DeFoe Technical Services

Reviewed and scored 4 out of 5 by DV Magazine January 2009 Written by Iain Stasukevich

Larger You Pod #8X1.0 introductory price $740 (list $940)

Smaller You Pod #8X75 introductory price $249 (list $360)

Prices for You Pod #8X1.0 and accessories - click this

Accessories >> Cautions of use>>

You Pod is a versatile, powerful accessory to almost any camera system. The basic premise is that You are the mobile tri-Pod. You Pod dramatically improves stability for hand holding and shooting on the go with greater comfort and reduced fatigue. You can readily assemble whatever combination of equipment you want along with completely adjustable handle / leg / bracket arrangements you desire for a well balanced, easily handled system that gets you higher quality shots, unique Points of View (POV) and improved work flow. You Pod can also be thought of as a Universal Pod functioning in many hand held configurations , a variety of specialized tripod functions and offering versatile rigging options in ways not possible with any other system. For the professional and the enthusiast, professional results are achieved with a wide variety of cameras. In fact, as quality cameras get smaller and smaller the difficulty in operating them smoothly and comfortably increases. Creativity more and more often requires getting off the traditional tripod and transitioning from one perspective to another. As such, You Pod is the camera operator's new best friend. You Pod #8X1.0 You Pod #8X1.0 HVX200
You Pod #8x1.0 You Pod #8X1.0 drive
You Pod #8X1.0 waist high You Pod #8X1.0 overhead

See quick user demo on YouTube HVX-200

See quick user demo on YouTube with Red

Use with Red Cameras - shown using a standard Arri bridge plate bottom that helps get the desired camera forward position for the handles. Also shown is a simple slip on foam pad for shoulder cushioning. Operate from either side. Rest on shoulder or let it float.
You Pod #8X1.0 You Pod #8X1.0 You Pod #8X1.0
Adjustable low angle or table top tripod at various angles.
You Pod #8X1.0 Red You Pod #8X1.0 Red You Pod #8X1.0 Red You POd #8X1.0 Red


Use with some 35mm Film Cameras - Arri 235 shown using a standard Arri bridge plate bottom that helps get the desired camera forward position for the handles- notice the balance plate is nearer the rear . Also shown is a simple slip on foam pad for shoulder cushioning. Optional Start / Stop switch can be built into the You Pod handle, in this case wired for Arri RS connection.
You Pod #8X1.0 Arri 235 You Pod #8X1.0 with Arri 235 You Pod #8X1.0 Arri 235 You Pod #8X1.0 Arri 235


You Pod is great for HDV XD Cam and many others. Here are some of the models. Other models with similar form factor also benefit greatly with the comfort balance and stability of the You Pod. Either the smaller #8X75 or the larger #8X1.0 will work well for these camera types.

Canon HD cam HX-A1 Canon XH-G1 Sony FX-7 2006 Canol XL series Mini 35 adapted HDR-FX1

Canon HX-A1

Canon XH-G1
Sony FX-7
Canon XL series
Mini 35 adapted?


HVR-Z1 on You Pod PMW-EX1 You Pod
Sony HVR-Z1U (left), PMW-EX1 (right)shown on smaller You Pod #8X75


