In the modern world, a lot of accessories for smartphones have been created. One of them is the selfie stick or, as it is often mistakenly called, the monopod. There is no serious difference between the devices, but if you delve into the question, they will still be found. That is why below we talk about both devices: design features, capabilities and purpose, as well as advice on choosing.
What is a monopod
A monopod is a device that fixes the device for shooting and thereby allows you to create a better photo.
On a note! If you delve into the name, then the word “mono” means “one”, and “pad” in Russian has an interpretation of “under”, that is, by expanding the concept, we get “one stand” or “one leg”.
A similar name accurately describes this device, since technically it is foot with camera mount (or any other device capable of taking a photo or video). Initially, this accessory was created directly for camcorders and cameras, as a kind of tripod — a tripod with three legs.
It will seem to many that there is little sense in a monopod for the camera, because it does not provide the ability to install the device permanently, and in any case it will have to be held in hand. The fact is that the monopod provides convenience when shooting video or photos, when you need to take several angles. At the same time, shooting videos on a monopod provides smoother videorather than holding a camera in your hands. Thus, it turns out that the original monopod was created for a video camera and a camera. Later they began to be used for smartphones, although there are reservations here, which will be described below.
Important! The peculiarity of the monopod is that it provides fixation of the device on the handle and does not have control buttons or telescopic retractable elements. It’s just a short handle with a holder.
Selfie stick features
The selfie stick, or selfie stick, is a device that has become popular in recent years. This device has a mount different from the previous one, retractable parts to increase the angle of image capture, and is also equipped with a button to control the camera shutter. The selfie stick, unlike the monopod, was created specifically for phones, which implies support for different operating systems: high-quality models can work with both iPhone and Android devices.
In addition, such an accessory suitable for tablet. It all depends on the fastening (they are often designed for several diagonals at once).
Important! Selfie stick in addition to the control button can have a built-in battery. Why it is needed is not difficult to understand: if gadgets are connected via Bluetooth, then synchronization requires power for the button.
The purpose of a selfie stick is simple — to get the best quality shot. It’s hard to shoot yourself against the backdrop of a beautiful landscape if the device is at arm’s length. The task is simplified if, due to the telescopic stick, it is removed by 1-1.5 meters from the user. The problem with shooting a whole company of people is solved in a similar way.
Due to the popularity of selfies on the market, you can find a huge number of models for a variety of devices: for iPhones and iPads, as well as gadgets on Android. There are selfie sticks that have multiple mounting brackets and can be used not only for smartphones and tablets, but also for action cameras.
What is the difference between a monopod and a selfie stick
Let’s summarize how a monopod differs from a selfie stick.
- Design. The monopod does not have retractable parts, a battery and a control button. In fact, this is a pen with a holder. At the same time, at the monopod, the mount is screwed into the camera, camcorder or action camera with a screw (all these devices have a single standard for connecting to monopods from different brands). A spring-loaded plastic holder is often used as a selfie stick holder, designed for devices of different diagonals.
- By appointment. Monopods are used for professional purposes, primarily for video filming. Selfie sticks are more focused on amateur use — photo and video.
It is important to understand that a selfie stick also allows you to shoot videos at a professional level, but for this you need to use it assembled. With the lengthening of the stick, the degree of shaking of the device increases, and the video quality is not the best. For this reason, monopods are initially made short.
To avoid misunderstandings, it should be emphasized that the differences described above are in fact not valid. The fact is that modern manufacturers, especially little-known Chinese brands, call their devices any of the proposed names. If you say in the store: “you need a selfie stick”, then they may well offer a monopod. The point is not the illiteracy of the seller, but the fact that all these names in the modern world have become equivalent. Similarly, by asking for a monopod, you can get a selfie stick.
Advice! To avoid misunderstandings, it is worthwhile to describe the required product more precisely, for example, a short camera holder without a button and telescopic parts, or vice versa. In addition, it will not be superfluous, without leaving the store, to check what exactly the seller gave and whether the device works as it should. Not all smartphones and selfie sticks are compatible.
