The saying, “The best camera is the one you have with you” still rings true in the 21st century. And with such great cameras on the latest generation of smartphones, it’s never been easier to capture great photos – and videos – than ever before.
In all but the lowest of light, I’ve been impressed with the video footage I’ve gotten out of my iPhone X. And though great for phone calls, I’ve always been underwhelmed by the built-in mic’s audio capture in video. Thankfully, I’ve finally figured out a tiny, almost-pocketable video rig for your smartphone that includes a versatile tabletop stand and great sounding xmicrophone.
WHAT IS IT?
A compact, all-metal tabletop smartphone video rig with a wireless mic. This makes it great not only for recording video, but the best livestreaming setup for smartphones too.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Get the most out of the excellent video camera in your pocket with these minimal but powerful smartphone video accessories. Add a tiny but reliable wireless mic option to get amazing audio quality that fits in your pocket. Add to that the livestreaming capability and you’ve got a pocketably media-making machine.
WHO IT’S FOR:
Everyone who owns a recent smartphone – Youtubers, Vloggers, Travellers, Realtors and professionals who want to level-up their videos.
WHAT MAKES THIS BETTER THAN THE REST
What makes me so excited about my iPhone video rig?
- Size matters: the tiny size and weight make it perfect for your Every-Day-Carry bag
- Reliable all-metal hardware: you can count on this system to last for years and not crack or break when you need it most
- Push-to-tilt: While not a fluid head, the recommended GoPro mounts allow you to quickly tilt up and down to adjust your angle without fiddling with ball-heads which lose your horizon
- Tripod-Friendly: mount the entire rig to any tripod via the 1/4-20 mount at the foot of the base
- Great-sounding audio: They say video is 80% audio – people will put up with tiny video but if your audio sucks, they’ll stop watching. I’ve reviewed the Rode Wireless Go before, and think this small, reliable wireless mic is the perfect match for getting great audio all your video needs. You don’t “need” wireless audio, but at the asking price, I think it’s a better choice than a shotgun mic and gives the added benefit of allowing you the freedom to move further from your camera while still being heard crystal clear
THE ULTIMATE TABLETOP SMARTPHONE VIDEO RIG
We’ll start from the bottom up and build our ultimate smartphone video rig.
Tabletop base = a flash stand
We’ll repurpose this tiny flash stand as the base of our smartphone video rig (you can also find it at B&H here). This model has not one but three cold shoe mounting points, allowing us to mount everything on its thin and light footprint. Add the standard 1/4-20 tripod mount at the base, and we’re ready to go from tabletop to tripod in no time.
Metal GoPro Hot Shoe & Camera Mount
The combination of this metal GoPro Hot Shoe mount and metal GoPro camera Mount makes for a simple, tiny and secure way to easily angle your smartphone. Bonus points for tensioning just right to allow for push-to-tilt.
Metal Smartphone Holder
I’ve reviewed this metal smartphone mount before, and love it for it’s small but durable construction and many built-in mounting points. Though not perfect (the supposedly Arca-Swiss compatible foot is too short to fit snugly in my Benro ball head), it’s rock-solid and won’t bend or wobble like the weaker plastic versions I own and can easily be rotated to accommodate horizontal and vertical shooting.
Rode Wireless Go Mic
Since reviewing the Rode Wireless Go, I’ve used it almost daily and love it even more. It truly is an incredible value with great-sounding audio. For less than the price of the ubiquitous Rode VideoMic Pro, you get a reliable, great-sounding wireless mic which allows you to get further from your camera without fading audio quality. I think this little piece of kit is so good it’s going to be the next “industry standard” for Youtubers, Vloggers and professionals everywhere.
To get the receivers audio into your smartphone you’ll need to buy this Rode Cable.
And if you don’t like the idea of clipping the entire Wireless Go Mic to your shirt, I’ve been using and loving the Rode Smartlav+. If you choose to purchase the Smartlav+, be sure to use the link below which includes the necessary adapter to get it into the Wireless Go Receiver.
I’m asked all the time, “what camera do you recommend?” Smartphones have gotten so good I don’t recommend point and shoots anymore, and suggest upgrading your phone and getting the best smartphone camera available. Unless you need super-zooms or low-light shooting, the latest generation of smartphone cameras we always carry in our pockets are more capable than ever before. Add this video rig kit and you’ve got the best youtub, vlogging and livestreaming setup in your pocket. It’s amazing we can capture stunning video footage to rival what cost thousands more just a few years ago.
The Bottom Line
If you want to make better videos with your smartphone, get this kit and be prepared to blow people away.