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Why Filmmakers Will Never Adopt the iPhone 7

2017/01/18 Comments off

iPhone 7By Ken Hess

I’m a filmmaker, writer, iPhoneographer, i-Device videographer, and I won’t transition to the iPhone 7 or any device that doesn’t have an input jack that can be used for microphones. I doubt other such filmmakers will either. We have to have a way to get synchronized sound into the videos that we’re making. Bluetooth speakers are not really all that great and I don’t expect any Bluetooth microphones to be great either. Bluetooth also consumes a lot of power. It just isn’t a workable solution. Apple will likely lose a significant number of customers who make films and podcasts using iPods, iPads, and iPhones. I leave my iPad 4 connected to a tripod and a microphone constantly for quick access to creating video for reviews, news, and interviews. The new iPhones will have no such place in my repertoire.

The decision to remove the 3.5mm input jack is a very poorly conceived idea. I’m not sure that Apple really gained anything by doing so, except perhaps more revenue from their “Airpods.” Airpods are very expensive ($159.00) Bluetooth earbuds that will be easily lost or stolen. Apple does however, still supply a set of earbuds (Lightning connector) at no extra charge (A $30.00 value).

Filmmakers need to be able to connect a microphone and to connect earbuds or headphones to listen to sound. There are, of course, converter cables that one can use to allow 3.5mm access, but I haven’t tried one with an iPhone 7 yet to test how good they are. My daughter has an iPhone 7 and I will make that test soon and post when it’s complete. I have several 3.5mm jack microphones that I can use to test the cable. I purchased this adapter/converter to test, but haven’t had the time yet with her iPhone 7 to try it out.

I hope that some third party, perhaps via Kickstarter or Indiegogo, creates a good solution for iPhone 7s. I see projects like Tangerine not happening on this device and it’s unfortunate because the camera is so nice.

Note to filmmakers: You can still buy iPhone 5 and 6 models at reasonable prices, have great cameras, and have the 3.5mm jack at your disposal.

If I ever upgrade to something newer than my iPhone 5, I’m keeping the 5 for making films exclusively. The iPhone 5 has the right size, the 3.5mm jack, and I’ve invested enough in accessories to make keeping it a good idea. I wish it had more than 16GB of space or was upgradeable. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t give us the option.

Thanks Apple, for your inflexibility, non-upgradeability, and no 3.5mm jack.

IK Multimedia releases iKlip Grip Pro – the pro-quality 4-in-1 tripod and video handle for iPhone

2016/12/06 Comments off
IK Multimedia. Musicians First.

December 6, 2016 IK Multimedia, a leading manufacturer of hardware, accessories, apps and software for iPhone, iPad and Mac, is pleased to announce the availability of the new iKlip Grip Pro – the professional quality 4-in-1 tripod and handle for capturing professional photos and video on the go with any iPhone or compact action video camera. iKlip Grip Pro lets users securely hold their iPhones while using the stand as a compact tabletop tripod, a video handle, a monopod or as a standard tripod adapter. iKlip Grip Pro features an integrated, all-in-one compact design that provides the highest level of convenience for capturing media on the go.
iKlip Grip Pro

Ultimate Control and stability for the best shots
iKlip Grip Pro is the new large-grip, compact multifunctional iPhone and camera stand with an integrated detachable Bluetooth shutter control that is really 4 accessories in one: super secure tabletop tripod, large-grip video handler, monopod handler and standard tripod adapter. iKlip Grip Pro can securely hold any iPhone with or without a case, and features a standard mounting system for connecting small mobile video cameras like GoPro®, compact digital cameras and stand-mount audio field recorders. iKlip Grip Pro features a large, ergonomic handle that expands into a sturdy tripod, an integrated locking extension pole that extends up to 62 cm (24″) for getting those “above the crowd” shots and selfies, plus a detachable Bluetooth shutter control for remote shooting.

Firm Grip – Securely holds any iPhone
The secret to iKlip Grip lies in its ingenious expandable and secure holding bracket that allows users to precisely position their iPhone, with or without a case, at any angle for capturing photos, video and audio. iKlip Grip Pro features an expandable spring-loaded soft-touch rubber bracket that provides secure superior holding power. Repositioning an iPhone is as simple as expanding the brackets to release the iPhone, then re-securing it.Firm Support – the tabletop tripod
iKlip Grip Pro features a new large ergonomic handle design that is super comfortable for most hand sizes. The new larger grip is perfect for stabilizing video and capturing “blur free” photos, especially in zoom modes. The handle base also can be transformed into a compact tabletop tripod for positioning on any relatively level surface for ultra-steady media capture. The trick lies in its ingeniously designed locking mechanism – when closed and locked, iKlip Grip Pro is a handle suited for most “handler” tasks like selfies or ultra-steady video shooting on the go. But when unlocked, the handle’s three legs fold out to form a firm and sturdy tabletop tripod that is ultra-secure and steady. In tripod mode, users can easily shoot steady video and photos from a single location, or use the front-facing camera for hands-free FaceTime™ video chat or live broadcasts like Facebook Live, SnapChat or Periscope productions.
iKlip Grip Pro


