Our Favorite Video Tools

We've tried them all. Here are my favorites.

The_video_blogging_monopodISI first came across this on crazy climb up a mountain with my buddy Russ. He’s practically flying up the trail and decides to whip out this little extender thingie and attaches his Droid phone to it. We then proceed to shoot an impromptu video with me panting for life.

When I got home, after regaining consciousness, I went to Amazon and ordered one for myself. And yep, this is the real deal.

I do love it when I find a tool that costs almost nothing, yet has the ability to help you raise the quality bar sky high. That’s the result of our little experiment with the monopod. So that’s why I call it the indispensible tool for video blogging.

And look who joined me…all the way from Vancouver! 🙂

By the way, here’s where I found it.

    27 replies to "An indispensable tool for video blogging"

    • Lynn

      Super cool!! Thanks for this great tool….I just rushed to Amazon and ordered one. It was $6.80 total with free shipping. Looking forward to trying it out!

      • Steven Washer

        Hey, that’s a great price. Mine was closer to $10 with shipping. Have fun with it!

      • Margherita

        Yes I got one, even though I am in Canada… yes the shipping is horrendous.. so I ordered one on Amazon.ca…Hurray! It took precisely 14 weeks to get.. because it was shipped from china. (I forget how much I paid, it is so painful.) But Thanks guys now I know how to use it!

    • Beverley

      I want one! I’ve found it on UK Amazon now, thanks for this great tip, Steve!

    • Michael Bloom

      Thanks for sharing such a cool tool, Steve!!!

      • Steven Washer

        A pleasure, Michael! It’s surprising how much this gets used now.

    • Julie Gordon White

      Great tool and fun video! Thanks guys!! Julie

      • Steven Washer

        Thanks, Julie. We had a ball making it, though just as in real estate, this was “location, location, location” in the end…

    • Nadira Jamal

      I can’t think of what I’d use this for (I shoot mostly dance instructionals), but I WANT ONE!!!

      • Steven Washer

        I know, right? I once bought a $300 camera stabilizer that really hurt my wrists, but gave such beautiful fluid shots that I couldn’t stop using it. This is almost weightless compared to that monster. You could use it to dance across the stage, maybe?

    • Katrine

      Hello! I’m sneaking in from Norway here. I bought one of these here, for my GoPro camera. I have to buy a holder for my mobile phone though. This was a GREAT tip! Thank you! In Norway I bought my monopod in a store called Clas Ohlson. They have a lot of cheap gadgets, also for video stuff!

      • Steven Washer

        The GoPro would be a pretty heavy item to hang off this little monopod. You’re wise to use a mobile phone for this!

        • Katrine

          Well. I have tried it for my GoPro, and it works well. I just never thought about using it for my mobile phone, so this was just another great tip from you!

        • Katrine

          Well, I have tested the monopod on my GoPro already, and it works great. I just never thought about using it for my mobile phone! Just another great tip from you. Thank you!

    • Lucien Vaillancourt

      Steve, I noticed the audio was quite good but did not see a lavalier mic anywhere. Was this audio from your mobile phone?

    • Mark Anthony

      Have same question… external laviler Microphone or on smartphone mic? Video app or just the record button??

      • Steven Washer

        Nope. No external mic for either of us. The iPhone, from a certain distance, is really not bad at all. Then I use my own recipe of filters in Final Cut to make it easier to hear and understand.

    • Tomer

      Check out this video camera – free shipping as well
      http://www.dx.com/p/sj1000-5mp-cmos-1080p-hd-140-degree-30m-waterproof-sports-cycling-diving-dvr-w-hdmi-tf-red-238792?utm_source=dx&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=20140403ministuffsen#.U7zjNbHKHg1

      Great results compare with GoPro.
      I’m using it for video shooting after I had also a GoPro before.

      Great price for the monopad – Steve, Can you show how did you attached it to your belt or a different way… it was very stable..

      • Steven Washer

        That camera looks good, though a 5MP sensor is a little behind the times.

        I did not attach the monopod. I just held it in my right hand just below my belt. The idea was to find a way to hold it that is most comfortable to you and doesn’t show on screen. That turned out to be the sweet spot for me. YMMV…

    • Tim Costello

      It looks like this would use the front facing camera . Isn’t that usually lower resolution than the rear facing one? Do you find the front facing cam to be good enough for video blogging? Specifically impromptu interviews?

      • Steve

        Given that we used it that way in a video we sent out to the whole world, or at least the part of it which is dear to us, the answer is self-evidently a yes.

        We do mind our p’s and q’s when it comes to the tech stuff, so we get pretty good results from whichever side of the camera we use. There’s no reason you couldn’t do the same with a bit of effort and the right information.

        • Tim Costello

          Steve: Thank you for the quick reply. I’m sorry if my question implied anything negative, it was posted at the end of a long travel day. In retrospect it’s clear you did use the front facing cam without any significant loss of quality. I enjoyed this and several other posts on your blog last night … really great content. Thanks!

          • Steven Washer

            Hey Tim, I did not interpret your post as negative in the slightest. Sorry if it appeared so. I was just trying to let you know there was nothing to worry about if you wanted to use the front-facing camera.

    • Dave Kellum

      Great Product Idea:

      I just ordered one.

      Thanks Steve :o)

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