Consumer Gear Highlight: Tiffen Steadicam Smoothee

Shooting video with cell phones is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Technology has made integration of many devices into the mobile phone possible, the most prominent being the camera. Todays smart phones have high resolution cameras which allow users to make high quality videos. However, these smart phones are not specialized video making equipment and video is bound to be affected with camera shakes.

The Steadicam Smoothee is the solution to this problem. Designed by Tiffen, the Smoothee is a handheld camera stabilizer that allows a user to make shake free videos while maintaining the mobility of shooting with a mobile phone. Camera holder is designed for Apple iphone 4 and 4S. A separate holder is also available for iphone 3GS. The phone is inserted into the camera holder which is then fixed on to the Smoothee for shooting.

Features: On the Smoothee are two red knobs. To orient the camera sideways, the side knob is used. The back knob induces tilt in the rig. Using both knobs, the camera can be made perfectly horizontal or can be set to an angle for cinematic purposes, it is completely up to the user. This angle will be maintained even while moving or holding the rig above for overhead shots. Just above the hand grip is a collar. The control of tilt and tip during filming is achieved by applying slight pressure on the collar. The camera can be tipped downwards to an angle of 20 degrees or upward to an angle of 15 degrees by applying pressure with the index finger and thumb. To rotate the camera, the collar is simply twisted in either direction. Since the Smoothee is a sensitive device, windy conditions can badly affect the tilt and tip. This can be controlled by gripping the collar with one hand while holding the grip handle with the other. To achieve extra stability, there is a counterweight provided in front of the rig that can slide on the rails. The user can always return the counterweight to its default location marked by a depression in the rail.

Specifications: Size 8 (width) x 14.5 (height) x 2.5 (depth) inches in operation configuration Compatibility – iPhones 3Gs 4/4S, Flip MinoHD, iPod Touch (Gen4) and GoPro Hero Tiffin Steadicam Smoothee – Price: $ 179.99

Mike Wilhelm
Mike is the Editor-in-Chief of Videomaker and Creator Handbook

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