The new iKlip Grip Pro for smartphones has so many features that even three words aren’t enough to encompass them. iKlip Grip Pro is a just-released professional version of the original iKlip Grip for mobile journalists that I reviewed back in May 2015, at approximately the same price: US$59.99/ €59.99. Made to handle both standard and even the largest smartphones and phablets like the iPhone 7 Plus and brand new Pixel XL from Google, the iKlip Grip Pro combines a comfortable handgrip, mini-tripod, extension and detachable wireless Bluetooth remote, which either triggers still photos or starts and pauses audio/video recording. Ahead I’ll go into detail, and give you five reasons why you may like it better than a gimbal/gyroscope device for your interviews and standups.
Beyond what I wrote in the introductory paragraph, here are some more features:
- Sturdy telescopic pole thanks to its new locking system
- Stabilizes your smartphone, allowing you to take smoother videos without the complications of a gimbal/gyroscope (see ahead)
- The included cradle/tripod adapter accepts any smartphone —with or without a case— with a screen size of 3.5” to 6″
- The handle features three pop-out legs that allow it to function as a mini tripod
- Ball mount lets you adjust the angle of the shot
- Total length when extended: 63 centimeters (almost 25 inches)
- iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and other smartphones with screens ranging from 3.5” to 6” with case on. I personally tested it with the Pixel XL from Google, and it handled it very well.
- Bluetooth remote: Apple iOS 5.0 and above, Android 4.3 and above
The included cradle can also be mounted on a standard tripod, as shown above, thanks to its 1/4” thread mount.
Why you may like iKlip Grip Pro more, since it doesn’t have a gyroscope
Many people are attracted to using a gimbal (gyroscope-based device) with their smartphone since it provides such good stability. However, together with the advantages, as a good friend discovered with me recently:
- A gyroscope-based device is substantially more expensive.
- A gyroscope-based device requires its own battery and charger, and only works for hours.
- A gyroscope-based device requires critical balancing, which often needs to be repeated after travel.
- A gyroscope-based device has terrible difficulty if you connect a wired microphone, because the weight of the cable disrupts it.
On the other hand, a device like the iKlip Grip Pro fortunately:
- Is much more affordable than a gyroscope-based device.
- Occupies much less space when traveling.
- Doesn’t use a battery for its stabilization or extension functions. Although the Bluetooth remote does have a watch-type battery, it can last up to a year, and it is certainly possible to shoot video without using the Bluetooth remote.
- Requires no balancing, so you can arrive and be shooting in seconds.
- Has no problem with a connected wired microphone.
Approximate pricing and availability
US$59.99/ €59.99 or similar in your region.
The iKlip Grip Pro is available already in Apple Stores in the United States and Canada (online and physical), and should reach Apple stores in other countries soon. Even though the iKlip Grip Pro is sold by Apple, it works perfectly with Google Android phones too, like the Nexus, Pixel and Pixel XL.
Now that smartphones have improved their camera technology so much, I am very glad to see more and better available accessories for serious mobile journalism based on them, from software like FiLMiC Pro (now available both for Android and iOS) to control framerate, 180° shutter speed, exposure, compression level, audio sampling and much more, together with microphones and multi-purpose devices like the iKlip Grip Pro from IK Multimedia. These accessories help democratize high-quality mobile journalism using the device we have on hand all the time: our smartphone. Just remember to put your smartphone into airplane mode before recording, unless you are broadcasting live. In that case, activate the Do Not Disturb function instead.
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No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above (including IK Multimedia) have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.
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