Shoulderpod Universal Smartphone Adapter/Tripod Holder Unboxing and Review

Shoulderpod_professional_smartphone_rig_expandable_concept

I noticed Shoulderpod on Twitter probably a year ago and I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on one since. In the last few days (10-12th June) they have finally started shipping their S1 Universal Smartphone Tripod Adapter and I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on one. So here is a quick unboxing video and initial impressions

https://vimeo.com/98027792

I’ve tested A LOT of smartphone accessories over the last three years teaching MOJO and until recently I had the Joby GripTight as my recommended Universal Tripod Adapter.

I have to credit the team of journalists who travelled over to Dublin recently from NRK Norway for MOJO training for convincing me the Joby was a great solution.

NRK-Group

The positives are its small size-particularly folded flat HOWEVER the negatives….

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This particular Grip Tight was only used FOUR TIMES and the plastic mount snapped. Now I did Tweet @Joby about this and to give them credit they replied quickly and offered a replacement…

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.08.39

 

However, if you are an iPhone owner then you know exactly how fragile the iPhone is, a tripod adapter failing like the GripTight above is not a big issue (it costs about €25) BUT to replace a smashed screen is €150 which makes it a VERY EXPENSIVE accident. All this brings me back to the SHOULDERPOD.

Shoulderpod_S1_adjustable_smartphone_rig

It really does feel like a robust, quality build. I would feel a lot more confident using it on a tripod or other clamp than the Joby and the great news is the entire S1 kit you see in the video above is available for a special limited introduction price of €24.95 on the Shoulderpod website right now but be warned offer ends TODAY. From tomorrow it will be the RRP of €29.95. Still excellent value.

Shoulderpod_S1_professional_smartphone_rig_filmmaker_grip_iPhone

If I was asked is there ANY room for improvement I would have only one tiny suggestion: put a tripod mount in the top screw also. This would mean I could double mount suction clamps if using it in risky situations OR I could use an adapter like the Manfrotto 143S  Flash Shoe 1/4 Male Attachment to mount a microphone or light on Top of the holder! 

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New: iMovie CheatSheet PAGE3 – Advanced features. Free download for all #mojo

New: iMovie CheatSheet PAGE3 - Advanced features. Free download for all

Its been a long time coming but its finally here! Page 3 – this missing iMovie CheatSheet for iOS7…now available to all:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3xpbtrc5by28hn1/iMovie-iOS7-Gestures-CheatSheet-p3copy.pdf

Previous post: As promised here is a downloadable CheatSheet to remind you of the gestures and new features in iMovie for iOS7. There are a number of really nice features in the latest version. 1 you can easily detach the audio from the video and edit it independently. 2. You can now zoom in on video when selected as a clip in the timeline. With the split audio feature it will now be possible to edit a news story entirely on your iPhone with iMovie!

Which I did in this post: http://tvvj.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/experiments-in-storytelling-with-the-iphone-using-filmicpro-storehousehq-steller-and-imovie-featuring-fotopunctuation/

To download the 1st page as a high-resolution pdf click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7eryslt6u6zl863/iMovie-iOS7-Gestures-CheatSheet-p1%20copy.pdf
To download the 2nd page as a high-resolution pdf click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hbklxarebf95sa2/iMovie-iOS7-Gestures-CheatSheet-p2%20copy.pdf
To download the NEW 3rd page as a very high-resolution pdf (60Mb) click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oknuxjfetx9zfdh/iMovie-iOS7-Gestures-CheatSheet-p3.pdf

Innovation presentation at the Aljazeera Forum #ajforum

I was very kindly asked to deliver a workshop at the 2014 Aljazeera Forum. I broke the workshop into three parts.

Part One is a one hour presentation on Innovation and New Technology to watch over the next 12 months.

Part Two was a series of Case Studies on Mobile Journalism including RTE, BBC, SKyNews and NRK

Part Three was an extremely condensed version of my three day mobile journalism course. If you attended the conference and asked me for the presentations then I will embed the Innovation one here as a SpeakerDeck but if you want the Mojo ones you will havce to email me for the link as they form part of my main course materials and are not for public distribution. Tweet me or email me for link.