What are selfie sticks and monopods
It was mentioned above that there is no global division into sticks and monopods in the modern market. Not many sellers and buyers know the true purpose of these accessories, so below we will describe what types of devices are, implying that we are talking about both types of holders. For a better understanding, each type will be accompanied by a commentary on what kind of device it really is — a stick or a monopod.
With wireless and wired control
First of all, it should be noted that selfie sticks come with and without control buttons. The former relate directly to the sticks, the latter are monopods. However, there are models with remote control. They will be discussed a little below.
There are two types of selfie stick with a button on the handle — wireless and wired. In the first case, the connection is provided via Bluetooth, that is, you must first synchronize both devices. Compatible models are always written on the packaging for the accessory, and the minimum Bluetooth version with which the devices will interact.
In the second to connect wire is usedthat plugs into the headphone jack.
Advice! The easiest way to find out if the selfie stick will work with the device is to check how the volume button behaves when the camera is on. If it works like a shutter, then with a probability of 99% the stick will work.
If the button does not show itself in any way, then the only option is to use third-party applications for working with the camera. However, experience shows that there is not much point in this, since the stick button will most likely not work anyway.
Another nuance that should be taken into account when choosing — with which operating system the accessory can be synchronized. Most often they are designed for Android, and behave incorrectly with iOS. However, for the latter there are options, but more expensive.
Many wireless sticks have removable button. It has a flexible mount that allows you to place it on the body of a monopod or on your arm if you need to shoot from a distance. For example, the user wants to install a smartphone somewhere and move away for some distance. On average, the range of the remote control is 10 meters.
With image stabilization
People who are professionally involved in photography and video filming know that one of the factors that can affect the quality of the frame is hand shake. If the device (regardless of its type) is installed permanently, for example, on a tripod with a tripod, then this in itself eliminates the problem of jitter. Shooting handheld is always difficult, especially if the gadget is heavy enough and the video is long. It is for these purposes that a monopod with a stabilizer was invented.
The principle of operation is that several high speed motors and gyroscope. The latter monitors all changes in the position of the device (and, accordingly, the camera), after which it sends a signal to the motors that align the device in space. Optical stabilization is arranged in a similar way in SLR cameras, only there the whole system is hidden directly in the camera body, and in the case of a monopod, in its handle.
Advice! For those who professionally shoot videos on a smartphone, maintain their own blog or record reports, such a selfie stick is simply irreplaceable.
A tripod is a selfie stick or monopod that can stand on their feet. To a greater extent, this type refers to monopods, because there is no particular point in making a tripod for a selfie stick with a long length: it simply cannot stand. A tripod is needed so that the device — a camera, camera, smartphone or tablet — was fixed and recorded in a static state. Why this is necessary was described in the previous paragraph — minimizing hand shake and, as a result, better video quality.
Some monopods are designed in such a way that when folded it is convenient to use it as a holder and take it off your hands, and if necessary, the legs can be expanded and put the device on some surface. Some users may wonder how to control the device if it was said that monopods do not mean control buttons? There are several options.
- A timer is set for the photo (the user will have time to take a seat in front of the camera).
- You can start the video, and then just cut out the unnecessary piece.
- Nobody bothers to buy a remote Bluetooth button that fits any gadgets and has nothing to do with a monopod.
With a mirror
When choosing a selfie stick, some users may have encountered the fact that there is a mirror on the accessory. Why it is needed is not clear to everyone. The thing is that no matter how good the so-called “selfie smartphones” are, the front camera is almost always worse than the main one. For those who want to use the rear camera to capture their own face, mirror holders have been created. The user fixes the device with its back to itself, and the mirror acts as a screen. Of course, this is not 100% of what will turn out in the picture, but at least “aiming” and shooting yourself entirely without cutting off your forehead or ears is quite realistic.
Telescopic selfie stick
It was mentioned above that the monopod was originally conceived as a short handle with a holder, and the selfie stick has retractable design. It works on the basis of a telescopic system — when tubes of different diameters are pulled out from one another and, after fixing, make the holder several times longer than usual. This is necessary in order to ensure larger grip angle (remove a company or a beautiful landscape behind your back), and also useful at entertainment events (I want to record the performance of my favorite band, but nothing is visible because of the heads of other spectators).