3 standard handles are included in the basic system. Each handle can be mounted in any of 8 positions in the base and rotated limitlessly 360 degrees each. Standard handles are (2) 8"segments with approximately 300 degrees of adjustability at their joint. The handles are specially formed and reinforced lightweight aluminum tubes with steel thread inserts, special friction washers, stainless steel screws with hand knobs and ball bearings to increase tightening torque and prevent loosening. This also allows using the handles at a clutch friction point. The handles can be tightened to a modest point that still allows quick slip adjustment of its angle. This can be useful when rapid transitions but light loads will be encountered or for making quick adjustments as a tripod or for simply narrowing in on the ideal positions while setting up. For general usage however it is best for the handle to be locked into the user's desired position and for security should be tightened by a hex tool. A comfortable slightly cushioned grip is fitted to the external tube segment. This is a comfortable hand grip in hand held use and a cushioned non-marring foot in the case of tripod usage.
Handles for stability: the handles are putting your control points further away from the camera axis which inherently improves stability. In essence you are creating a mechanical advantage rather than trying to control the camera near its optical axis. For example; with a palm held camera the centerline of your hand is maybe 3" to the right of the camera lens axis. A movement of 1/8th of an inch up would result in a 2.386 degree rotation or tilt of horizon error if you could in fact keep the lens axis in one place. If your control point is 8 inches away(it is likely it would be even further away) the same 1/8th of an inch vertical movement would create a 0.895 degree rotation or tilt of horizon. There are other principles working in your favor which are less easily explained including leverage / torque in addition to the fact that with the You Pod system you can typically have 3 points of control at some distance away from the optical axis. You will immediately feel, see and appreciate the reduction of unintentional movements degrading your work.
Handles carry the weight while stabilizing: A handle directed rearward can readily rest on the operators shoulder to carry the weight of the system and steady the camera in general but more specifically stabilize the camera tilt.The operator can now use their whole upper body as the mechanism for subtle, controlled tilt and pan moves or hold a more static position.
Handles for comfort: the handles can bring your control points to more natural, comfortable positions. In a relaxed manner you can brace against your own body for stability and reduction of fatigue. Arms and hands can be lower as opposed to being held at near eye level which leads to poor circulation and rapid fatigue as is the case when you hold a camera to your eye directly.
Handles brace for control manipulation: bracing your palm on a well positioned handle for instance allows manipulation of pushbuttons, slide and lever controls without exerting undesirable forces on the camera itself which would result in camera movement. Start, stop, zoom in and out (and all other onboard controls) no longer need to result in an image bump. Also, having a stable control point allows for finding these controls easily, repeatedly, intuitively. You will be amazed at the improved control you will have feathering zoom controls once you establish a comfortable base position for you hand.
You Pod HVX-200 aim down screen operated With HVX-200 handle braced for control manipulation
Shown with smaller You Pod #8X75 - functionally very similar to #8X1.0

Improve the operators field of vision: A typical handle arrangement with a shoulder rested handle allows the camera to be further forward yet comfortable long term so you can view the onboard monitor at a more comfortable distance thus your real world field of vision is enhanced. Direct hand holding positions the camera very close (perhaps 6" eye to screen in typical direct handheld). Your overall field of vision is severely limited. Additionally you get eyestrain associated with focusing on a screen a few inches away and trying to keep a sense of vision on the real world at real world distances. With You Pod you are able to operate the camera just a little further away with comfort (approximately 12" eye to screen - perhaps more). The eyestrain in terms of focus is greatly reduced and the field of vision for the operator is greatly improved which in turn allows them to navigate more safely while framing shots more effectively being able to judge subjects entering and leaving frame, i.e. the user can judge the screen image and the real world simultaneously. You Pod #8X1.0 HVX200

Direct viewfinder operation: Back and forth between traditional eye viewfinder and screen operation can be accomplished readily in most configurations as well. Shoulder rested handles don't try to establish a fixed forward / back position so transitioning forward for eye viewfinder use then back to screen operation is typically done without adjustment.
You Pod #8x1.0 You Pod #8X1.0 with Arri 235 You Pod #8X1.0

Get a better Point Of View (POV): even in common hand held configurations the operator can readily lift and control the system above their head to see over a crowd or other obstruction or simply get a different perspective. You Pod #8X1.0 overhead You Pod #8X1.0 waist high

Low Angle and Table Top Tripod: With the 3 standard handles You Pod can operate as a low angle or table top tripod. Operate just above the ground at most any tilt angle ranging from straight up to straight ahead to straight down for macro work. You Pod can create a wide enough base to balance safely and stably unlike most "mini tripods" note that one of the most common hand held arrangements (2 handles slightly forward and one level - rearward to rest on the shoulder) goes directly to table top tripod without significant adjustment and adjusting the rear handle alone gives a wide range of tilt angle. This configuration also simply allows you to put the system down nicely landing on 3 cushioned feet.
Ground tripod low up to straight up Low angle tripod ground level You Pod as table top or ground low angle tripod
HVX-200 shown with smaller You Pod #8X75 - functionally very similar to #8X1.0
Adjustable low angle or table top tripod at various angles.
You Pod #8X1.0 Red You Pod #8X1.0 Red You Pod #8X1.0 Red You POd #8X1.0 Red


