Software And Usability
PowerPod comes bundled with TrackerCam software. Since this is the same software that is used with the TrackerPod, you can get full details in our TrackerPod review.
Generally the only way to optically zoom your camcorder is by physically pushing the buttons on the camcorder, or with the camcorder's remote control. As you can imagine, this is not ideal for remote monitoring. Fortunately, Eagletron sells their DVdriver software for $20. DVdriver turns your camcorder into a Webcam and will provide remote zooming for several camcorder models.
You will notice, in the above picture, that a Canon Digital Rebel Camera, instead of a camcorder, was attached to the PowerPod. The reason is simple - We had to use the camcorder to videotape the PowerPod in action. The Digital Rebel, with a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens attached, weighs approx two lbs ( .91 kg).
We did full-range pans and tilts for about a minute to try and see if the PowerPod's motor would burn out from the stress. You can see in the video that the unit stood up well to the challenge.
PowerPod Motor Test Video - 45 seconds
Modern MiniDV camcorders have great resolution, so it makes sense to use them for security. Remote panning and tilting your camcorder is very useful, as it gives you greater flexibility for such uses as remotely keeping an eye on your valuables. The PowerPod is well-designed for these applications while its motors are also powerful enough to accommodate most commercially-available camcorders.
However, inserting the camera shoe is difficult. Thankfully, once you do get the shoe attached, you can just leave it. But if you can overlook this problem, the PowerPod is indeed a decent camcorder mount.