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??
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