Thanks to ground-breaking technologies in photography, our pictures look so much better than the black and white ones that we’ve seen from the first half of the 20th century. However, the human species hasn’t gotten any better at capturing these photos. Some people still use the old-fashioned technique that involves holding a camera out and up, then tilting their heads to the side while standing in front of mirrors. So to ramp up your photo-taking skills, you should consider purchasing the best selfie stick.
A selfie stick is an upgrade on the concept of a monopod. A monopod is merely a stick that can be attached to a camera. While a monopod only helps in holding a camera steadily, a selfie stick aims at extending the reach of the human arm so as to get a better angle of taking pictures.
What’s the Best Selfie Stick?
Selfie sticks are one of the most popular smartphone accessories. Not only do they help users capture instagram-worthy photos but they also come in a variety of designs and sizes. Whether you’re looking for a compact, water-proof, Bluetooth compatible or high-end selfie stick, there’s an option for everyone.
1. MFW Bluetooth Selfie Stick with Tripod
If you’re looking for a selfie stick equipped with a steady and long tripod attachment, the MFW Bluetooth model is your best bet. It has one of the longest tripod stands, which extends to about 10.1 inches providing an extra wide and stable base. This makes it ideal for placing on a desk, tabletop, group and even uneven surfaces.
When fully extended, MFW selfie stick tripod with remote is 59 inches long. For easy portability, the selfie stick folds to a compact design. Plus, it’s Bluetooth-enabled; hence, you can take photos and videos comfortably from a distance of up to 30 feet.
2. BlitzWolf Bluetooth Selfie Stick
To get the best angle of taking that breathtaking photo of the scenery that you’re visiting, the BlitzWolf Selfie stick is just what you need. It comes with a 360-degree rotating and adjustable head, allowing you to place your smartphone in the best position.
One of the toughest tasks when taking a selfie is pressing the camera button when it’s time to capture a photo. Luckily, you won’t struggle with this selfie stick as it has a Bluetooth-connected button. Although this button is placed at the base, you can detach it and use it remotely.
You will also love the construction of this selfie stick. This consists of aluminum with a few traces of plastic. BlitzWolf feels light but it’s also robust in all the right places. When fully extended, this selfie stick adds three feet to your reach. So instead of taking a solo picture, you can snap a photo of a really large group.
Another perk of this selfie stick is that it doubles up as a tripod, allowing you to pull the base apart into three sections. This feature comes in handy when you want to put the selfie stick in a static position.
3. VANZAVANZU Selfie Stick Tripod with Remote Bluetooth
The VANZAVANZU selfie stick is not just effective in its function but it’s also easy on the eye. This selfie stick comes in a beatiful pink color and it can double up as a monopod or tripod selfie stick.
This selfie stick supports Bluetooth connectivity. Nonetheless, you can remove the Bluetooth 3.0 and use it remotely. Another plus of this selfie stick is the 270-degree rotatable head. This allows you to spin the head using an adjustable knob so as to get the best angle.
Moreover, this selfie stick is made using aluminum, making it both lightweight and sturdy. It also has a slip-resistant foot pad, to ensure stability while you record vidoes or broadcast live. The VANZAVANZU selfie stick is made for Android devices; it’s compatible with a range of gadgets from the Huawei P10 Mate 9 to the Samsung Galaxy S8.
4. Mpow iSnap X Selfie Stick
Selfie sticks are not pricey gadgets to start with, but if you want a simple model to test and see if you like the concept, the Mpow iSnap X is an affordable alternative. As one of the more economical Bluetooth-enabled options, this selfie stick folds up to about 7.1 inches, allowing it to fit in a backpack, purse or even your jeans pocket.
When fully extended, the iSnap X reaches 31.5 inches, which is a good length for capturing the landscape and other beautiful landmarks. Another plus of this selfie stick is its wrist strap. This feature enhances its security and safety, expecially when the selfie stick is fully extended. However, keep in mind that Mpow selfie stick cannot pair with Pixel 2/2 XL.
5. Fugetek FT-568 Professional Selfie Stick
If you want a durable selfie stick that you can use for many years to come, you couldn’t go wrong with the Fugetek FT-568. It consists of a solid aluminum frame and a slip-resistant grip rubber handle. Plus, it’s waterproof, which makes it perfect for those underwater selfies.
The FT-568 comes with two interchangeable smartphone mounts that can be extended to 4.2 inches. The two mounts give you more variety with regards to the handsets that you can use with your selfie stick. Fugetek is a wobble-free selfie stick, which reaches 49 inches when fully extended. And, it comes with a mirror attachment to use with your rear HD camera.