Hand knobs or hex keys: All of the main screws can be hand operated knobs but can also be made extra tight when necessary with a single 3/16" hex tool. Hand tightened knobs may or may not be adequately tight for your purposes so tightening by the hex tool is always an option to insure adequate securing. If you have strong hands, are operating a lightweight camera in a tame manner the knobs may be sufficient. Otherwise you might use them for setting up and finding your best operating positions then tighten for real use with the hex key.

Mount any standard 1/4"-20 device or 3/8"-16 mounted cameras: almost every camera has a standard threaded hole for mounting. The camera can be at any rotational angle to the You Pod. Alternatively a locating pin can register the camera aiming straight ahead or at 45 degrees to the You Pod in many cases. The textured rubber landing makes for non-slip, non-marring mounting of your camera. The mounting screw is trapped to the system to avoid it getting lost. The mounting screw can be operated rapidly by hand with no tools but can also be tightened and loosened with a hex key if desired. The included 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 mounting screws are easily exchanged to accomadate the size of the particular camera you will use.
You Pod #8X1.0 You Pod #8X1.0 with Red camera hand held You Pod #8X1.0 HVX200 1/4"-20 camera on You Pod #8X1.0

You Pod #8X1.0 shown with larger 3/8"-16 mounted camera, medium sized 1/4"-20 mounted camera and with smaller 1/4"-20 mounted camera with included screws.


Optional Brackets mount auxiliary equipment and accessories: Mount more than one camera, mics, lights, shades, monitors, prompters etc. Accessory brackets can be added to the standard handles or you can add extra rods and handles or even gang more than one You Pod together for multi camera setups. Let Camera B roll at wide angle while you frame Camera A continuously. You will always have that wide shot in your pocket in case you miss something. Get high quality stills simultaneously with video by carrying 2 cameras in one rig. Even add a cup holder if you want :-)


Optional handles get unique POV's: Optional handles can facilitate walk the dog type camera operation just above the ground. This POV can also easily transition into other points of view including high overhead.

Great rigging options: A multitude of mounting screw holes (1/4"-20) are available on the You Pod base. Additionally, available simple rigging brackets with or without standard type handles allow attachment of the You Pod system on all manner of things. You can rig your camera system in or on vehicles, trees, ladders, posts, animal harnesses, sports equipment, whatever. Limited only by your imagination and good judgment of course. The Rigging L Brackets can go directly to the You Pod or to the handle joint ends to allow greater leveling and aiming. The brackets have threaded 1/4"-20 holes and passive holes and slots for you to fasten by.
You Pod with 2 Rigging L Brackets You Pod with 2 L Rigging Brackets low profile You Pod with 3 Rigging L Brackets at rod ends with a broad base and good leveling ability
Rigging L- Bracket for alternative mounting You Pod with L rigging Brackets screwed to a post You Pod with L rigging Brackets screwed to a post
Shown with smaller You Pod #8X75 - functionally very similar


Positioning in tight and irregular spaces: You can use the standard and / or optional handles that telescope and gang together for adjustable lengths to position a camera in confined and / or unusual spaces such as car interiors, phone booths, closets, crawl spaces, in a tree, on a hillside, in a ditch, out a window, you name it. You Pod allows 4 maybe more legs to be constructed in whatever direction, in whatever segments may be necessary to establish a stable footing and balance along with tethering options for safety.

You Pod is Manufactured in the United States

Patent Pending

You Pod is nearly 100% Made in the USA . Designed, machined, finish anodized and assembled in Northern California with custom grips and hardware made in other US locations. The raw materials and standard fasteners are purchased from US companies. DeFoe Technical Services is a US company and pays its taxes in the USA.

