Mobile MoCo Part II: Spinpod

As a traveling videographer, compact motion control (MoCo) rigs are crucial in my business. This is the second of my motion control rig. My first entry in the MoCo rig is the Ikea Kitchen Timer. My second foray into the MoCo arena is the Spinpod.

Spinpod contents
The Spinpod with all its contents.

The good:

  • Slim and compact.

The bad:

  • Cannot support much weight.
  • Non-intuitive controls.

The fuglee:

  • Cracks forming all over the body.

The Spinpod was a Kickstarter project that aimed to help achieve perfect panoramic photos and timelapse videos. The device is a thin disc with a slot fitting most phone in the vertical orientation. The bottom has threads for mounting on a tripod and an adapter with a screw is included for use with traditional cameras or attaching a phone mount to use your phone in the horizontal orientation. A Micro USB cable is included for charging the internal battery and a pouch for carrying everything.

The diminutive size was the biggest selling point of this device.  It is slim enough to fit in a pocket and easy to rig up, particularly for panoramics using the phone slot. That is about all it does well. It can do timelapses too but with limitations.

Spinpod Rigged

Spinpod in action.

The biggest problem is that it cannot support much weight. They show pictures of it supporting a DSLR but it failed to work with my Micro Four Thirds camera with a hefty lens. It either would not turn or stay secured in the mount. The instruction said not to over tightened the screw holding the adapter in place but there is no telling when it is just tight enough. It is either too loose and slips or too tight and the cheap plastic body starts to crack. The mount is probably fine for mobile phones (including phone holder and ball head for adjusting the angle) but I would not mount a substantial camera.

The controls relies on only two buttons. While this looks slick, it is simply not practical. You need to remember what pressing or holding each button does. They include an instruction card explain what the series of flashing lights indicates. If a device requires you to carry a card to know how to operate it, then it fails to be intuitive. One would likely recall the instructions if used regularly, but less frequent users may have to review the instruction.

Spinpod details
Close up of the Spinpod showing the cracks forming.

Overall, the device is acceptable for use with mobile devices. While you can mount something larger, you are simply asking for trouble. You will find it unreliable until it eventually crack and fail. Stick with mobiles devices to get the most enjoyment out of the Spinpod.

Timelapse of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, California.

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