DIY CheesyCam BodyPod $15

The Above video shows some information about how I modified a cheap Targus Monopod into a very lightweight portable DIY Camera Stabilizer for my 5D Mark II and 7D to shoot video. I used this Targus Monopod which is cheap but works well.This obviously will work for any DSLR and if you want to modify the head into one that flips into Portrait mode, i'm sure it would be a great traveling BodyPod for Photographers too. Remember, this DIY is to 'enhance' practicality of Monopod use while still maintaining full functionality. This is not a 'flying' stabilzer.

Here's the Problem:::
Monopods are great and much lighter to travel with than a Tripod. For some reason though, it sucked having to carry one around because I could never get it to fit into a backpack. I searched and searched and searched for a Monopod that could fold up very short, was lightweight, but could still support my camera when extended. The biggest reason Monopods aren't very compact is because 'When Extended, it should at least be Eye-Level". How compact can you get a Monopod and still get it to be Eye-Level??

My Solution:::
So after a bit of thought and a problem I ran into while shooting video in a Vegas Night Club, I came up with the idea of Cutting a Monopod in half and using a Sling as the support foundation. I used this Targus Monopod which is cheap but works well.Straps have long been a great way of support in Shooting Photos, Videos, or even in Rifles. By removing the foot of the Monopod and adding an Eye Screw from Home Depot it was very simple to mount a quick release luggage strap. I could have stopped there, this was pretty nice already, but since I didn't need a Monopod to extend from the Ground to Eye-Level, why not cut it shorter. All I needed was from the hip to Eye-Level. Modifying the Monopod I had was very simple. I slid the foam grip down and found 3 tiny screws. I removed the screws and the head came right off. I measured the length I wanted and cut the Monopod (basically in half). Reattached the Head on and that was pretty much it!!

I went from a 22" folded Monopod to about 10" inches. Now this item travels in Stealth no matter where I go and for the first time ever, I finally have a Monopod that fits inside a backpack. Can't beat that for 15 bucks......
Here's the exact Monopod I used in this video.

I had a quick release plate from a broken Tripod, but If you happen to find a cheap Monopod that does not come with a quick release plate, you can always buy one that attaches directly to standard Monopods such as the ones below.

Sample footage was uploaded at: http://cheesycam.com/?p=116





58 thoughts on “DIY CheesyCam BodyPod $15

  1. Steve McDonald

    Em, many thanks for posting this. It took me 6 years to find it, but some things will always continue to be useful. I had a $7.00 monopod branded X.I.T.. I cut off the quick-release head and used urethane glue and a set-screw from the side to install a wood plug, with a 3/8 bolt sticking up from inside it. I've added 3/8-inch adaptors to all my cameras, for the added strength and dependability. Your method of using an adjustable strap is the simplest and most effective idea I've found. I found one that had strong, swiveling snaps. I used a 1.5-inch steel ring around the bolt at the top and a 3.5-inch carabiner to go around the smallest-diameter extension section at the bottom, to attach the snaps. I didn't need to reduce the length of the monopod. Thanks very much. I is amazingly steady and doesn't restrict overhead bird shots.

  2. Zito

    it was bound to happen...you scour the internet night and day and all of a sudden your friends start popping up in videos...lol

    what up emm

  3. Amy Barrett

    Just a tip. Walmart sells the Targus monopod in store for $15. If you go online, walmart has it for $9.99. Choose in store pick-up and get the exact same monopod off the shelf for 33% less. Also, I have a Vivitar monopod which is the EXACT same thing minus the name.

  4. Paolo Querubin

    Em! you are my yoda for everything digital!
    nice DIY.

    thanks and keep in touch.

    Q

  5. jwyanze

    This is actually very effective ... once i had to shoot boxing with a canon 60d. I took my mono pod and used it just like that instead i stuck the foot of the pod into my pocket. it acted the same way and gave me very stable shots.
    i was able to shoot my video while standing against the ropes of the boxing ring. almost got punched down a few times but the small form factor allowed me to shoot in a space of less than 2feet. very small very compact and most of all steady...

  6. Jim

    I bought the Targus monopod at Wal-Mart and cut it as you described. But, rather than mark the legs so I don't extend them too far, I re-installed the white plastic pieces in each leg section that keeps them from falling out. Just slightly down from the top edge of each leg section, (use the white half round piece as a template) drill a 3/8" hole clear through the leg(90 degrees from the grooves in the leg sections). The original retaining holes for these plastic parts are rectangular, but a round hole works fine, the shape of the part keeps it from rotating. You have to remove the pivot pins from the leg lock arms to re-assemble it, but they're just a press fit, so they can be pushed out. I used a small hex wrench as a punch and a small plastic hammer to knock them out. That allows you to re-insert the small black shoes(the ones you were careful not to lose earlier) that bear against the leg into the flip locks after you've re-inserted the shortened legs with the stops back in place. Once you have all the parts back in place, you can squeeze the pivot pins back in to the leg lock arms with a vise. You could also probably do it with slip joint pliers if they're big enough. When it's all reassembled, it works just like original, only shorter...and the shortened leg sections won't fall out.

  7. Alfred

    Like this idea. Great execution as well. C&C: If the item you're taping is black, wear a different color shirt 😉 Otherwise, very nice vid!

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