Review: iStabilizer Monopod
Compatible: All iPhones, iPod touch 4G
Monopod ($35) from iStabilizer is the latest tool in an iPhone photographer's arsenal, an aluminum wand with an adjustable mount that can hold any generation of iPhone with or without a case. Those familiar with the concept of a monopod won't find much out of the ordinary here: monopods are designed to offer many of the same benefits as a tripod, such as stabilization, but in a more compact body that requires some assistance from your hand. The accessory is billed as a way to "take your mobile journalism to the next level or simply improve your self photography."
Fully compressed, Monopod is roughly 15” long. The bottom of the lightweight metal pole is covered in a soft foam grip, and there’s a wrist strap dangling from the flat end. Moving upwards, you’ll find exposed aluminum that telescopes out to just under 3’ 4” when you twist counterclockwise and pull up. Your iPhone fits into a plastic bracket with an adjustable metal grip that allows the accessory to be used with pretty much any case on the market. The bracket rests on a ball joint that allows it to be repositioned, and you can even remove it to reveal a standard tripod mounting screw.
While not necessary for every photographer, Monopod is a smart investment for users who take photography on their iPhone at least somewhat seriously. It’s compact enough to toss in most backpacks or bags, but fully functional as a stand. It provides extra stability when set on the ground or leaned against a flat surface, and can also be used to shoot video above crowds, close to ground level, or even photo self-portraits when used with third-party camera apps. Monopods can range greatly in price, but this one falls towards the lower end of the scale, and is built well enough to justify the $35 cost. It earns our strong general recommendation.