What Are Selfie Sticks?
Also known as a “Monopod”, a Selfie Stick is the answer to bloated facial features from selfies taken too close, cut-off group pictures, and blocked scenery. At is barest, a Selfie Stick is a telescopic rod and camera bracket that positions your camera further than your stubby arms can reach. This helps you look better in your photos as your face isn’t distorted from being too close, as well as include all of your friends and the whatever is in the background that you are most likely trying to take a selfie with – without having to ask a stranger for help.
In today’s technology-driven world, there are many different types of Selfie Sticks. Some are wonderfully designed, easy-to-use tools that give you complete control and an array of options over how your selfie is taken, while others are a little more than a cheap plastic rod that may even damage your phone!
In this article, we go over some of the features a Selfie Stick should have.
Features of a Good Selfie Stick
1. Capture / Shutter Release Button
The importance of this cannot be overstated. When the first Selfie Sticks hit the market, the were simple telescopic rods with a phone holder. They required users to set a timer and rush to get into the shot. This caused several problems, namely:
- Unnatural smiles that were held too long
- Missing an exclusive moment while waiting for the timer
- Imperfect wefies as groups are unable to coordinate
- Inability to take a series of shots at once
Newer, more advanced Selfie Sticks took care of this issue by having a shutter release button on the handle, giving users complete control over the timing of the shot and how many to take!
2. Long Extension
When it comes to rods, longer is always better – same for the Selfie Stick. The longer your Selfie Stick can extend, the more people and the more of the scenic background you’ll be able to fit in. That doesn’t mean you cannot take a closer selfie though – you have to flexibility to not extend it all the way.
In many cases, a maximum extension of 80cm is sufficient to fit the regular 3 or 4 friends into a picture comfortably. However, you’ll need a length of a meter of more to fit your extended family, or your entire class. Take a look at the World’s Largest Selfie:
We advise you to get a Selfie Stick at least a meter long, you’ll never know when you need it, and they cost the same anyway. You can use a long Selfie Stick as a short one, but never a short Selfie Stick as a long one.
3. Does NOT Operate Wirelessly
Bluetooth shutter release mechanisms are so last year! Incoporated into the handle or available as a separate remote, they were the first solution for people to be able to control the timing of their shots. In essence, a bluetooth device sends a ‘capture’ signal to your phone to trigger the shutter. However, a few problems with this method soon became apparent:
- Battery runs flat at the worst of times
- You can’t use it forever
- Users have to remember to give ample time to charge before use
- Some phones require a 3rd party app to interpret the bluetooth signal
- Separate remotes are often misplaced
Nowadays, a more elegant solution has emerged. Modern Selfie Sticks utilise a simple audio jack to send the shutter release signal to your phone. Not only does this mean no prior charging is required (and therefore never runs out of life), it is also compatible with all phones with an audio jack, and also weighs less.
4. Metal Rod Does Not Flex
While most Selfie Sticks (especially the long ones) will bend a little at the longest extension, it is crucial that the rod does not flex to the verge of breaking, or permanently deform. These are signs that your Selfie Stick is made from inferior material and may break and damage your phone.
5. Takes Care Of Your Phone
You’ll want to choose a Selfie Stick that has a strong camera clamp so that your phone does not slip off and break in use! On the other hand, you also do not want the strong pressure to scratch the finishing of your phone.
Good Selfie Sticks with non-slip rubber grips and EVA foam pads can prevent slipping while protecting the finish of your phone.
How Do I Use A Selfie Stick?
Monopod Singapore’s Selfie Sticks are simple to use. Simply:
- Clamp your phone into the bracket and plug in the audio jack.
- Find the desired angle and press the shutter release to snap.
- Retract it and fold the phone bracket to stow in your pocket.
No need for charging, syncing, connecting like bluetooth Selfie Sticks, or attaching and detaching the phone bracket with poorly designed selfie sticks – everything comes in one piece!
Selfie Stick Types
The first Selfie Sticks produced were little more than extendable plastic/metal rods with a phone bracket. Although intended to capture selfies, they did not have a “capture” button and required a timer or a separate remote – not very well thought out.
Moreover, it was a hassle to set up as the phone bracket was a separate piece that had to be screwed on whenever you wanted to use it.
Its poor concept led to mockery, with some even using dustpans as a more convenient alternative to Selfie Sticks.
To combat the “cramped-smile syndrome” from setting timers on Selfie Sticks, the next generation of Selfie Sticks incorporated shutter release button that gave users more control over the timing of the shot. This came in either a separate remote, or a button built into the handle of more sophisticated models. This much needed feature had everyone ditching their old Selfie Sticks for these Bluetooth models.
The Bluetooth Selfie Stick sends a Bluetooth signal to handphones to capture a shot when the button is pressed. However, the Bluetooth mechanism was expensive, and the signal required third-party apps to translate in many handphone models. In addition, these Selfie Sticks had to be charged beforehand and tend to run out of power at the most inopportune moments!
Also, users were forced to sync the Selfie Sticks and their mobile phones for every selfie, or leave them connected and drain their phone battery dry. Another common complaint was that the separate bluetooth remotes were easily lost, rendering the Selfie Sticks useless.
Selfie Sticks today have been reinvented by taking all the coveted features of its predecessors and stripping them down to the essentials.
The modern Selfie Stick interfaces with your mobile phone through an old-school audio jack – just plug ‘n’ play with no prior charging required and no battery life limit. What’s more – this basic mechanism is compatible with all mobile phones!
They have also been upgraded with a foldable phone holder and a built-in shutter release button so that it is all in one piece. You’ll never lose a Selfie Stick part again!