Amidst all this smartphone and iPhone hype is a simple, painful truth: a lot of us are shooting pretty poor-quality content on phones. Inadequate lighting, shaky handheld footage, and woefully-poor sound from internal mics that badly lag the improved image sensor quality all contribute. Fundamentally, the device’s lightweight, handheld, um, phone-ness work against you.

Reader Paolo Tosolini sends in a remedy. At first, I was skeptical: tacking on this extra gear requires some extra cash and reduces some of the mobility of the rig. That is, why not just use a camera? But having a look at his solution, there is some potential. Why you might do this:

  • This rig can still be lighter and more portable than a conventional camera.
  • Instant upload capability and ubiquitous data – coupled with editing software on the device – make this a worthy solution for situations where quick upload is valued.
  • The rig can be cheap (especially if you go with a wired lava mic or already have a mic rig).
  • Nothing is stopping you from using this as a supplementary system, keeping the vastly-superior lens and sensor of a conventional camera on the same shoot. That could mean quick upload from the phone followed by editing of a higher-quality version from the camera, for instance.

And for those of you doing live visuals and wanting footage, this is yet another way to quickly get it.

Thoughts? Any way you might improve upon this rig? (I’d also love to see more sample footage!)

What’s your mobile videography gear? (And yes, it’s totally fine if it’s not an iPhone or Android smartphone. Heck, anyone still shooting Super 8?)

  • Spherize

    You rarely want to lit anything with that LED light.

    Check this Fostex mic for iPhones: http://www.thomann.de/fi/fostex_ar_4i.htm
    It has a grip and and stereo mic. Looks pretty good.

  • Bob Bell

    Great stuff.

  • tosolini

    Here are a couple of examples related to this article:
    - Watch (and hear) the difference that an external mic does to your iPhone footage

    - Watch a video that was shot with this mobile setup and edited on iPad with Avid
    http://youtu.be/WhYBCfvzZfMThanks for featuring this idea on your site!Paolo

  • http://twitter.com/theodore_wright Theodore Wright

    Great work!