Thursday, 19 April 2012
iStabilizer flexible-leg tripod with iPhone clamp
People are using their iPhones for so many things these days, even for serious photography and video making. In fact, I heard but can’t verify that Apple itself filmed something on Atutaki in the Cook Islands, using a New Zealand crew and actors and iPhones … but I don’t know the details.
Anyway, apart from iPhone 4S having a great camera (although still not full HD quality), once you start serious image capturing, iPhones aren’t all that handy, since you can’t put one on a tripod for nice, steady shots.
You can now: iStabilizer will not only hold your iPhone on a little tripod (and do the same for a camera, since it also has a standard 1.4-inch tripod thread-mount), you can also use it to clamp your iPhone to a branch, post, bar, or even your wrist: the legs bend to clamp to pretty much anything.
That’s because it comes with a square clamp that screws into the tripod mount. The clamp has a spring slide – open it, put in the iPhone, and let it spring back to clamp it securely. This is good but the little rubber tab that appears there to aid pulling the clamp open really doesn’t feel like it will last long, so just pull the metal frame up instead – it even says this on the site that pens when you scan the QR code on the pack, by the way.
Of course, this also means you can put the clamp on any standard tripod, instantly converting it to a large and stable iPhone holder.
The clamp accepts any rectangular/flat smartphone up to 7cm wide. iPhones are around 6cm, and this means the extra 1cm of expansion also accepts any case you might have for your iPhone, so it will not need to be removed. This is something that has put me off all sorts of bike and car mounts in the past, as I swear by a good protective case for my precious device.
Add to that a gimbal head – between the flexibility of the leg positions due to their bendiness, the gimbal head allows you to move the iPhone (or camera) to tilt up, down and to the side, and holds it there.
Conclusion — iStabilizer isn’t a super heavy or rugged thing, but the compensation for that is lightness (under 80 grams), so I wouldn’t film The Hobbit on this, but for the general handyperson, it’s a great and simple addition to your kit.
What’s great — Handy, light, easy to use and effective
What’s not — I’d like a heavier version for more serious work
Needs — Anyone who wants to easily and quickly take their iPhone efforts to the next level.
What — iStabilizer, RRP$NZ (can't find a price yet, sorry)
Available from — NZ accessory and electronics retailers
System — 5cm x 23cm x 3.5cm, weight 79.37 grams, with clamp compatible with any mobile phone up to 7cm wide. Clamp attaches to universal 1.4-inch camera tripod mount which also accepts cameras (as long as they’re not too heavy).