Firm Extension

iKlip Grip Pro also features an integrated ultra-stable, locking 4-segment telescopic extension pole. At any time users can simply unlock the pole and extend it to their desired length, up to a max of 63 cm (24.8″). And since the pole is integrated into the design, no additional assembly is required. The pole extension is perfect for the distant “selfie”, but also ideal for getting “above the crowd” for audience-less band shots, closer-than-they-appear shots and anything in between. The extender also works in tripod mode so users can position an iPhone or compact camera at the perfect distance above the tabletop.

Pivoting 360° Positioning
iKlip Grip Pro has a pivoting ball-joint attachment point that provides a full 90° angle adjustment plus 360° rotation capabilities for freely positioning an iPhone in any orientation. This allows users to get just the right angle and position for that perfect shot.

Remote Control
iKlip Grip Pro comes with an integrated yet removable Bluetooth smartphone shutter remote control that lets users wirelessly activate the shutter button in video and photo apps. A holder clip on the handle provides “one handed” thumb-activated shutter control. When using iKlip Grip Pro as a table top tripod, the shutter control easily detaches for capturing shots remotely. The Bluetooth shutter control is universally compatible with iOS 5.0 and above and can be operated up to 10 meters away.

Tripod Adapter
When the spring-loaded iPhone holder is removed from the iKlip Grip Pro, users have two additional uses – a standard UNC ¼” 20 universal tripod and handle for small digital cameras and action video cameras, and a secure grip iPhone holder that can be used on standard tripods. This is convenient for capturing stills and video with an iPhone when a more professional tripod is needed in more challenging situations, and using iKlip Grip Pro with compact action cameras or field recorders.

Pricing and availability
iKlip Grip Pro is available now from Apple Online and Retail Stores worldwide and from the IK online store for only $/€59.99 (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit:
www.ikmultimedia.com/iklipgrippro

Find iKlip Grip Pro at an Apple Store near you:
www.ikmultimedia.com/iklipgrippro/buy

IK Multimedia launches iKlip A/V – The first smartphone broadcast mount for capturing pro-quality audio for mobile video

2016/06/23 Comments off
IK Multimedia. Musicians First.

June 23, 2016 IK Multimedia is pleased to announce that iKlip® A/V, the first broadcast mount for professional audio and video recording with smartphones is now shipping. iKlip A/V now gives broadcasters, videographers and digital storytellers the ability to capture and monitor professional-quality audio for their videos on the go using its integrated high-quality XLR mic preamp with phantom power and built-in wireless receiver support. It also helps deliver a steady picture thanks to its secure smartphone holder and ergonomic handgrip. iKlip A/V gives everyone the power to use their smartphone or compact video camera as a full-featured broadcasting solution with professional quality audio.

IK Multimedia launches iKlip A/V

Exceptional audio
Until now, getting pro quality audio while shooting video on a smartphone had been a challenge. Developed in Italy with input from professional field reporters and broadcasters as a cost effective – and more readily available – alternative for field reporting, iKlip A/V is designed to help videographers capture professional quality audio for their mobile video productions. iKlip A/V is also perfect for mobile reporting through online media outlets or social channels like Facebook, Periscope or Snapchat, or smartphone filmmaking for YouTube, Vimeo or Instagram. It features an integrated microphone preamp with gain control that lets users record with high-quality external microphones thanks to its XLR input. iKlip A/V also delivers 48V phantom power for high-end condenser mics using two AA batteries and features a built-in support bracket that can hold most popular wireless microphone receivers. Its input gain control, headphone monitoring output and 1/8″ TRRS audio output ensure a great signal no matter what microphone or device is used providing streamlined recording experience.

Steady and secure
iKlip A/V features a large ergonomic handheld grip and an expandable smartphone holding bracket that shares the same technology as IK’s iKlip Xpand Mini and the iKlip Grip for ultra-steady shooting. It can securely hold any iPhone, iPod touch or Android device with a screen size from 3.5″ to 6″. iKlip A/V can also be attached to a monopod or tripod thanks to the standard female threads on the underside. Its smartphone holder bracket can be detached and replaced with a compact video camera thanks to its standard camera mount. No matter how it’s used, iKlip A/V delivers an effortlessly stable picture quality.

