Week 17, 2015: Videos won’t play on iPad, wireless selfie stick

Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 17, 2015

I have an older iPad with the digital camera USB adapter and a Sony NEX-5 camera. I use my camera to make videos as well as photographs. The videos do not upload to my iPad. Is there a way to fix this?

-R. Speicher, Brentwood, PA

Go to your camera’s setup menus and look for the video format option. There are two choices, AVCHD and MP4. AVCHD is the default and works best for television playback. MP4 is best for computer use. If you change the setting from AVCHD to MP4 and record your videos in MP4 format you can transfer them directly to your iPad for playback. I’ve tested it myself on your behalf and it definitely works.

Super Selfie Stick: Last year I saw selfie sticks all over Europe and at lots of tourist spots in Canada, Mexico and the USA. I’m not much for selfies, but recognize that I am in the minority these days. Young people in particular have embraced selfies with a passion. When I had the opportunity to test a wireless selfie stick I jumped at the chance. After using it I don’t think any selfie lover would want to be without one, and it has uses for us regular photographers, too.

The Selfie Wireless is a selfie stick with a Bluetooth remote control integrated into the grip. It is only 9.5 inches collapsed and telescopes out to about 3.5 feet. It has a universal bracket to hold a smartphone and is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts over 36 hours on a single charge. There are +/- buttons for controlling the zoom and a shutter button to take photographs as well as videos.

You pair the Selfie Wireless to your phone, maneuver the stick and use the + and – buttons to compose, then hit the shutter button to take the picture or start the video recording. I found the zoom buttons to control Android devices just a bit more smoothly than Apple iPhones, though the zoom buttons do work with Apple devices too. The shutter release button worked perfectly and immediately with both. The universal phone holder bracket screws off to reveal a standard screw thread which can be used to attach a camera, turning the Selfie Wireless into a miniature monopod.

Besides making selfie photography easier, the Selfie Wireless potentially reduces distortion by getting the front-facing camera away from your body further than your arm. Front-facing lenses are ultra-wide-angle designs that create a lot of distortion when close to the subject. Getting it out a bit will reduce this distortion.

I found other uses besides smartphone camera selfies. You can use the Selfie Wireless to shoot over a crowd or around corners, using the rear-facing camera as well as the screen for composition. I think this feature would be awesome for concerts! The mini-monopod is very useful as well, especial with tiny cameras I favor like the Panasonic DMC-GM1 and DMC-GM5. I can think of a specific situation in Mexico last year when my videos would have been a lot better if I had the Selfie Wireless and its mini-monopod functionality with me.

At its recent sale price of $19.99 it’s a no-brainer, costing not much more than an ordinary selfie stick/monopod you would use with the camera’s self-timer. I am ordering two more and my selfie-loving sister and 12 year-old niece will soon be in on the action. Highly recommended! You can see it at www.selfiewireless.com.