When I initially got my hands on a Woxom Slingshot, I couldn't have been more excited: finally, I could put the video camera on my phone to good use, since I wouldn't have to put up with wobbly images any more. Having just upgraded to a new camera, however, I found myself a bit perplexed: I mean, if I have better hardware on me right now, what use is this thing?
Therein lies the answer: because it's portable, useful and universal, it can provide a number of functions that would otherwise be fulfilled by other devices. It won't do those functions as well as those devices, but when the inspiration strikes and you need to film something right now, it's invaluable.
- How much is it? $20
- Where can I buy it? Photojojo
Simple, Yet Effective
When you look at the Slingshot, it's pretty easy to figure out what it does. By placing your mobile phone between its two prongs, you can hold it in place and stabilize it. By holding it by the handle, you can then take better video than you would by holding the phone itself, which may fall prey to shaky hands or slippery grips.
You can also unscrew the cradle from the handle in order to mount it onto a "real" camera tripod, or unspring two folded arms from the handle to form its own. This allows you to have a basic video setup when the mood strikes: you can film stationary video by placing it on a flat surface, or take some action shots.
The phone will be held in place by the tension of the uprights pressing into it, and some non-slip rubber on the tips of the prongs. I was confident in turning the Slingshot upside-down without my phone falling out, and tension will keep larger phones in there a bit better than smaller ones. The "force it in" design also allows you to keep your case on, as well, which can save some time and annoyance.
It's worth noting that the "stabilization" features of this device are purely dependent on you: what flat surface you can place it on and how steady your hand is. If you're looking with something mechanical to help you out, you won't find it here.
But How's The Build Quality?
Otherwise, the slingshot is built rather plainly out of black plastic, which sticks out as pretty unremarkable. While I would trust it to hold my phone on a flat surface or in a controlled environment, I wouldn't want to take it somewhere where that control is compromised. The plastic of the prongs is malleable enough to withstand someone stepping on it, but I couldn't imagine a dropped Slingshot holding onto a phone too well.
This leads to a question of usage: people planning to use this device at a family gathering or in private will be satisfied, but what about at a concert, or protest? Ultimately, it's up to the consumer to consider what he or she is comfortable with in terms of risk. I'd like to say that unless I'm seriously lacking in other equipment, this wouldn't be something that I would take out of my house.
The Bottom Line
For creative types, the real value of the Slingshot will be ironically half of what it actually is: being able to unscrew the prongs and put it on another tripod or Gorillapod is great. Otherwise, when you're in a situation where you can't carry more equipment, the Slingshot will work for rifling off a quick vlog, uploading it and getting back to work. The collapsing legs really add to this package, as you don't need anything besides the Slingshot to get something stable: anyone who has worked with video can say that if you can't get anything else, as least get a good picture.
And in all honesty, the Slingshot isn't directed at the professional - it's for the person who realizes that phone camera might just be good enough for shooting videos in the short run. If you're someone who likes taking low-impact video on the go, or might need a tripod in a pinch, you can't go wrong for $20.00. If you're looking for something that will assist you through mechanics or counter-weights, you'll likely have to look in other, more expensive places.