The mCAMLITE is one of the many tools featured in the new book, Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone by Taz Goldstein, the creator of the Hand-Held Hollywood website. The book is a veritable treasure trove of gadgets, gizmos, and software, for using iOS devices in your content creation workflow.
The mCAMLITE is basically a cradle for the iPhone that allows the shooter to add additional lenses, and other devices, via a cold shoe mount, and a couple of 1/4″/20 threads on the bottom of the unit. It comes standard with a 37mm wide-angle lens, and a mini-boom microphone that plugs into the iPhone’s ear jack/microphone plug.
Received the unit this afternoon, took it outside for a quick shoot at lunchtime, and uploaded the video to my YouTube channel.
A full product review will follow over the weekend, but here are a few immediate thoughts:
Upside: The unit is made of black power-coated billet aluminum. The form factor is nice, and it adds enough weight to the iPhone 5 to make it more stable as a camera platform. The ability to pop on extra screw-mount lenses is also nice. A rubberized iPhone case is supplied that fits securely into the mCAMLITE body and prevents scratching the phone. The unit feels good to hold, and eliminates a lot of the fatigue of trying to hold the iPhone steady while shooting.
Downside: The supplied boom mic is pretty bad, as you can hear in the video. It is susceptible to all kinds of static and popping due to something with the electrical connection. Also, the case does not provide any access to the shut-off button on top of the phone.
At this point, still not sure if this unit is a buy recommendation or not, but I want to try using my Rode Stereo Videomic on it to get better audio quality, before I decide. I’m going to be shaking this down tomorrow at the CPUG San Francisco Supermeet, and will have some more footage with my full review.