Boom poles are an indispensable tool for both filmmaker and photographers. They can hold microphones, lights, bounces, and even props. This video by the recently-resurrected Indy Mogul compares a $10 broom handle to a $589 K-Tek K-102CCR to see which one is better for audio.
For those of you who don't know, Indy Mogul (along with Film Riot) was the place to learn about filmmaking techniques on YouTube in the late 2000s. The channel was dead for over two years after YouTube bought the channel and then shut it down. But now Aputure has come along and revived the channel, bringing back the final host Griffin Hammond. While the channel generally skews a bit younger and concentrates more on the video side of things, most of the content is applicable to photography as well.
In this newest video we see Hammond comparing two boom poles, the expensive K-Tek K-102CCR versus the cheap broom pole. The results are very interesting. I was not expecting the K-Tek to have such bad shock absorption, but I suspect that it is because the way the broom pole is put together. It's simply screwed through and putting the shock mount on a different plane adds another level of dampening.
While I wish they had attempted to put something a bit heavier, like a light, on the two competing items to see how they took the weight, I can understand why they didn't (they are primarily a filmmaking channel after all). Overall it was a great video, especially at the end talking about being worried regarding people's reactions. I wouldn't take a broom pole onto a big commercial set but it definitely seems just right for two man teams on smaller projects.