Joining the original (larger sized) Padcaster, the new Padcaster Mini is similar, but sized to match Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Mini Retina. Padcaster Mini’s purpose is to mount the iPad Mini (Retina) on a tripod or other support device, and to mount accessories and lenses. In many prior iOS mediography articles, I have covered the original Padcaster and its closest competitor, the iOgrapher. Ahead you’ll find virtues of each and help you pick the option for your iPad Mini (Retina).
What comes with the Padcaster Mini?
- Padcaster Mini
- Lenscaster lens bracket
- 72mm–58mm step-down ring
- two 1/4″–20 screws
- two 3/8″–16 screws
- one custom camera mount screw
- one cold shoe adapter
What is the material used with the Padcaster (Mini)?
The Padcaster (and the Padcaster Mini) use a rugged yet lightweight aluminum frame with a rubber insert. The best analogy I have for the aluminum frame on the Padcaster (Mini) are the infamous ZERO Halliburton travel cases and briefcases, which also use rugged aluminum.
ZERO Halliburton cases are often used by photographers and have appeared in over 300 films and television shows including Lost, Mission Impossible, Inception, Ocean’s Eleven, Men in Black and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. According to the manufacturer, ZERO Halliburton provided slightly modified cases to NASA in 1969 to use on Apollo 11, and they were used to carry moon rocks safely back to Earth.
What is the material used with the iOgrapher (Mini)?
The competing iOgrapher (Mini) is made out of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). According to Wikipedia’s article:
ABS combines the strength and rigidity of acrylonitrile and styrene polymers with the toughness of polybutadiene rubber. While the cost of producing ABS is roughly twice the cost of producing polystyrene, it is considered superior for its hardness, gloss, toughness, and electrical insulation properties. Source: here.
Although not the exact same material, the iOgrapher is similar to the one used by another infamous manufacturer often used in film and video production, as well as BioPharma, EMS and law enforcement:
Pelican Cases, whose cases are made out of polypropylene copolymer material that —according to the manufacturer— is lightweight, durable and highly chemical resistant.
Weight comparison with iPad Mini Retina inside
Using my imperfect scale, the Padcaster Mini with iPad Retina inside weighs 33 ounces (about 935.5 grams), while the iOgrapher Mini with iPad Retina inside weighs 17 ounces (about 481.9 grams).
Both the Padcaster Mini and iOgrapher Mini have shoes to mount accessories like lights or microphones. The iOgrapher Mini has built-in handles for hand-held shooting, while the Padcaster Mini does not, which means that the Padcaster Mini is much narrower overall. Although both devices have 1/4“–20 threads to accept the screw from most tripods, only the Padcaster (Mini) also accepts 3/8”–16 which is used with larger pan/tilt heads. This is especially important if you own such a pan/tilt head for your tripod, or plan to do acquire one.
Jeff Foster’s reviews on the larger version of both products
Jeff Foster, who is also a frequent writer for ProVideo Coalition magazine, has published detailed reviews on both products (the larger versions):
- Product Review: The Padcaster & Lenscaster October 2012 by Jeff Foster
- Product Review: iOgrapher for iPad/iPad Mini December 2013 by Jeff Foster
I consider Jeff’’s reviews to be required reading material for anyone who is considering such a device for iPad (Mini).
There is also my article of January 17, 2014 that is also relevant, although it too is about the larger versions.
Price comparison and conclusion
The Padcaster Mini price is currently US$99, while the iOgrapher Mini is currently US$65. The net difference is currently only US$34 so you should really choose according to your opinion based upon the other details covered above. Both are excellent devices which —together with other devices and apps I continue to cover— are helping make iOS mediography better all the time.
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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 have sent Allan Tépper review units, including the iOgapher and the Padcaster. 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.
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