Completely connectible
iKlip A/V works with any smartphone or camera that accepts a 1/8″ (3.5mm) TRRS (CTIA/AHJ wiring standard) audio input. With an optional iLine Camera Adapter cable, iKlip A/V can be used with any camera that has an auxiliary microphone TRS input, meaning that it can deliver great broadcast-quality results with any compatible device that can either fit on its grip or fit on iKlip A/V’s standard camera mount.

Pricing and availability
iKlip A/V is available now from photo/video, music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $/€179.99 (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit www.iklipav.com

Polaroid Releases Two New Camera Stabilizers for Sharp Video Capturing

2016/03/24 Comments off

PolaroidRIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ – March 24, 2016Polaroid has announced the release of two new camera stabilizers for sharp, stable video capturing, designed for shooting the action. The Polaroidhandheld 3-axis electronic gimbal stabilizer is the perfect solution for action cameras, complete with three independent motors for automatic camera stabilization. The Polaroid power handgrip/stabilizer can be used with a wide range of digital and action cameras, and simultaneously charges the camera and keeps it steady when shooting on the move. Both models are available now from Amazon.

Polaroid Handheld 3-Axis Electronic Gimbal Polaroid 3-Axis Electronic Gimbal StabilizerStabilizer
Designed specifically for small action cameras, the Polaroid handheld 3-axis electronic gimbal stabilizer provides a steady shot when it is needed the most. It has three independent motors that follow camera motion in real time, automatically counterbalancing handheld motion to eliminate any vibrations and undesirable movements. It is also lightweight and compact, perfect for shooting on the go, and with its rechargeable battery (three 3.7-volt rechargeable batteries), users can rest assured that they can shoot anywhere and recharge when needed.

Polaroid Power Handgrip/Stabilizer
The Polaroid power handgrip/stabilizer is compatible with a wide range of digital cameras and offers not only incredible stabilization, but power as well. To charge the device being stabilized, just plug in its charging cable to the handgrip’s port and go. The Polaroid power handgrip/stabilizer eliminates any unwanted motion in photos and videos through quick and easy camera mounting with the included accessories (action camera adapter, protective case, tripod threaded mount, wrist strap and two USB cables for mobile imaging devices). ItPolaroid 3-Axis Handgrip Stabilizer accommodates a range of devices to give users the most comprehensive, versatile stabilization option in one easy solution.

Pricing and Availability
The Polaroid handheld 3-axis electronic gimbal stabilizer is now available on Amazon for $179.99 USD. The Polaroid power handgrip/stabilizer is now available on Amazon for $49.99 USD.

Request a Media Review Kit
Members of the media are invited to review both Polaroid camera stabilizers. To request a media review kit sample, please contact Mariah Stein at mariah@zazilmediagroup.com.

The Polaroid Brand
Polaroid is one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands with a rich 75-year history beginning with Polaroid instant film. Our range of products include instant and digital still cameras, high-definition and mountable sports video cameras, tablets and flat-screen TVs that deliver the fun, instant gratification and value for which the brand has long stood. Today, thePolaroid Classic Border Logo rooted in our beginnings of instant photo sharing serves to designate genuine Polaroid branded products.  For more information, visit http://www.Polaroid.com.

Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.

Introducing the Grip&Shoot Bluetooth Smart Grip for iPhone

2015/04/06 Comments off

The Grip&Shoot Smart GripThe Bluetooth Smart Grip for iPhone
Grip&Shoot
$99.95 (Black or White)

I’ve seen several iPhoneography camera holders, mounts, and brackets to give the iPhone a more DSLR-type experience. The Grip&Shoot is a little different in that it’s not just a one-trick pony product. It is actually multiple products in one. The current Grip&Shoot (G&S) retail package comes with an iPhone 5 Shooter Case, an iPhone 4S Shooter Case, a Bluetooth Smart Grip, a Grip Adapter, a Carrying Pouch, a Wrist Lanyard, and a late edition includes the JawZ Universal Adapter.

Because there are so many parts to discuss, I’ll cover each one in its own subsection.

iPhone Shooter CaseShooter Cases

The Shooter Cases that come with the G&S package are pretty standard case fare with the exception of the G&S attachment on one side. The cases are actually suitable for regular use. The attachment portion isn’t really obtrusive or inconvenient, so you basically get a free case in the bargain. Two cases currently come with the G&S package, one for the iPhone 4S and one for the iPhone 5.