For those users who could not decide what they needed from the above, or came to the conclusion that they would need both a telescopic selfie stick and a tripod, 3 in 1 models were created. In this case, the kit includes a selfie stick with a retractable design, a tripod, a wireless remote control and two types of mounts — for smartphones of different diagonals and cameras with screw mounts. A universal monopod is good because it allows you to use the holder that is needed in a particular situation, and is also designed for all equipment that can take photos and videos — smartphones, tablets, camcorders, cameras and action cameras.
How to choose a good selfie stick
To buy a good holder for a smartphone, you need to consider a number of parameters when choosing, which affect the usability and ensure the safety of the device.
It was mentioned above that there are devices on sale with a stationary or external button, without it (you will have to buy a remote control separately), as well as wireless and wired models.
- External button the good thing is that you can shoot even if the phone is far away. In this case, the button has a battery that will periodically have to be charged. Another nuance of the remote control is that it is small and easy to lose.
- Wireless button it will not be lost on the case, but the nuance when using is the same — charging is required. When buying, it is worth remembering the compatibility of models and immediately check whether the phone and the stick work together.
- Wired Models more pleasant because they are ready to work at any time (even a year later). The downside is that the wire can be damaged, in addition, not everyone likes that it sticks out of the case.
Important! The peculiarity of wired devices is that for iOS and Android they are not interchangeable. If the user has several devices on different operating systems, he will need two selfie sticks.
Modern monopods can be made from plastic or metal. Of course, it is better to buy an option with metal guides, but you should understand that it is heavier. The plastic holder has every chance of breaking, especially if the user decides to install heavy equipment on it, for example, a SLR camera.
When choosing a selfie stick, you should carefully look at the mount. It must be reliable, have not only tight fixation of the device, but in itself should be tightly attracted to the body of the stick. If a stick is purchased for a smartphone, then it is important not to forget about the diagonals for which the monopod is designed. In particular, not every stick is designed for smartphones with a diagonal of 6 inches, and even more so tablets. Most often, a smartphone holder has dense springs that clamp the gadget on both sides.
Important! The place of fixation at the holder should be draped with a soft material that is not capable of scratching the case. Ideal option — rubber gaskets.
If the monopod will be used for underwater shooting and it has a control button, then it is extremely important that to make it waterproof. Otherwise, the stick will not last long. The design itself should not include metal parts, as they are very likely to quickly rust.
For professional video shooting, it is recommended to select stabilizing monopod and models with a complete set of 3 in 1. They are not only universal, but also allow stationary recording, which is very important for video.
A high-quality selfie stick has a compact design, but at the same time it has a good margin of length of retractable parts. It is important that it be balanced in terms of weight, that is the device should not outweigh the handle. And the handle itself should have an ergonomic shape and an anti-slip coating.
To choose a selfie stick with correct lengthyou should consider what exactly will have to be removed.
- If these are simple photos of yourself or a group of friends on a walk, then models up to 80 cm long will suffice.
- For those who often travel and want to take beautiful panoramic photos, it is worth taking a closer look at a stick with a length of 105 cm or more. They provide an excellent capture angle, but are not always controlled from a smartphone at arm’s length.
Important! Some sticks are equipped with an additional cord for the hand. Even if the stick falls out, it remains hanging and will not hit the ground.
Summing up the above, we can conclude that a good selfie stick has a secure fit, a balanced weight and a control button. The choice of wireless or wired option is a personal matter for each buyer. The length of the stick depends on the goals of the user. As a body material, it is better to focus on metal models, but if the stick is long, then the metal can give it extra weight. Before buying, it will not be superfluous to check the compatibility of devices.
The best selfie sticks of 2019
Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Selfie Stick Tripod on Yandex Market
Monopod for a selfie MOMAX Selfie Pro KMS4 on Yandex Market
Selfie stick GoPro El Grande on Yandex Market
Monopod for selfie HARPER RSB-304 on Yandex Market
Selfie monopod Rombica Smart Pod SP-13 on Yandex Market