Details about the You Pod construction:

The You Pod base and other brackets are machined from solid blocks of 6061-T6 high grade machining aluminum on a CNC machining center (computer driven milling machine that changes its cutting tools, spindle speed, feed speed and directions in multiple axis, coolant functions etc. automatically per programming for efficient production and consistent results piece to piece). The parts are glass bead blasted for uniform texture and then black anodized which is an electro chemical process that hardens the metal surfaces and permanently dyes the surfaces black without any significant surface buildup that could affect fit. This hardened surface resists wear and is corrosion resistant. Markings if applicable are then engraved through the anodized surface. All threaded holes are "Formed Threads". Threads are formed by displacing the aluminum material under pressure which creates stronger threads by work hardening the metal and preserving material structure. Bottom line, the threads are stronger than tapped threads.

Tubes and handles are made of 6061 or 6063 grade aluminum depending. The shaped ends are formed under high heat and pressure with an additional piece of aluminum inserted simultaneously to reinforce the end. These are finish CNC machined, glass bead blasted and black anodized.

Hand Grips are made of a special closed cell vinyl foam providing comfortable grip with mild cushioning.

Screws and washers are stainless steel

Bushings are oil impregnated bronze

Important information about You Pod use and Warranty information:
Safety; The end user is ultimately responsible for the safety of themselves, others and property. Our illustrations of potential uses are examples of possibilities. The end user must determine the suitability of using any given piece of equipment. The design and mass of your equipment along with the manner you intend to use it help define the working limitations of You Pod. All locking mechanisms should be evaluated for sufficient tension at each setup change and periodically thereafter. Although hand tightening is an option at many of the adjustments, you must determine if you can create sufficient locking power or if tool tightening is required (all lock screws accept a standard hex key and a 3/16" hex key is provided with the You Pod). For most users and situations tool tightening is highly recommended if not a must. The hand tightening availability can still be helpful in set up and rapid adjusting to determine final working positions to be followed by tool tightening. Carefully support your equipment while setting up and until all locks are sufficiently tightened. Get to know your You Pod and recognize how it will withstand forces differently at different angles before potential slippage. For instance, bore clamps might slip rotationally under heavy forces but are very unlikely to pull out. The handle joints will withstand the least amount of force directly in line with their designed axis of rotation adjustment before being forced to slip. Remember that increased mass and distance equal increased force. Periodically inspect your equipment for wear or damage that could compromise the safety of its use.


Durability; We encourage sufficient tightening of all locks but at some point you can tighten to the breaking point. So familiarize yourself with the necessary tightening. Over tightening of bored clamps can stretch or fracture the aluminum clamps. Over tightening can strip threads, snap screws or round out the hex head. Tightening a bore clamp when no tube or handle are present can cause the bore to become misshapen and perhaps unusable. Excessive forces on the plastic tee knobs of clamp screws can damage or snap off the tee handle. However, the screw will remain operational with the hex tool. These kinds of damage are not covered under warranty. The You Pod is not built like a tank. Camera operators cannot afford to carry tanks around. However, it is constructed with material effectiveness very much in mind so it isn't delicate either. The anodized aluminum, stainless steel screws and plastic knobs are all corrosion resistant under normal working circumstances. The bearings and pressed in thread inserts at the handle joints are made of steel that is black oxide coated. The black oxide coating along with a minor amount of surface oiling help resist oxidation but periodic modest surface oiling is recommended to reduce oxidation especially under moist conditions. If used in salt water spray or other corrosive environments, more aggressive cleaning and oiling would be recommended.


Warranty; The You Pod and its accessories are warranted for 1 year from date of purchase to be free from defects of workmanship that interfere with proper use. We will repair or replace at our our choice items covered under warranty. Damage due to improper use or treatment is not covered under warranty.


DeFoe Technical Services
2530 Evergreen Drive
San Bruno CA 94066 USA
Ph/Fax (650)742-9702