Bluetooth Smart GripBluetooth Smart Grip

The Smart Grip is really the meat and potatoes of the G&S package and even if you lost all the other parts, this one has the functionality you purchased. It is the Bluetooth connection, the trigger, and the connector for the Shooter Case or for the JawZ universal adapter.

The Smart Grip also has a (+) and a (-) button for zoom in and zoom out functions. You can take photos or start/stop video through the G&S app. The G&S device does not work with any other app on your phone. You must use the G&S app for functionality.

The bottom portion of the G&S Smart Grip is removable and can act as a remote stand for your phone for selfies, group shots, or just to place somewhere that isn’t convenient to stand. You fire the camera from the Smart Grip and you have a stable surface that kind of acts like a tripod, only a lot more portable. It works as a remote shutter release over 100 feet away from the phone.

Smart Grip Detail

Compatible devices:

iOS

  • iPhone: 4S and newer
  • iPod: 3rd Gen and newer
  • iPad: 3rd Gen and newer
  • iPad Mini: All supported

Android (Kit-Kat 4.4 and newer)

  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 5
  • Asus Nexus 7
  • HTC One
  • Samsung Galaxy S4, S5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3, 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab2
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace3
  • Sony Xperia

Grip AdapterGrip Adapter

OK, I’ll admit that I was going to criticize the G&S for missing one of the most important features of any photo-related device: a tripod interface. Well, wouldn’t you know it…the G&S folks put one on there. It’s part of the so-called Grip Adapter attached to the bottom of the removable stand. You can screw this into a tripod mount on any device that has one and you can also put the G&S device on a tripod after removing the Grip Adapter. So, it really serves two purposes. Three if you count the third one as I wasn’t able to criticize the lack of a tripod mount. You can unscrew the Grip Adapter with a penny and the screw is designed to remain in the adapter and not fall out onto the ground to be lost forever. Indeed, the G&S people thought of everything.

Why it’s Frugal: The G&S package is frugal because it’s so much more than simply a phone grip to steady your phone for pictures. It’s the full package created by someone who knows photography and phoneography. Honestly, it might be the best sub $100 accessory you can buy for your phone. It has everything. If you tried to buy the package components separately, you might end up spending close to $200. It’s a frugal value.

Carrying PouchCarrying Pouch

The Carrying Pouch is a magnetic closure protective case that not only stores your G&S, but also your phone. It features quick open/close flaps for you rapid shooters, a belt clip, and two belt or strap loops for attaching to a purse strap, a camera case strap, or your belt. It has a plush, non-abrasive interior covering to protect your phone and your G&S. Have I said that the G&S designers thought of everything?

Wrist Lanyard

For those of you who are really rapid shooters, the package includes a wrist lanyard that loops through an opening in the Removable Stand. Put it on and let ‘er swing. Handy, thoughtful, and sturdy.

JawZ Universal AdapterThe JawZ Universal Adapter

Finally I get to my favorite G&S accessory: The JawZ Universal Adapter. I already have a case for my phone. I don’t want to remove it to use it with the G&S, so I thought, “Gee, it would be nice if…” And, of course, before I could finish that sentence, I found the adjustable JawZ universal adapter that fits just about any phone, including the case. <Sigh> What’s a techno gadget critic to do when there’s nothing to complain about for a product? Just enjoy the product that was obviously made by someone who knows photography/iPhoneography as well as I do?

As painful as it is to do it, I have to admit that the G&S package is everything you need to be a successful phoneographer. For phone photos and video, I’m not sure it can be beat. And yes, I’m an Apple product bigot here because it was originally touted as a gadget for the iPhone, but apparently the G&S geniuses have extended that functionality to other phones as well. Great job guys. I know it’s not really a criticism, but it’s the best I have for one–that G&S extended its reach to customers other than those who spend a lot of money on Apple stuff.

If you couldn’t tell, I really like the Grip&Shoot Bluetooth Smart Grip package. I think it’s well worth the $99.95 price tag and that anyone who’s into phoneography needs to get one.

Rating: 10/10

Recommendation: Buy it. It’s versatile, rugged, and is an awesome phoneography accessory.

