Yea.. all of my shots have been just holding the camera in my hand..... when you can use a tripod you can "really" improve the crispness, and color saturation nicely.... not to mention laser beams look great.
Mine has a "nightime" mode and most of the shots are for 8 to 10 seconds... believe me, its hard to hold a camera still that long..even when braced on something.
sometimes I can just set it down and get the shot so I don't have to hold it, but usually the angle is a little off.
I would think that would be a pretty hard shot.... if the shutter is too slow, you don't get the particles, if its too fast, you don't get the beam brightness.... you must have a really big lens on that camera to gather tons of light for that shot!
I bet you set your aperture as wide as it will go eh?... that way you get the fastest shutter speed and still have decent light?
My little pocket camera can't get shots like that.