Weighing only 10 ounces, this is also one of the lightest selfie sticks on the market. You can carry it around without getting fatigued. Furthermore, it uses a rechargeable battery that can last for about 300 hours in standby mode. Another feature we like about this selfie stick is its flip lock mechanism that snaps your handset into position to prevent falls.
What is a Selfie Stick?
This is a rod-like gadget that allows a user to mount his smartphone or camera from a distance; hence, enabling him to take a low or high-angled photograph. A majority of selfie sticks also have camera control buttons incorporated on the handles, making it easy to take a picture while your phone is at a distant position.
Are there different types of selfie sticks?
The simple aswer to this is Yes!If you browse through major selling sites like Amazon and eBay, you will come across hundreds of selfie sticks. It’s surprising that there’s such a huge variety of items as simple as extendable rods. So, why is there such a wide range of selfie sticks? For one, these devices are incredibly easy to make. Secondly, there are tons of add-ons that can be incorporated to selfie-sticks. Here are some of the most vital features to look for when purchasing a selfie stick.
Folded length and total reach
A selfie stick should be light enough to carry regardless of where you go. Most people buy selfie sticks so that they’re able to capture images of sceneries when they go for vacations. That said, the ideal selfie stick is one that is foldable and compact. And although most selfie sticks only fold to about 8 inches in length, it’s possible to find some that fold to shorter lengths. This makes them compact enough to fit into a backpack or purse.
Similarly, the perfect selfie stick is one that can be extended to a good length away from your body. This way, a user can capture as much as he wants to in his background. It would be pointless to invest in a selfie stick that can’t be extended far enough.
Although this is a no-brainer, it should still be emphasized. You want a selfie stick that is made of quality materials so that it doesn’t break in case you end up dozing off when taking pictures from your hammock. If you’re willing to spend a huge chunk of money in a selfie stick, then ensure it’s worth the investement.
Apart from a durable build, you should check whether it’s lightweight. It should also have a comfortable grip, allowing you to hold it for extended periods of time. Although these seem like petty details, they make the difference between a quality selfie stick and a cheap one that doesn’t last.
Camera control and connectivity
A selfie stick is a lot more than a metalic rod attached to a camera or a phone. A good number of selfie-sticks now come equipped with control buttons on their handle. With a simple touch of this button, one can start taking pictures or recording videos. However, for your gadget to start perfoming either one of these actions, it should be attached to the selfie stick.
There are two main techniques of going about this. One, you can connect your phone using Bluetooth and two, you can use a cable that has a 3.5mm jack. With the first option, all you need to do is pair up your phone with the selfie stick, then attach it to the rod and press the button on it. Some people prefer Bluetooth connectivity to cables because it provides a smooth operation. Unfortunately, Bluetooth also requires more power than using a cable. And considering that their battery life isn’t the best, your Bluetooth selfie stick might run low on power right in the middle of your photo session. To prevent this from happening, always remember to charge your Bluetooth-enabled selfie stick before going out.
As for the cable, users simply remove the small coiled cable poking from the top and attach their phones or cameras at this position. With this option, you don’t have to worry about charging your selfie stick on time or pairing up your smartphone because everythign is plug-and-play. Perhaps the only downside to a cable is the fact that one cannot record audio if the 3.5 mm jack is being used.
Accessories and speciality rigs
If you’re paying top dollar for a simple selfie stick, then you’ll want to ensure that it has all the bells and whistles that these gadgets come with. Accessories included in some selfie stick models include flip-lock extensions, lanyards and belt clips. Some even come with mirrors, which make it easy to adjust the angle of taking photos. These mirrors also use your smartphone’s rear-view camera.
But perhaps the coolest of these features is the zoom and focus control found in some selfie sticks.
Another perk is the fact that selfie sticks are available in different shapes and sizes. You’re likely to find rigs that are multi-purpose like the boom-style one that helps users snap photos when skateboarding. We also have waterproof selfie sticks, which are perfect for those underwater selfies.
Anything else you should know?
The one thing that should never lack in a selfie stick is the ability to take pictures remotely without having to press buttons on the mounted smartphone or camera. The selfie stick should also work well with your device while providing the option to mount phones of different sizes and weights.
How Old Is The Selfie Stick?
Until recently, pulling off a selfie was quite difficult. One had to hold his smartphone as far away as he could and then with his shaky hands, try to capture all his friends’ duckfaces. Thaks to the invention of the selfie stick, snapping photos has become so much easier. However, there are still individuals who have a love-hate relationship with selfies. The older generation, for instance, likes whining about how millenials spend their time taking selfies. But for all the hard time that seniors give teenagers about their selfie sticks, it’s surprising that this invention has been around for nearly 100 years.
