www.makeuseof.com 8 Things to Consider When Buying a Selfie Stick
A good selfie stick is a valuable asset to any selfie enthusiast and even for some photographers. The reason selfie sticks have become so popular is because they give you more freedom with angles, groups shots, and composition.
As with any equipment purchase, it won't be wise to order the first one you see. We're here to help; this article is going to discuss the things to consider when buying a selfie stick.
How Does a Selfie Stick Work?
Before we tell you how to pick a good selfie stick, let's go over the basics of what a selfie stick is, and how it works.
The earliest selfie sticks date back to the 1920s. They were homemade with the use of long poles, sticks, boards, and cables. This concept continued into the modern day, resulting in selfie sticks as we know them—retractable rods that are compatible with today's technology. They're not very complicated pieces of equipment and pretty much function the way they appear.
The arm is the most notable component, as it enables the selfie stick to perform its purpose. It typically consists of several poles that retract into one another. The other parts of the main body include the handle at the end of the arm and the device mount at the other end. That's where you fix a device onto, which is usually a phone.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
These parts come in different sizes, materials, and adjustability, and some can be bought separately. There are also selfie stick accessories that you can purchase separately, such as handle bands and mirrors.
There are different modes of connection for selfie sticks. Older models use a cable that connects to the device itself, but most newer selfie sticks connect via Bluetooth. To take the photo, you can set up a timer on your phone, use a button on the selfie stick, or click a wireless remote. However, how you take a photo depends on the selfie stick model.
Let's have a look at the aforementioned components in more detail. Here's what you need to consider before buying a selfie stick.
1. The Length of the Arm
Some selfie sticks extend up to 10 feet long, but longer doesn't necessarily mean better. We recommend sticking to three to four feet.
Anything longer results in a larger and heavier selfie stick, which can be a pain to travel with. Plus, when the selfie stick is extended, the added weight can put strain on the extension mechanisms, making it more susceptible to breaking.
2. The Extension Mechanisms
We advise doing research on the extension mechanism of a selfie stick before buying it. This refers to the stiffness in the arm when you extend or retract it.
Some need a little more pressure to extend, while others slip into its full length just by pointing it down (these sometimes come with a lock to keep it in place). If you're new to using a selfie stick, a stiffer mechanism is the safer option.
3. Material Matters
The main body of a selfie stick is usually made from aluminum alloy or stainless steel. The material you choose can make a big difference in the functionality of your selfie stick.
Aluminum alloys are metal mixtures where aluminum is the predominant metal. It's a lightweight material that will make it easier to carry, and also has a higher oxidation and corrosion resistance.
Stainless steel isn't as resistant to the elements, and it's heavier to carry. However, it is stronger, making it less likely to bend or break.
4. The Handle
Selfie sticks have handles so that you don't have to hold onto the metal part of the main body. The size, shape, and material of the handle will affect the ease of use.
We recommend avoiding plastic handles as they can become slippery. Instead, stick to the selfie sticks with rubber or foam handles. Look for grooves and dents in the handle too—this will give you a firmer grip.
5. The Clamp
A high-quality clamp is essential, as this is the component that will secure your device on the mount of the selfie stick. For starters, you want to ensure that it supports the size of your phone or tablet. Some clamps are designed to hold cameras too.
Look for a clamp that fastens manually with a screw. This way, you get to control the grip it has on your device. There are also clamps with spring mechanisms; they retract on their own after being extended. This is a risky option because bumping your device against something can cause the spring to move, loosening its grip.
6. Mode of Connection
The majority of selfie sticks produced today are wireless and have Bluetooth connectivity. You power the stick on, search for its signal, and pair it with your phone or tablet. There is a downside to Bluetooth selfie sticks, however; you'll need to constantly charge them.
Older models, and some newer ones, are wired and connect via an auxiliary cable, usually to the headphone jack on your phone. They're powered through your device, so there's no need to charge them.
7. Taking a Photo
Some selfie sticks come without any connectivity options, and they're usually the cheapest ones. However, this means you'll need to make use of the timer on your camera app. This might seem annoying, but it's not a bad method if you don't intend on using a selfie stick often, and you'll save money too.
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As for those that have a mode of connection, there's usually a button located on the handle—this will trigger the shutter on your device. Some Bluetooth sticks have remotes. The upside is that you lessen the blur that comes with pushing down a button on the stick, but the downside is that you'll have no free hands.
8. Ease of Use
The most important aspect of a selfie stick is how well it will serve you. We recommend scouting for reviews before making a purchase so you can draw some conclusions based on others' experiences with the product. Is it durable? Will it be easy to pack for traveling? And how comfortable is it to hold?
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There are some additional purchases that can further the convenience of a selfie stick. Handle bands that wrap around your wrist will ensure a more stable grip. Mirror attachments are great for when you want to flip the phone around to take advantage of the higher quality back camera.
Consider These Things Before Buying a Selfie Stick
There isn't one selfie stick that will cater to everyone's needs, and not every highly-rated one will be best suited to you. Consider the components we discussed here before rushing to make a purchase.
We recommend prioritizing the quality of the clamp so that your device won't be compromised.10 Reasons Why You Should Get a Selfie Stick Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorNolen Jonker(68 Articles Published)
Writer and Junior Editor for Creative. Nolen has been a professional content writer since 2019. They enjoy all things related to digital editing and social media. Outside of work, you'll find them playing video games or trying to improve their video editing skills.MoreFrom Nolen Jonker
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