Wednesday, November 15, 2023

A pro-level rig for phone videography


A few years ago, I ordered an inexpensive cage-style phone video rig after my iPhone slipped out of my hand several times during a video shoot. The rectangular holder provided side grips that put an end to the dropsies and I expanded it using velcro strips and twisty wires to add a charging block, a light box and a microphone. 

It was an ugly kludge, but it worked.

I would have much preferred this this ULANZI Universal Phone Video Rig Kit if it had been available back then. It's made of aluminum with threaded holes for standard attachments like lights and mics plus a second set of jaws to hold a USB charger. No velcro or rubber bands required. 

And just about everything on this rig is adjustable. There are 12 threaded holes and four cold shoe slots on all four sides of the center cage, giving you a variety of location options to mount  multiple gadgets above below the cage with more holes and shoes on the handles. You can build your own custom rig with the phone mounted for horizontal or vertical shooting. 

While the handles let you chase the action, a fully-loaded rig will weigh almost 3 lbs. That's enough to wear out both arms and put one-handed use out of reach for most people. I think it's a better fit for use with a tripod where it could hold larger light bars and a heavier mic.  

My other concern is the clip for the charging block. I have several chargers and only one will work with this rig. The others are too small or too wide. But that's a minor gripe and one that won't stop me from consistently using what is clearly a professional-level cage.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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