Oh, great, a selfie-stick. Actually, it’s not one of those soul-destroying devices but it it closely related to the smartphone-toting bit of pointlessness that has hit the market of late. The big difference? The Big U-Shot from XSories actually has a purpose.
But the line between them really is quite fine. You could, with a (teeny) bit of imagination, turn the XSories Big U-Shot into a selfie stick by popping an SLR or a video camera onto the end of it. But you’re far more likely to be using the Big U-Shot for action footage than you are to snap yourself eating at a pretentious eatery with a plate of gourmet food in front of you and a disapproving waiter looking on.
Asking For An Extension
The Big U-Shot gets its name because it’s larger than previous models, telescoping out to a length of just shot of a metre. It looks somewhat like those police batons you always see people flicking open just prior to bopping some unfortunate sod on the head. There are differences, though. One: It won’t flick open and if you do, you’ll probably damage it. Gentle extension and a slight twist for each segment is all that’s needed to keep the Big U-Shot in place.
Two: While it may look like a baton, it doesn’t feel like one. Each and every interaction between myself and people who saw me fiddling with the Big U-Shot went like this –
“Hey, that looks like you could use it as a weapo-”
“Here, hold it.”
“Oh, um… not very useful as a club. Try hitting them with the camera.”
And then they’d wander off in the direction of some coffee. That lightweight property is a positive aspect, though. Sure, you can’t whang someone on the head with this thing but you’re not going to have it bruising your leg or dragging you back when lugging a bunch of camera gear elsewhere. And when in use you’re only really worrying about the weight of the camera when using the Big U-Shot to get that epic chase-cam shot you’ve been after since the dawn of time.
A carabiner and a wrist-strap are also an option, though I’d trust the carabiner over the very thin wrist-strap that ships with this unit.
The Big U-Shot takes damage extremely easily. An unintentional drop to the floor marred the brushed aluminium surface quite a lot (not nearly enough to break it, though. It’s just unsightly), while there’s an awful lot of wiggle between segments before tightening them up. That movement will only get more pronounced over time, until eventually a section will just fall out. But the time-frame for that is something for a long-term test to determine.
The handle is made of foam. It’s a non-slip surface but of the sort that will perish over time, especially if left in the sun. The top section of the Big U-Shot, where the screw-in mounting attachment lives, is secured by a thumb-screw. Nothing wrong with that but it’s another area where there’s going to be a lot of wear in a very short amount of time. The angle of a camera atop this stick of aluminium is determined by this attachment and weight + time makes fools of us all. Still, it should prove durable enough for everyday use. For a while, at least.
This is another low-cost option to get you started working on your action-cam or photography skills. It ticks all of the boxes, including price, and should prove of equal use both on and off land. Yeah, I’d love to take this into the water. Lightweight, easy to get into action, all you need are some video skills. And you can improve on those without having to pay through the nose.