Some gear reviews require tons of pictures and text. Others don’t. This video look and review falls into the latter category. Why? Because the video we shot says pretty much everything that needs to be said about the Steadicam Smoothee. This is a gadget that lets you shoot video with your iPhone (or other small video devices so long as you have the proper mount) and get far smoother and better results than you would were you simply holding the phone. It works. It works well. I’m impressed.
It took me a while to get fairly decent with the Steadicam Smoothee (in truth it took me actually reading the instructions) but, once I did, well… the results speak for themselves. Let’s look at what the company behind it has to say and then jump into the video and a few additional thoughts.
From the company:
Shaky Movies…Get a Smoothee! Lightweight…Compact…Affordable…Go Anywhere! Now shoot smooth videos and sharp still pictures anywhere – with the Steadicam Smoothee presently designed and engineered to work with your Apple® iPhone 3Gs, Apple® iPhone 4/4S, FLIP MinoHD, iPod Touch and GoPro Hero® with mounts for similar devices in the works!
Based on the same technology as the big $60,000 rigs used in Hollywood, the Smoothee allows you to capture incredible video and still images without the shakes normally associated with hand-held video shot on the go, right out of the box, the very first time.
Whether you’re a novice or aspiring videographer, the Steadicam Smoothee allows you to have a richer experience and more fun.
The Steadicam Smoothee is small and agile enough to take on vacations or follow the action at sporting events. Just attach the camera mount to your device and you’re ready to go! So easy to use.
The Smoothee let’s you “fly” wherever the scene takes you–up and down steps, indoors and outside, through crowds–almost anywhere, with precise, elegant control and ease.
Its quick release mount lets you instantly swap camera connections between your Smoothee and any tripod. The patented quick release removable mount also serves as a tabletop stand or can be mounted to any tripod with a standard ¼ x20” camera mount.
The comfortable ergonomic hand-grip folds up securely when not in use. Includes mount, user guide, and belt clip.
A few more thoughts.
The Steadicam Smoothee packs flat which is great if you want to take it along on a trip. It is by no means small and it is surprisingly heavy, but that speaks to its being a serious tool for shooting video.
Once your iPhone is in place (more on that shortly), you need to balance it so the iPhone sits up horizontally and is not pointing too high up or too far down.
This took me a few minutes to get right but, once I did, the iPhone was shooting straight ahead… right where I wanted it.
While you can have a protective film on the back of the iPhone you cannot use it in a case. In addition, the mount holds it quite tightly and there is little room to spare. That means a screen shield like the Glas.t real glass screen protection we reviewed won’t likely work.
I do like the fact that the mount has a standard tripod screw mount on the bottom. This means it can also be used on the go with a tripod, monopod or Joby Gorillapod.
In all, the Steadicam Smoothee is a great gadget that delivers on its promise. It is heavy-duty but folds flat so you can take it with you and, more importantly, it immediately improves the videos you shoot with your iPhone. I do wish the mount were more universal but I suspect that would make it more difficult for the Steadicam Smoothee to balance so precisely. In all, this is something I can see using quite a bit and I will be purchasing a mount for the new iPhone once both are available.
What I Like: Well-made and a serious piece of kit; Does exactly what it promises and smooths out video shot with the iPhone; Folds flat for transport;
What Needs Improvement: Not inexpensive; Used device-specific cradles; Can’t have a case on your phone when using it and some screen protectors might also be an issue