Of course, selfies sprang much later after the invention of the camera. Still, there’s plenty of evidence that self-portraits existed in the early days of photography. A good case in point is this picture from 1925. The attractive gentleman in this picture is Arnold Hogg, using the first version of a selfie stick, and unwittingly giving vivid evidence of it.
Another thing that proves that these gadgets date back to the Renaissance period is the selfie stick invented by Hiroshi Ueda back in 1983. When it was first made, this selfie stick was known as an extender stick, and was mainly used for holding the Disk-7 camera in place. Hiroshi came up with the concept when he realized how challenging it was to get passersby to take photos.
From these case studies, it’s evident that selfie sticks have been around for almost the same duration as photography has. But for some reason, the world has been reluctant to embrace the concept of selfies and selfie sticks. In 2005, Canadian Wayne Fromm was the first person to create a device called a Quick Pod. However, his invention became popular nine years later.
On the same note, the Oxford Dictionaries declared the term “selfie” to be the word of the year in 2013. Similarly, a selfie stick was ranked no.18 of the 25 best inventions by the Time Magazine in 2014. Even though it’s almost been ninety years after the selfie stick first appeared on the scene, most people have just began embracing it recently.
What You Can Expect Your Selfie Stick To Do
Selfie sticks are one of the most fascinating inventions of all time. At its most basic level, a selfie stick is an advanced monopod consisting of a rod and a clamp for attaching a smartphone or camera. However, there are tons of selfie sticks that offer so much more. These devices have Bluetooth connectivity, inbuilt shutter buttons, and wrist straps.
While some selfie sticks can only be used with smartphones, others are designed to be compatible with a wide range of gadgets such as DSLR cameras. For the best experience, consider selfie sticks that have the best features such as a sturdy build, pivoting head and tripod attachments. However, such selfie sticks are likely to cost more than simpler models.
When it comes to construction, most selfie sticks are made of aluminum alloy. The benefit of using aluminum is that it’s light but still strong enough to withstand external elements and frequent use. Another choice you’ll have to make is between Bluetooth and wired connections. Each of this has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks. And although Bluetooth sounds like the better option, it requires users to charge their devices regularly since it consumes more power.
Finding The Right Camera Mount
One of the main components of a selfie stick is its mount. This is the part that holds your camera in position. When comparing different mounts, the one thing you should keep in mind is their respective compatibility with your handset. So, before making that purchase, check whether the selfie stick is made for Gopro camera.
A good number of selfie sticks feature a ball head that comes with a ¼ to 20 screws for use with different cameras. You should also consider the weight of the gadget you intend to use with your selfie stick. A handset that is too bulky will exert a lot of pressure on the selfie stick, making it difficult to hold up and probably compromise it’s build. Although selfie sticks are durable, they also have specific weight limits.
The best way to go about this is to get a selfie stick customized for your needs. So if you want a selfie stick for mounting your Android, then go for one targeted towards smartphone users. This type of selfie stick is equipped with a spring-loaded mount, which pulls upwards for easy placement of your handset.
Selfie Stick Parts That You Must Know
An extendable stick
The one thing that is common among all selfie sticks is their extendability. The only area where they differ is the length that each selfoe stick can be extended to. The average length of extendability is 34 inches, which translates to about three feet.
Another key component of every selfie stick is its handle. The best models have soft padding on their handles to make the selfie sticks comfortable to hold. This form of padding also provides a strong grip to prevent your hands from slipping and dropping your smartphone or camera.
Although not included in all selfie sticks, a band is another handy feature connected to the strap around the wrist. So why should you go for a selfie stick that has a band? For starters, this band guarantees safety even if the stick slips off from your camera. Secondly, it makes it harder for burglars to snatch the selfie stick from you.
A phone holder
A phone holder is actually an add-on feature on a selfie stick. However, it makes it convenient to attach or place your handset on the selfie stick so that it’s easy to snap photos.
Types of selfie sticks
Selfie sticks can be classified under three main categories namely:
- Those that don’t utilize Bluetooth systems
- Those that use external Bluetooth gadgets
- Those that have in-built Bluetooth systems
External Bluetooth Device
With this kind of selfie stick, you’d have to purchase a Bluetooth gadget separately and use it as an add-on component. The Bluetooth device is essential because it will help you take pictures by simply pressing a button on it.
When purchasing your Bluetooth gadget, ensure that it’s compatible with your handset. Some are only designed for Android smartphones while others are compatible with iPhones.
In-Built Bluetooth System
Selfie sticks that have this ooption improve the user’s experience tremendously. Put simply; this is a selfie stick where the Bluetooth control button is located on the stick’s handle. Such selfie sticks are more convenient to use since they eliminate the need for carrying additional gadgets around. To pair this device with your smartphone, you’ll need a tiny cable that connects the selfie stick to your handset.
