Libec have today officially released the HFMP hands-free monopod that we previously saw in prototype form at IBC in Amsterdam.
This new take on the self standing monopod is a little heavier duty than most of its rivals, but the standout feature is the Step Lock/Release Foot Pedal that allows you to rapidly move between having it move freely, or having it locked in a vertical position. It is made to stand on its own without support with a mirrorless camera or DSLR on the top.
It has an optional pan and tilt video head with quick release plate. This is nicely made and good for cameras up to 4Kg – although with heavier camera packages I don’t think I would leave it self standing. Common sense should prevail here. The monopod is made of aluminium and weighs 1.8kg / 4.0lb on its own, 2.7kg / 5.9lb with the video head.
I’ve been testing one for a few weeks and have found it to be pretty stable on flat floors. If you are shooting a quick, simple interview where you are asking the questions yourself it is great to be able to position the camera on the HFMP and place it off to one side at arms length for a better eyeline. If you have a camera with a flip out screen like the GH5 or Olympus OMD E-M1 II then you can easily keep an eye on the screen at the same time. The only thing I wouldn’t do in busy places is walk too far away from it in case someone knocks it over.
The ability to unlock it and have it lean forward or back is nice too. With an a7R II and Canon 24-105mm it had a nice degree of friction to allow gentle push-in shots. The video head is also pretty smooth and you can pan and tilt easily too.
The HFMP will be available as just monopod and case for a retail price $200, or in a kit with video head, monopod and a bag for $340, but expect street pricing to be lower.
For more details visit the Libec website.