In Review: Cam Caddie Scorpion
An insect-like camera stabilizer that delivers interesting angles.
By Stanley Manders
Schneider Optics is the distributor of the Cam Caddie, a simple, inexpensive, stabilizing handle and accessory holder system designed to work with virtually any small camcorder, HDSLR camera, or video-capable smart phone.
Intended to provide a stable support and dampen unwanted camera shake and movement while shooting, the Cam Caddie does help smooth and steady shots, especially when used in low mode, with the camera extended from arm’s length almost as if the user is “bowling” with it. However, this also demands that DSLR users either shoot blind or employ a separate screen for framing (unless you happen to have a unit with an orientable screen, such as the Canon EOS D60.) The Caddie’s insect-like design — featuring a padded, curved “tail” handle — best suits this use, allowing sweeping low angles that are not easy to achieve with just a camera alone. And in more standard walking or tracking-type shots, the unit helps transfer some camera shake to the operator’s elbow and shoulder, also easing unwanted movement.
Perhaps more importantly, the Cam Caddie – like the K-Tek Norbert — allows one to easily bundle their camera with production accessories such as a light, mic or monitor via built-in Accessory Shoe mounting interfaces. A 1/4-20 Flash Shoe Adapter allows one to attach multiple accessories to any flash shoe, hot or cold mount. Note that overloading the setup and make if off-balance will quickly reduce its effectiveness.
Unlike other mounting solutions, the plastic Cam Caddie adds virtually no weight to your rig, but this means its mass (or lack of) will not help dampen jitter, especially in longer-lens shots. But shooting wide angle, there is still noticable improvement.
Costing just over $100, the Cam Caddie kit is a bargain and worth the price if only for its ability to facilitate low-angle coverage. Though not exactly “professional-grade” in terms of construction, it should be durable enough to withstand general use and abuse.
Cam Caddie Scorpion
Pros: Inexpensive, reduces camera shake, eases low-angle shooting, allows attachment of accessories.
Cons: Plastic construction, short feet only useful for flat surfaces.
Bottom Line: Interesting tool for informal shooting.
MSRP: $109.95 (kit price)