Apple Begins Selling Nova – The First Wireless, Bluetooth iPhone Flash

2014/11/10 Comments off

Sneaky Squid LLC – novaphotos.com

 Accomplishments
  • Nova is the first wireless, Bluetooth iPhone flash and will be sold in the Apple Store
  • Funded on Kickstarter in 2 days, Nova raised 3-times its funding goal by backers in more than 60 countries
  • Created by former Senior Google Engineer (Mobile and Photos)

Possible Topics

  • Nova is the first wireless, Bluetooth flash for iPhone. Apple starting selling Nova online at www.apple.com in November 2014, and it will be available at select Apple stores in the United States and Canada later this month.
  • Nova is a portable, sleek iPhone accessory that fits in a wallet and can go everywhere your iPhone does. Unlike other iPhone flash accessories, Nova has a Bluetooth connection to avoid dealing with clunky connecting cables and packs 10-times the number of LEDs as alternative options to give users greater control over their photos (to create consistently great photos).
  • Nova is the photographer’s friend, providing beautiful natural light. It gives users the creative freedom to position and angle the light where they need it. Nova also offers a custom option to select from cool to warm and soft to bright light using 40 LEDs set behind a built in diffuser.

Founders

  • Joe Walnes (Former Senior Engineer at Google, Mobile and Photo products)
  • Alex Lukashevich (Software Services Manager, DRW Trading Group)

Details

Nova is the first wireless, Bluetooth flash for iPhone users to capture consistently great photos. With a beautiful natural light, Nova captures photos that are rich with color and depth, smoothing out lines and wrinkles, with soft shadows, that makes everyone look their best. It is an off-camera and wireless accessory designed to provide the right light in the right place for amazingly lit photos. Anyone can point and shoot or unleash the artist within using different positions and tilting the light.

The Nova features and details include:

  • 40 cool and warm LEDs behind a soft diffuser, controlled by the app
  • 4 presets: gentle for close ups, warm for portraits, neutral for daylight and bright for groups or strong background light
  • Custom option to select exact cool to warm and soft to bright light
  • Slim design to fit in a wallet
  • Requirements: iPhone 4s and above, running iOS 7 or later
  • Price: $59 – novaphotos.com/presskit for hi-res photos

The HISY Wireless Smartphone Camera Remote (Review)

2014/03/03 Comments off

The HISY Wireless Bluetooth Camera Remote ShutterHISY Wireless Smartphone Camera Remote
HISY ( pronounced hīgh-see )
$24.99 Amazon (Prime)

The HISY Wireless Smartphone Camera Remote (HISY) is a remote shutter device for your iPhone and iPad (See Features section below for compatibility). The HISY is a very small (approximately 1″x1″) Bluetooth device that fires your camera shutter or starts a video capture. The HISY is compatible with any iPhone camera app that uses the basic camera app as a base.
In other words, if you use a camera app that adds some effect to your pictures as you take them, the HISY will work with it, if the app is based on the iPhone’s basic camera app.

I suggest that you test it with your favorite camera apps before you do any serious photography with it. You don’t want to set everything up only to find that the HISY isn’t compatible with your camera app.

There’s no associated app that you need to buy or download for the HISY to work. All you have to do to is link the device with your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth, open your camera app and starting taking pictures or starting videos.

HISY Features:

  • Apple iOS 7.0 or later of iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, iPad 3rd & 4th Generation, iPad Mini & iPad Air iPod, & iPod Touch 5th Generation or later
  • Frequency Range: ISM Band 2.4 GHz
  • Bluetooth Version: BT 4.0 Low Energy
  • Active Range: 30-90ft / 10 to 30m
  • 2+ Year Battery Life: (CR2032 x 1 Cell)
  • Includes headphone jack attachment to carry with you at all times

One of the coolest applications for a device like this, other than selfies, is as a remote camera that’s inconspicuous to its subjects. Often people don’t enjoy having their pictures taken, but if they’re unaware that you have a camera pointed at them, they’re far more relaxed and unguarded for photographs, interviews, or other forms of subtle photography, such as getting those precious moments snaps of your kids playing or of your husband cheerfully taking out the garbage.

The HISYThe HISY sells for $24.99 on Amazon and is Prime qualified (free two-day shipping). The HISY also includes a short strap connected to a plastic insert that fits snugly into your earphone port that allows handy access to impromptu photos that you might otherwise miss.

Why it’s frugal: The HISY is frugal because you can take up to 200 photographs with it daily for two years on a single CR2032 ($3.00) battery. It also has a very long range (30 to 90 feet), which puts it in competition with devices costing twice as much or more.

The HISY is small enough to fit comfortably in your hand and has a simple “one touch” operation. It’s simple enough for young children to operate. A single button press fires the camera shutter for a perfect, non-blurry picture.

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommendation: Buy it and test it with your favorite apps before you do real shooting with it.

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