Monopods are not normally associated with smooth dynamic camera movements like what can be achieved with a Steadicam, wheeled dolly, or crane, but 2013 looks like the year to break that mold. In this article, i''ll list a few Monopods that are trying to take stabilizing video along with creative movements to the next level. Let's hear your thoughts in the comments section.
First up is a the new Steadicam Solo. A familiar Steadicam setup that doubles as a full sized monopod. The folding sled moves the counterweights out of the way when you need to operate the system from a stationary point. The handle can be used with or without an optional Steadicam Vest when you have to fly for long periods of time.
Prior to the Steadicam Solo, a similar Monopod / Steadycam has already been available (seen above) sometimes called the 'Speedly'. This one offers a few interesting additions.
Besides transforming quickly between a Video Stabilizer and a Monopod, the gimbal can be relocated along the post and can be used as a makeshift crane/jib (probably not a very good one). The bottom weights can be swapped for a monitor, and there are quick release adapters at the post to throw on various other stabilizers without compromising the balance of your setup. You can find the Speedly Monopod / Stabilizer via eBay (here).
Speedly Multi-Function Monopod Video Stabilizer
Another new product that attempts to offer the stability of a Monopod with the convenience of a Stabilizer is the latest Wondlan Magic II. It looks like your basic hand held stabilizer, and offers many features similar to the Speedly. One main difference is the adjustable Tilt Head. This is a very simple, yet clever design that many stabilizers seem to miss out on.
Most Steadicams only offer a level horizon, but many shots require a different angle i.e. looking up, looking down, or just managing the headroom. It's advertised to work like a make-shift crane, provides a quick release system at the post to maintain balance position when the camera is remounted, and quick release adapters to be used on other mounts. The post can also be used as a handle. You can find the new Wondlan Magic II Stabilizers online (Click Here).
Wondlan Magic II Stabilizer Monopod
Next up is Cinematics' Scorpion King Monopod / Dolly. Adding wheels to monopods has been done before, but they've come up with a creative way of using one wheel on the back to control steering. I'm sure the other uses such as a shoulder support may help to stabilize footage, but looks fairly awkward in use. You can see more images of the Cinematics Scorpion Monopod (here)