enjoyed it, don’t forget to hit that like button!
If you enjoy videos related to photography and videography like this one, don’t forget to subscribe by clicking the red button below and ring the bell next to it to be notified when I post new videos.
Also, if you have any other questions about the monopod I do livestream several times a week on Twitch TV, feel free to drop in and ask away, links as always are down in the description below!
And…until next time…peace out everybody!