Manfrotto's Modosteady Three-in-One is an exceedingly clever--perhaps overly clever--multipurpose camcorder support. Capable of serving as a tabletop tripod, shoulder brace, or counterbalance stabilizer, in theory, the Modosteady solves a variety of in-the-field stabilization problems. In practice, it seemed to be less useful than I expected, especially for the price.
Built of sturdy-feeling hard plastic and rubber, the 15.5-ounce Modosteady can unfold from a compact 7.5 inches long by 3.5 inches wide by 4.0 inches tall, crammable into a medium-size camera bag compartment (top), to about 19.5 inches when fully extended (bottom). The four-position armature joints are held together by heavy-duty metal screws.
Although you can't adjust the height of the head, the Modosteady's tabletop tripod serves its purpose.
Although Manfrotto dubs the tripod head plate "quick release," it's really only semiquick; you've got to first unscrew a knob to unlock the plate release. Then you press the knob in and pull the plate out. The plate rotates to accommodate the different handhold types, and the platform slides left and right to better orient the camcorder to your position. However, without a level, it's difficult to tell if you're holding it, well, level.
Between the handle and the ball joint, which holds the platform, sits another ball mechanism with a little play that's intended to provide the head with a floating, shock absorption effect when using it in brace or counterbalance mode. However, quite a bit of vibration still seems to get transmitted to the head, albeit at a slightly different frequency than might otherwise occur.