At each convention we attend I watch as the video recording devices get smaller and smaller, as more and more people realize that mobile video is here to stay. Well it just makes sense. There is just one problem, though, that the avid iPhone film maker faces; holding one’s iPhone sideways can lead to a little bit of a shaky shot, and there have been countless cases and add-ons that promise a sturdier shot. They generally lack what is the best part about shooting with an iPhone: being mobile.
While searching for a solution for this very problem I came across the ShoulderPod, and in all the pictures and descriptions it seemed someone had finally achieved the trifecta for the mobile film maker: mobility, sturdiness, and compatibility.
What really stood out to me first was the ShoulderPod’s overall design; it has a very refined simplicity about it. The device itself is rather small and light enough for all day use, but rather sturdy. I was pretty confident it could withstand a drop.
There are two major features with the ShoulderPod: first is how it’s attached to your phone. I use a variety of different cases to achieve one thing or another. What impressed me was its compatibility with those cases. It uses a vice approach to attach to your smartphone; simply unscrew until it fits around your case, then screw back in to secure it. Once secure, you can actually operate your iPhone one-handed for a video shoot and you won’t get those slight shakes from holding it so long. The ShoulderPod also features a handle with a strap that sits over the tripod connector.
Now comes some of the most important aspects of these devices: actual usage. When I attend a convention the goal is to be as mobile as possible, which means that I need to be able to get the shot or video at a moment’s notice. I can’t sit there fumbling around as I switch out my cases, I need to turn on the camera immediately. When using the ShoulderPod, once attached it felt solid and able to be carried for long amounts of time. The one handed shot also felt extremely comfortable, the handle provided felt very nice in the hand, and the strap was perfect for always having it on hand and knowing it’s there.
There are two cases I use when I’m out in the field, and I always want to make sure that I can use them at a moment’s notice. The first is the Ollo Clip case; this allows me to use my Ollo Clips Lenses on the fly. I also use the Mophie Juice Pack Air as a backup battery; with long recording sessions I can’t have my iPhone die on me. It was very nice to see that both cases can still be used while the ShoulderPod is attached. This was a very important feature to me, as I want to have the Voltron of iPhone accessories.
I’m generally impressed with the device. It seems like a real pillar for any iPhone film maker’s accessories, as it not only works with any smartphone, it can also wrap around almost any case you have attached, making it the ultimate device in one-handed or tripodded shooting.