With the launch of the Steady Stand 200, Modahaus has brought its range of tabletop photo studios dangerously close to impulse buy territory. Though compatible with most compact cameras and smartphones, this is a product aimed squarely at iPhone owners, joining a growing number of products capitalizing on the improved photographic credentials of recent iPhone models. But what is it? Essentially it's a stand that allows you take product photos on a plain background from above, lending snaps a convincing studio veneer - judging by the sample images, at least.
The translucent white polymer of the stand is designed to diffuse the light arriving at the product, while eliminating reflections of surrounding objects when photographing shiny things. In these instances, the smaller lens of a smartphone compared to certain compact cameras may actually prove advantageous: the Steady Stand 200 comes with a series of "anti reflection plates", which are plastic boards that cover up most of the stand's circular aperture, allowing only the small camera phone lens to peep through. This eliminates reflections of the camera itself in the product being photographed.
The iPhone-centrism is evident in the stand's size and the positioning of its aperture with respect to the corner tabs. Though said tabs will ensure the perfectly square alignment of any smartphone, when aligning an iPhone, the lens will be perfectly centered above the copy board underneath.
The 200 in the name reflects the Steady Stand's height of 200 mm (7.8 in), so this is a relatively small product. We can see this being a useful tool to serious Ebay sellers and Etsy crafters, but with a span at the feet of less than 216 mm (8.5 in), the stand may be too small to straddle a dinner plate (food bloggers take note). The stand's aperture means there's an effective upper limit on compact camera lens diameters of just under 65 mm.
The Steady Stand 200 is available directly from Modahaus for £24.99 (US$39).