Lights, gadgets, camera, action:

Do you have someone on your wish list this year who has an interest in filmmaking or YouTube videos? Today’s smartphone cameras are so good at taking photos and video some Hollywood directors are shooting feature films with iPhones. Famed director Steven Soderbergh, who’s biggest hits are “Logan Lucky”, “Oceans Eleven” and “Erin Brockovich” is reportedly releasing a new thriller to the big screen in the spring of 2018 that was shot entirely on an iPhone 7.  If that isn’t proof that smartphone cameras are ready for the big screen I don’t know what is.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can just run out and start recording video that looks like a big production; you need gadgets and several camera gadgets are a big step forward toward making smartphone videos look like something out of a big picture studio.

A stabilizer removes any shakiness the camera would capture when you’re shooting by hand. There are dozens of stabilizers on the market such as the  DJI Phone Camera Gimbal OSMO MOBILE, Black which gives the filmmaker steadiness and control of the smartphone camera.

The Smove smartphone stabilizer is a re-chargeable hand-held smartphone mount and tilts and swivels to help follow the action without shaking. The Smove works with any smartphone but I found it works better with smaller phones rather than plus size iPhones. It also has a portable battery charger built-in so it will keep the phone charged for a long video shoot.
   The Smove is controlled by a joystick which will pan, zoom and tilt the camera. You can also start and end a recording session without touching the phone’s screen. I’ve found the Smove is good in certain situations but tends to lose stability. That’s something I could overlook except it seems to happen the moment I need to stay steady on the subject. The Smove only works with smartphones. It is a Kickstarter project that raised over $2 million dollars.  I purchased the Smove during its Kickstarter phase and the company now has a 3-axis version that should be an improvement. the Smove Pro is also advertised to work with phones and GoPro cameras. The Smove is $159 while the Smove Pro is $189.

A different perspective gives video shot with an iPhone or smartphone camera a much more Hollywood look. Wide angle lens adapters are a must-have to create the big-picture look.

The OlloClip lens kits are built for specific smartphones and devices and you’ll need to make sure you get the correct one for your phone. The OlloClip is the go-to for professional smartphone videographers as they provide both wide-angle lenses along with fish-eye, macro and telephoto.
olloclip – ACTIVE LENS SET for iPhone 8/8 Plus & iPhone 7/7 Plus – TELEPHOTO & ULTRA-WIDE Premium Glass Lenses
The Sandmarc wide-angle lens comes with snap-on case. I’m using the SANDMARC Wide Lens Edition for iPhone X – Wide angle lens, case and clip-on kit for iPhone – 2X Wider Capture with my new iPhone X and found it captures a higher quality image.