Smartphone cameras and camcorder abilities have improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and that means that more and more they are becoming our go-to devices to record precious memories and important events. Where you used to see someone carrying anything from a point and shoot to a full DSLR, you now see people whipping out their iPhones or Android devices (and sometimes even iPads!)
As a result, the camera accessories people used to use with their dedicated cameras are now being reinvented as smartphone compatible. I had the opportunity to review one such device, the Eemov Nano stabilizing arm.
How did it perform? Read on to find out!
When I first unboxed the Nano, I thought it looked like the spiritual successor to my favorite childhood erector set. It had that industrial look to it, an aesthetic I really adore. I also thought it looked a bit like the erector set version of a Klingon Bat Leth, and resolved to not give in to my urge to wave it around my office like a weapon.
While the Nano does collapse down to a portable size, it is overall beefier than some of the very simple iPhone photography accessories I have seen in the past. It is also far sturdier, made of precisely designed metal instead of plastic, and with the ability to be far more precise in usage, due to the removable metal plates that give the whole rig a counterweight.
I admit, I did not know a whole lot about cameras and stabilizer accessories, so I did a bit of reading. Basically, a stabilizer gives you a way to keep pictures and video from getting blurry if you’re not using a tripod. Effectively, a good tool for anyone with shaky hands, or if you’re filming outdoors in bad weather (more on that below).
Once I adjusted the weights to a comfortable level, and screwed my iPhone into place, I found the Nano to be very easy to use. I was able to get my camcorder queued up, hold the iPhone in the Nano, and record away happily without any shaking or blurring. I also was pleased to discover that despite the industrial style of the Nano, the grip is remarkable comfortable and did not have any sharp edges or rough spots that would make holding it for an extended period difficult.
I took my sample video below with an iPhone, but I did determine that the adjustable arm could accommodate a bigger phone. An HTC Sensation 4G fit in there snugly but not too tightly, so I would imagine any reasonably sized smartphone can be used (just maybe not a very large one like a Galaxy Note).
As far as my sample video, well, I think that sums up the performance of the Nano pretty well. I stood and walked around outside in the beginnings of a hurricane, and thanks to the Nano the video came out crisp and clear. If it can do that while facing down the beginnings of then worst storm to hit New Jersey in several generations, I think you can be reasonably confident that it can handle anything you have to throw at it!
This is a very pricey accessory, but if you spend a great deal of time filming with a smartphone and want professional output, this is a big step forwards.
Source: manufacturer provided sample
MSRP: 180eur (approx $232)
What I Like: Cool industrial style; works with multiple smartphones; durable and extremely well built; collapsible for easy transportation
What Needs Improvement: Heavy even without the counterweight; pricey