In this series, we’re sharing some of our favorite, affordable equipment we recommend using to make high-quality videos. We consider low price (<$50), medium price ($50 - 100), and high price (>$100) products. There’s an overwhelming number of amazing products on the market and by no means can we cover them all. We just want to give you a brief introduction into the world of video equipment so you can navigate it with confidence.
In this series we will cover:
Cases & Tripods
Are there any gadgets you absolutely love? We want to hear about it! Share it with us by commenting below and let us know what is so awesome about it.
In a rush?
We feel you. Find a summary of the products discussed below.
iOgrapher stabilizer case: Great stabilizer case for most mobile phones, can easily be mounted to tripods, medium price.
Pivo Pod: Smart tracking pod that holds your phone and follows your movements, high price.
Gorillapod 3K Video Pro: Flexible table tripod for videos, with pan and tilt movement video head, high price.
GorillaPod 1K: Flexible simple table tripod for phones and light-weight cameras, low price.
iOgrapher Multi Use Tripod: Sturdy height-adjustable tripod with pan and tilt movement video head, medium price.
Manfrotto Befree Live Aluminum Lever-Lock Tripod Kit: Lightweight, compact video tripod system, high price.
Whether you are recording with your phone or a camera, you need a device to hold and position your camera.
Stabilizing your phone with a case or pod
If you plan to record with your phone, we recommend this iOgrapher stabilizer case. You can clip most smartphones into the case and either hold it with your hands or attach it to a tripod. It allows you to mount up to 2 accessories, like lights and mics. We’ve used this case and mounted it onto a tripod when recording.
Another cool gadget we’ve been using is the Pivo Pod. This pod rotates and is able to follow your movement through its smart face and body tracking. You attach the pod to a tripod and directly mount your phone to the pod, so no additional case necessary. It is particularly useful if you’re moving around a lot and/or recording in a small space.
Picking a tripod
Both the case and the pod need to be mounted onto a tripod or other stand. Some lights (as discussed in our post on lighting) already include a phone stand. We use the Gorillapod 3K Video Pro. This flexible tripod holds devices up to 3 kgs and allows you to attach additional arms for extra accessory (e.g. microphone). The fluid video head enables pan and tilt movements, which is useful if you intend to have someone handling the camera. If you’re recording by yourself, a simpler and cheaper version like the GorillaPod 1K, which holds us to 1 kg (2.2 lbs), will suffice. Note that the average phone is only 140 - 170 grams (0.3 - 0.4 lbs). These GorillaPods are not height adjustable. If you want height flexibility, a good option is the iOgrapher Multi Use Tripod. This tripod allows you to adjust the height from 26 to 67 inches and is able to carry up to 5 kgs (11 kgs).
Finally, a more expensive and professional adjustable popular tripod kit is the Manfrotto Befree Live Aluminum Lever-Lock Tripod Kit. This video tripod system includes a fluid head with a 360-degrees pan movement and -90/+65-degrees tilt movement, aluminum tripod legs with a height range of 16 to 60 inches, and a carrying case.
We'd love to hear about your favorite products! So let us know by commenting below. Also if you've got any questions or suggestions.
Note: We aren’t getting paid for these recommendations - we just like these products!
To read more in the series, navigate the links below: Part 1: Microphones
Part 2: Lighting