Just because you shoot video with a smartphone doesn’t mean you want it to look like you shot it with a smartphone.
With HD resolutions and a variety of useful apps, smartphone cameras are now capable substitutes for larger video cameras. While you won’t find TV shows shooting with them, they’re fine for much online work. This is especially true of the iPhone 5: it’s compact, easy to carry, and the quality is strong.
Because smartphones are so small, holding them steady while shooting can be a real problem. Be careful or you’ll make your audience sick with a lot of handheld camera movement. You don’t want your marketing or advertising videos looking like the Blair Witch project.
It’s a problem that professional camera accessory company Tiffen solved years ago with its Steadicam Smoothee line. The clever Smoothee holds a pocket camera or smartphone securely and eliminates the little shakes that can plague a video. In a book excerpt recently run on this site, USA Today technology columnist Jefferson Graham said of the Steadicam Smoothee: “The purpose of this stabilizer is so that people can shoot extremely steady shots while moving. Stick an iPhone on top of it and you’ll take amazing walking shots — once you master the art of putting your thumb into place for operation. It takes some getting used to, but you can make a marked improvement in your mobile video.”
Good news for all Apple iPhone 5 owners: the Steadicam Smoothee is now available for your favorite smartphone. The new iPhone 5 version lists for $169. Those who already have a Steadicam Smoothee and only need the iPhone 5 mount can get one for $24.95. That’s a small price to pay for elegant, shake-free videos.