Shooting Flip Video or Digital Photos? Get yourself in the shot with XShot!

February 16, 2010 by  

Recently while using my Flip camera to shoot some video for this blog I came across a problem. I was shooting the post about “working outside your office” so I wanted to move around and decided to hold the camera so I could be mobile and not be stuck with the static shot I would get from using my tripod (like I normally do).  There were two issues with this approach:

  1. My arms are only so long so I couldn’t hold the camera out far enough to get much of me and the background in the shot
  2. The camera shook a lot so the video jumped around a bit

As I always do when looking for the solution to a problem I searched Google and found a solution – the XShot 2.0 camera extender.  This amazing device is only 9″ in length and weighs 5 ozs. when closed but folds out (like an antennae) to 37″ long and can hold a camera up to 1.25 lbs.  It includes a standard tripod mount on the end that swivels up to 180 degrees so you can attach your point and shoot digital camera or your pocket camcorder (like the Flip video), simply extend it and get yourself and others in the shot!  I was jonesing on trying it out so I contacted XShot and they were kind enough to send me one so I could give it a try and review it for you.

Watch this video below where I do a quick demo of how it works:

Ever since I’ve had a digital camera I’ve always done the single-arm stretch to take photos of myself and others without having to ask someone else to take the picture.  These have been some of the best (and fun) photos I’ve taken – but the problem was always how close the camera was and you could only get 2 people in the shot.  Not anymore thanks to the XShot!  It’s solid, extremely light, and at full extension can get several people in the shot as well as the background.  The swiveling camera mount on the end allows you to reach high spots in crowds and concerts, take photos from fun angles and in other places difficult to reach. I’m looking forward to trying some of these situations out and will post more photos and videos to the blog when I do.

The XShot makes it easy to take pictures and videos on the go to post on your blog or social networks and it’s great if you want to do video interviews at trade shows or other events where setting up a tripod is difficult.  Best of all it fits in your pocket or camera bag so it’s a prefect tool for your Anywhere Office! It’s a great tool not only for travelers and photographers but also for bloggers, people involved in social media and entrepreneurs. It sells for $25 and along with my Joby Gorillapod and my Flip Video Camera will now be a permanent part of my mobile video setup.

For more info visit the XShot’s website.  Check out their Gallery and Video pages to see some great examples of all the different creative ways people have used it – including video while skiing and paragliding!

I love a creative solution to a problem and XShot has certainly come up with one. Post a comment below and let me know what you think . . .

  • Awesome vid, Phil! I’ve got long arms and still have a problem getting far enough away from the camera to make it smooth and clear. Can’t wait to try the XShot.

  • Awesome vid, Phil! I’ve got long arms and still have a problem getting far enough away from the camera to make it smooth and clear. Can’t wait to try the XShot.

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  • louiseheasman

    This is such a helpful article – thanks Phil! I only got a Flip Camera yesterday and whilst the tripod is handy, it does have its limitations. So thanks for sharing this valuable resource – much appreciated!

  • louiseheasman

    This is such a helpful article – thanks Phil! I only got a Flip Camera yesterday and whilst the tripod is handy, it does have its limitations. So thanks for sharing this valuable resource – much appreciated!

  • Glad you liked it Dave – I'm definitely having fun with it. Saw your video review of the Xshot on Anywhere Man and really enjoyed it. You really gave it one helluva work out in the frozen tundra you call home my friend!

  • Glad you found it useful Louise – we will be reviewing a lot more tools like this on the blog. I find the Xshot and my Gorilla Pod (little flexible tripod) to be great additions to the Flip. Can't wait to see videos you post with yours – it's a fun camera to use and it makes it super easy to shoot video.

  • Hey Phil thanks for posting this. I have been search the web for the last hour for a quick fix to this problem. Now I just need to find a pocket mirror to attach to it so I can see myself in the viewer.

    Dr. Dan

    The Real Love Guru

  • Glad it helped Dan! Yes I am still getting used to the Flip to know at what distance how much of me is in the shot – but the more I play with it the better I get. Never thought of using a mirror – good idea!

  • Jasmin

    can the Flip make Pics to?
    or only vids ?

    • Jasmin – the Flip camera only takes videos but the Flipshare software that comes with it allows you to save any single frame of a video you shoot as an image – so you can use that feature to save pics/photos. Unfortunately Cisco announced last week they are discontinuing the Flip – sad as it’s a great camera.