How to use a selfie stick?
- Start by establishing the specific type of selfie stick that you’re using
- Next, pair your selfie stick to your device so as to activate the Bluetooth function
- If it’s not Bluetooth-enabled, you can simply set a timer
- Download camera apps to make the most of your selfie stick
- Extend the selfie stick forward and place your smartphone in the best position
How to mount your device on the selfie stick
When you buy a selfie stick, you can attach it to one of two devices- your smartphone or camera.
Almost every selfie stick comes with a screw-like feature where you can mout your camera. But if your selfie stick has an extendable monopod phone holder attached, you’ll have to remove this before you can use the stick with your camera. With most models, all you need to do is rotate the phone holder and it becomes detached. However, if the phone holder is not detachable, it’s likely that the selfie stick is not meant for use with cameras.
In this case, selfie sticks come fitted with phone holders. And the good thing is that most of these phone holders are adjustable to allow use for smartphones of different sizes. There are two main types of phone holders. The first one requires you to adjust it horizontally until your phone fits. Once you’ve ensured that your phone fits properly on the mount, clip it into position using the orange-colored pad.
With the second type, you’ll have to first extend the phone holder and then try fitting your phone between the top and bottom sections. Once it fits, release the extended part gently. This will prompt the spring system to pull both parts close together; hence, secure your phone in place.
Download a camera app
Regardless of the selfie stick you’re using, downloading a camera app makes the entire process so much easier. And although there are tons of camera apps that you can download, we recommend Camera 360 app for several reasons. For one, it has a timer, which comes in handy when using selfie sticks that aren’t Bluetooth enabled. Secondly, Camera 360 app is compatible with a wide range of handsets unlike other apps that only work with specific phone brands. Thirdly, Camera 360 can perform several functions including editing your pictures.
How to Start Taking a Selfie?
As mentioned earlier, selfie sticks work in three different ways:
Selfie Stick without Bluetooth Function
- To use this selfie stick, start by placing your handset on the mount.
- Next, adjust your handset’s angle to the best possible position and tighten the screws
- Pull your selfie stick away from you to your preferred length
- If you have the Camera 360 app installed, you’ll be able to configure the timer to about 5 seconds
- Smile radiantly as you wait for your selfie
Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Shutter/Remote
If you’re using a selfie stick equipped with a Bluetooth shutter button, you should ensure that it’s functional before you start using it. There are two ways of powering your Bluetooth shutter- install some batteries or charge it. Once you’ve done this, the next step is pairing up the devices using these steps:
- Start by turning on the Bluetooth shutter
- Look for the name of the Bluetooth shutter
- In case you can’t locate this name, switch off the Bluetooth shutter and handset then turn them on again
- If you still can’t locate the name, it could be an indication that the two are incompatible.
- But if you pair them up, the next step is to launch your camera app and select the button on the Bluetooth shutter.
- At this point, you should be in a position of taking a shot or recording a video.
- If you can’t take photos yet both devices are already paired, you’ll need to download Camera 360 app
Selfie Stick with In-built bluetooth system
With this third option, there are two kinds of inbuilt Bluetooth systems. The first involves Bluetooth pairing, which means you’ll follow the steps highlighted above. The second invloves a wired connection, whereby you insert a cable in the same port you usually attach your earphones. The good thing with the second option is that it does not require you to pair any devices; hence, more convenient.
Common problems and how to overcome them
Stick bends downwards
A selfie stick bends because of two main issues. One, you’ve extended it to its maximum length and two, you’ve placed a very bulky handset on it such as the iPhone 6+. To overcome this hurdle, you can invest in a pricier selfie stick that is capable of supporting the weight of your handset. Alternately, you should avoid extending the stick to its full length.
Bluetooth ran out of battery
Selfie sticks that support Bluetooth connectivity- whether the feature is in-built or remotely controlled- run out of battery very fast. The best thing you can do is to take a power bank along.
Fail to pair up devices
Occasionally, Bluetooth-enabled selfie stick will refuse to pair up with your phone. If this happens, try switching off both the phone and Bluetooth remote for about five minutes before pairing them.
Stick does not extend smoothly
Other times, you will find that the selfie stick doesn’t extend or collapse with ease. In such situations, try applying a little grease on the area around the selfie stick.
Thanks to the invention of selfie sticks, taking both solo and group images without leaving any of them out is now easy and fun. Although most selfie sticks feature the same design of a telescopic rod with your smartphone or camera attached at the end, these models vary in features, pricing and quality. For instance, while some selfie sticks have wired connections others are Bluetooth-enabled. So, you should weigh all the pros and cons of each selfie stick model before deciding which one to go for.