Stringpods: Pocket-Sized Camera Stabilizers

On the off chance that I’m not the last photographer in the world to hear about stringpods, allow me to introduce them. A stringpod is a pocket-sized alternative to a tripod or monopod. It is a way to stabilize a handheld camera using a piece of string, a 1/4-inch bolt with a #20 thread, and a few washers. Essentially it works like this: the photographer secures one end of a string to the bottom of the camera. The other end of the string drops to the floor and the photographer steps on it. By pulling up on the camera gently, the string gets taut and helps to stabilize the camera.

I suspect that the MacGyver-quality of this little tool is what gives it such broad appeal (MacGyver is a television action hero known for inventing quirky tools from common items). Last week I found at least five images of stringpods, as well as numerous instructions how to make them. At least one flickr photographer showed a simple stringpod, while another showed a similar tool made using a thin chain instead of string. I even saw a video showing not only a stringpod, but also a bottlepod and bag-o-rice pod. Believe me, it’s worth taking a look.

I have not yet tried making my own stringpod, but I would be interested in hearing from folks who have.

By Elizabeth West

I'm a person who loves both words and images. A writer by profession, I'm a passionate photographer in my free time. I do not see the arts as a competitive activity, since no two people would ever create the same work even if they had the same subject. I welcome comments and suggestions from all.


  1. Thanks, Liz. I’ve seen some of these around too. Intuitively it seems like it would provide /some/ stabilization but I don’t know if anyone has done any actual tests to see how much… I guess they’re cheap and easy enough to make that folks can make one and decide for themselves whether it helps or not.

    I had to laugh when you described MacGyver. Almost nothing makes me feel older than when I have to explain 80s television show references. 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *