Hello. My name is Neil, and I bought a selfie stick.
No, I haven’t lost my mind. I saw genuine instances when I would want to use one – especially when the little one arrives – and so I went onto Amazon to find a reasonably good one. Of those, the Camkix Extendable Selfie Stick seemed to have the best overall reviews and wasn’t too expensive, so I bought it.
The term ‘selfie stick’ is a relatively recent invention. Technically, this is a ‘handheld telescopic universal smartphone monopod’. It comes in three parts – the handheld monopod itself, a smartphone grip, and a separate Bluetooth remote. The monopod hand-grip is available in a variety of colours – I went for green, but you can also get pink, black and other colours. On the model I bought, the grip wasn’t very well-glued to the body, but otherwise I’m reasonanbly happy with the build quality, considering the price.
Retracted, the selfie stick is about 30 centimetres (11 inches) but it can extend to around a metre (40 inches).
The smartphone mount allows you to clip in a smartphone. My iPhone 5 fitted comfortably, and I’m sure the larger iPhone 6 would fit too. I’m not sure about phablet-sized smartphones like the iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note but theoretically anything that 8 centimetres wide or less should fit. It won’t take a tablet computer like an iPad or iPad Mini, but if you are using a tablet to take photos on a selfie stick, then you are truly a horrible person and should reconsider your life choices.
The smartphone mount is detachable, leaving a standard screw-in tripod mount on the monopod, so you should be able to use it with any regular camera. I was able to mount my Canon EOS 600D onto it, although the extra weight meant that it was hard to control it when fully extended. If you are planning to use a regular camera, remember that you’ll either need to buy a separate remote for it, or use your camera’s timer function. And unless you have a screen that flips around, you won’t be able to see the picture until you’ve taken it (the EOS 600D has a flip-out screen).
Finally, there’s the remote. Some selfie sticks come with a button on the handle, which connects to the smartphone either using an audio cable to plug into the phone’s headphone socket, or wirelessly via Bluetooth. This selfie stick has a separate Bluetooth remote. There are two buttons – the larger one is designed for Apple devices running iOS 6.0 or above, but should work on many Android phones as well. The second button is for some fussy Android phones that need a different command. Whilst iOS users can use the built-in camera app, Android users may or may not need to install a third-party camera app to use the remote.
The remote also has an on/off switch so that you don’t inadvertently take photos of the inside of your pocket. Pairing it with your phone is straightforward.
On the whole I like the selfie stick. It’s small enough to fit in my camera bag, albeit with the smartphone mount folded downwards, and both the monopod and remote have decent wriststraps. And I promise that I won’t be one of those horrible people who ends up taking people’s eyes out in the pursuit of a selfie in a busy place.