If there's something I hear a lot of when I post videos it's "Why don't you shoot the farking thing landscape?" That, and "Your voice is sooooo annoying."
The reason? My hands are small, weak and wobbly.
A bit on the pricey side, at US$19.95 retail, the SlingShot lets you slide your phone in sideways and hold it with one hand, using the same muscle groups you'd use for gripping it in portrait position.
That's not a big deal for many iPhone owners, but it is for me because:
1. I shoot a lot of how-to video, where I have to manipulate equipment with one hand and shoot it with the phone in the other hand; and
2. The aforementioned wobbliness. When I try to hold the phone in landscape while doing all this, I can't capture a stable enough image.
Even typical, unimpaired users will benefit from the stability, but quite frankly you probably don't want to be carrying this thing around if you don't have to. Plus, most people can hold their phone landscape using one or two hands with successful results.
It worked beautifully in my testing, exactly as advertised, producing a much steadier landscape video than I could capture without the device. What's more, the gadget had a bunch of unexpected bonus features.
First, the handle is very adjustable. You can shoot with either hand, and the device accommodates your needs. That's important because you need to put your phone in with the camera towards the top, and placed so the holders don't interfere with its visual field.
Second, there's a built-in tripod that pops out of and into the handle. If you don't mind your camera being about 3-inches above the ground, the SlingShot will stabilize it for you without any need to hold it.
Finally, if you unscrew the handle there's a final treat. The holder uses tripod threading, so you can connect it to any standard tripod.
I found the holder itself to be steady, gripping my phone even when shaken -- I did not, obviously, whip the thing around. (I'm under a two-year contract with AT&T and would rather not have to buy another iPhone full price.) The material is quite light and I do worry about the possibility of it cracking under normal use.
Had the unit cost about $6.95 or so, I'd say it would be a no-brainer. Just buy it. At nearly $20, this is more a buy recommendation for anyone who needs extra stabilization.
I cannot recommend it, off-label, as an assistive device for anyone with shaking and palsy. The holder covers too much of the screen and home button for that kind of use.
If you can benefit from the image stabilization for landscape photography, the SlingShot will help do the job for you. It's a neat little device that offers more than it first appears to and I enjoyed playing with it a lot.
- Key specs
- Type Smartphone
- Operating system iOS
- Screen size 4.7 inches
- Internal memory 16 GB
- Carriers (US) AT&T
- Dimensions 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in
- Weight 5.04 oz
- Released 2015-09-25