Gear Review: Woxom Slingshot Smartphone Video Stabilizer
The SlingShot by Woxom is one of the more versatile iPhone mounts currently available. It’s a Kickstarter project that was released to the public a few weeks ago. Designed mainly to help stabilize the iPhone camera when you shoot handheld video, it’s also got other uses as well. Keep reading past the jump to find out more and to find out what I think of this new iPhone (and Android) mount/tabletop tripod.
The SlingShot gets its name because it’s shaped like the childhood implement of destruction many of us had when we were kids. Any iPhone slides easily into the flexible grips. The grip of the cradle is pretty firm and the device won’t slip out with normal use. One of the things that I like about the SlingShot is that it also works with many iPhone cases as well which saves the trouble of uncasing your iPhone to use it with the SlingShot. I had no problems fitting an iPhone 5 with a low-profile Incipio case into the SlingShot. Unfortunately, it did not work with an iPhone 4 in a bulkier, assymetrical DiffCase. It also works with most iPhone-sized smartphones, including Androids.
The SlingShot is made from a lighteweight, industrial-grade copolymer — it looks and feels like the same material as the Joby GorillaPod. It doesn’t feel cheap, though, and looks to be very durable under normal use (and even a little bit of stressed use). The cradle sits in a ball-joint on top of the handle so you can adjust it. The cradle also unscrews from the handle, revealing handy a standard 1/4″ tripod mount.
Inside the handle are two legs that can be easily extended to make the SlingShot into a handy tabletop tripod. When finished, they just flip back into the handle.
Allowing you to hold your device with a handle in theory helps to stabilize the camera and shoot smoother video. I’m ordinarily a fairly stable video shooter. There’s usually some slight movement in my handheld video, but it’s not Blair Witch-bad. When using the SlingShot, I noticed a slight improvement in stability but no magical tripod-like stability transformation. Tracking shots were a little steadier for me. Using the SlingShot seemed to dampen the effect of my footsteps when moving. It’s like the SlingShot uses my arm as a SteadiCam.
The are a lot of recessed areas on the SlingShot, including the ends of the cradle. This minimizes the chances of accidental button-pushing while the device is in the cradle.
I wasn’t too thrilled with how much the cradle blocks on an iPhone, though. It doesn’t block the screen, but when the iPhone is firmly seated, the cradle completely blocks access to the on/off switch and also makes it difficult to get to the iPhone’s Home button. Because the iPhone camera needs to be on top of the cradle, the SlingShot completely blocks access to the iPhone’s volume buttons, making them useless for camera and video apps with the Volume Shutter release feature. On the backside, the arm of the cradle slightly blocked the throw of the torch on my iPhone 5, potentially causing some weird shadows on the edges when used for video or still photography. The cradle also completely blocks the front camera of an iPhone. Overall, I think the SlingShot is not very useful as a desktop smartphone stand.
I like that the SlingShot is lightweight, yet sturdy. It does improve video stability for me, even though for me the improvement was slight. Its small size makes it pretty portable. It’ll fit easily into a backpack or purse and for childhood nostalgia, it’ll also fit into a back pocket. But the cradle blocks access to a lot of the hardware tools I use regularly on my iPhone.