Use a smartphone video rig to get the most out of all your smartphone video filming accessories. You have your smartphone lenses, your external audio recording devices, and your external lights, but where are you going to put it all? If you are thinking “that seems like a lot of stuff to attach to a device that fits in the palm of your hand”, you are correct. Fear not, though, because another thoughtful invention exists, and that is the smartphone video rig.
Using a rig is commonplace for those using smaller cameras such as DSLRs. However, now that the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy has the camera-power of a much more expensive device, a scaled down version of the standard camera rig was bound to come around. These rigs are great because not only do they put all of your equipment into on contraption, but the shape of the rigs is easy to hold, and always you to get more dynamic shots.
1. The Basic Rig
The U-Rig Pro by Ulanzi is your best bet for a smartphone video rig that is reliable and incredibly affordable. Just under $20 and available on Amazon Prime, this rig is a best seller for a reason. It has a universal tripod thread at the bottom, meaning you can attach this to almost any tripod. It has adjustable mounts to fit an sized smartphone. This rig also has space for your audio recording devices, external lights, and camera lenses. The reason it is so cheap is because it is simply a rig, and nothing more. Many smartphone video rigs come with some audio or lighting equipment built in. However, if you already have those products and just need something to hold it all together, this is your best bet.
2. The Big Rig
This is the complete opposite of the basic rig, in that it comes with everything you need and more. The Viewflex Phone Video Kit VF-H7 boasts a sleek handlebar design for increased grip. The VF-H7 includes an external audio recording device with a variety of windscreens. It also comes with external lights, however, it goes one step further. The clips include clip-on gels, advancing your entire production to another level. With these gels you can get the correct color temperature on your subject for a more professional look. Perhaps the feature that separates this from the rest is the one-touch control button on the handlebar grip. No need to take your hands off to begin recording; just press this button and call action! This smartphone video rig comes in around the $150 to $175 range on Amazon, and is available on Prime. While it is a steep price hike from the basic rig, it is perfect if you are yet to get any smartphone accessories and are looking to get started.
3. Extreme Movement Rig
The move MicRig Extreme Sport Edition is perfect for any scene that involves heavy movement. While smartphone video rigs that have a handle for both hands are more ideal for most shots, this rig is a clever deal to add to your inventory. The reason this one-handed rig is so good for movement is because you can easily hold it out in front of you if you need to run while filming. Same goes with holding it out while filming side-on of a moving subject. Whether it’s extreme sports, someone running away, or any other scene which calls for movement, this rig is perfect. It comes with a built in microphone, so there is no risk of the mic popping off if you move too sharply. As an added bonus, this rig also provides a clip-on 180 degree fisheye lens. Just under $70 and a member of the Prime family on Amazon, this smartphone video rig is a great addition to any film set.
About the Author
Sam Klein is a writer, producer, and director based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America, has written and directed shorts that have been in festivals around the country, wrote the ‘Hipsters” series for Youtube star Anna Akana, directed
internationally distributed commercials for Dunlop, and is a staff producer for Tennis Channel’s original content department.
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