If My Pole Falls, What Happens?

Don't Try What We Did!

Here are our results - with photos below.

We wanted to find out "What would happen if a pole slipped out of one's hand?" What a great question, but, as the TV shows say, "Don't try this at home." For our drop tests, we used a number of different cameras on a 16 foot pole.
 
Lessons Learned:
As you will see from the tests below, if your pole slips from your hand while the end with the camera is more than a couple of feet off the ground, you may seriously damage your camera. Every camera we dropped from more than 5 feet showed serious damage even without ever hitting the ground! So, keep your camera from getting damaged - Keep your pole in control and lower it gently to the ground!
 
Crash Test 1 - 6 foot drop

For this test, we used a fully operating HP Photosmart 735 camera. This camera takes 4 AA batteries, and its total weight was about 10.5 ounces. We placed the camera on the Pole Pixie Adapter, and then attached the foam-padded resting plate and adapter to a 16 foot pole. We raised the end of the pole with the camera to about 6 feet and released it. Results of drop: The foam resting plate showed some slight scuffing/damage from the impact, but the foam absorbed enough energy and damage to the resting plate was pretty minor. The electronics in the camera were not damaged, and the camera still worked after the drop! HOWEVER, the camera was damaged from the fall. The energy from the weight of the camera was simply too great for the plastic screw mount - it sheared off because the camera wanted to keep going towards the ground and the camera's mount wasn't strong enough to hold it. This left a hole in the camera and the plastic part on the Pole Pixie Adapter. We were incredibly lucky that the lens did not get damaged when the camera hit the ground. The camera still works, but it can now only be used as a handheld, and it can no longer be mounted on a tripod or a Pole Pixie adapter.
 
Crash Test 2 - 8 foot drop

For the second test, we raised the pole so this Canon digital camera was about 8 feet off the ground when we released the pole. This camera took four AA batteries and weighed nearly 12 ounces. This camera has a metal exterior, that metal frame kept the camera mount from breaking off like the first test. (Good job, Canon!) However, as you can see, the camera had so much kinetic energy from the 8 foot drop that the camera was pretty much wrecked because the camera's desire to continue towards the ground distorted the frame and the camera is now unusable. The foam resting plate showed a little damage but was still usable.
 
Crash Test 3 - 16 foot drop

Based on the last two tests, we decided that the camera's mount was the weak part of these cameras, and so we put a non-working Nikon Coolpix 885 on the pole for the highest drop. We raised the 16 foot pole pole upright, and just nudged it over. As you can see from the photo, the foam padded resting plate was seriously damaged and the plastic frame of the Nikon simply could not hold the camera together and the mount sheared off from the body. The camera impacted the ground pretty hard, but surprisingly, the camera showed almost no scuff marks! We cannot say whether or not the electronics or lens would have been damaged, but, having watched the camera hit the ground, I think it is more likely than not that a working camera would have broken.
 
Please note: Our resting plates and foam-padded resting plates are not guaranteed to prevent any damage and they are to be used at your own risk. They are intended to keep your camera from getting scuffed up on concrete and/or from getting dirty or wet from the touching the ground.