@glenbmulcahy | glenmulcahy AT gmail DOT com

 

 

 

Here’s the Storify of the #EdShift Mobile Journalism Twitter Chat via @PBSMediaShift

Here's the Storify of the #EdShift Mobile Journalism Twitter Chat via @PBSMediaShift

Note clicking image will redirect you to Storify

Advanced Mojo Gear

Advanced Mojo Gear

Budget Mojo gear

Budget Mojo gear

Experiments in Storytelling with the iPhone using @FilMicPro @storehousehq @steller and iMovie featuring @fotopunctuation

I’m just back from the “RoosDagen” conference in The Netherlands where I held workshops on Mobile Journalism and also spoke as part of a Plenary session on the subject. While there I showed the most recent iPhone story I’ve shot: “Brendan O Se- iPhoneographer” which I filmed last week in Cork. As always I used FilMicPro as my camera App but I decided to experiment with the new version of iMovie (iOS7) on iPhone to see how far I could push it…

I’m actually very impressed with the new features which included Video Overlay, Detach Audio, Audio Fade in Fade out, PiP, Split screen and new title graphics etc.

Yesterday was an interesting day because it saw the launch of Steller a new Visual Storytelling App for iPhone. I’ve been a big fan of Storehouse for creating immersive multi media/visual stories since its launch but it is iPad only. However both are free and I would encourage you to try them both out if you can.

Image

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Heres a link to a Steller version of Brendans Story (note max file size is 10Mb so I had to drop about 8 pages with videos to make it fit the size limit!)

https://steller.co/stories/205553277939484098

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 15.07.50

Note: Best viewed using the App on your iOS device (as with Storehouse)

And I’ve just published a Storehouse version also. Download the App to view the full parallax scrolling/ immersive version

https://www.storehouse.co/stories/k113-brendan-o-se

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 23.14.27

Mobile Journalism in the headlines, recent articles. #mojo

Mobile Journalism in the headlines

PHOTO: RTE’s Patricia O’Callaghan, one of the first journalists to complete the mobile masterclass last Nov. with Circom in Budapest.

Its been a very busy month for mobile journalism, with the incredible inclement weather creating a “perfect storm” to test the capabilities of mojo in the field. I was interviewed by Broadcast Now as part of a comprehensive feature on mobile news-gathering which also included pioneers like Nick Garnett from BBC and SKY News with their broad adoption of live streaming via mobile.

Also I was invited to write articles for both the European Broadcasting Unions Technology magazine Tech-i (published quarterly) and Dan Chung, editor of Newsshooter.com also asked me to write a guest post on the topic. The amount of discussion and feedback about MoJo has been phenomenal and it really is great to see so many journalists embracing the new technology and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. Here are links to the pieces:

EBU Tech-i Magazine (PDF)
Broadcast Now (PDF)
NewsShooter.com (link)

Older Articles

The Next Web (link)
Journalism.co.uk (link)
SiliconRepublic (link)

A selection (not exhaustive) of iPhone media workflows as an infographic of sorts

A selection (not exhaustive) of iPhone media workflows as an infographic of sorts

A selection of iPhone media (photo/video) workflows to remind MoJo trainees of some of the options available to them to get their finished stories off their iPhone. There are others also ;)

Making news with an iPhone – the Quality debate

I’ve been researching and developing mobile journalism training for nearly three years in RTE. Most recently I’ve trained over 100 staff to shoot and edit and a few exceptional staff members have taken the challenge and created an entire news story – for broadcast. I have to point out this is not the norm, or even an everyday occurrence. But it is part of a pilot programme to examine and investigate the potential of mobiles and content creation / news gathering devices.

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Last Friday, Philip Bromwell, one of RTEs Full time staff Video Journalists, decided to use the iPhone 5S to shoot a complete story for broadcast. As usual Philip used the Mojo Grab bag I put together for his shoot.

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He shot in 1080p HD on the iPhone and then imported the footage into a MacBookPro to edit it in Avid Media Composer. At the end of this process he transcoded (downsized) the edit from full HD 1920x1080p to 720×576 SD and also converted the progressive scan to interlaced for our broadcast system.

On Friday night we agreed we would publish the SD version of the story on YouTube:

Then on Monday we published the full HD 1080p version to Vimeo

I would like you to have a look at both versions to see the difference in resolution from the TV version and the online HD version. This is one of the reasons that shooting with the iPhone (or smartphones in general) is ideal for online but somewhat problematic for TV broadcast. If you add into the mix the fact that the iPhone natively shoots at 30fps but in Europe (PAL) we transmit in 25fps then you uncover the second technical challenge for smartphone usage in broadcast. Professional Apps like FilMicPro and Voddio allow you to shoot in 25fps or in the case of Voddio render out in 25fps but Apple Apps like iMovie render out in 30fps. In order to convert the 30fps to 25fps you have to drop 5 frames every second, this leads to non fluid motion artefacts. This may seem like technical jargon to you and to a certain extent I agree with that – what most viewers watch is the Story, not the frame rate etc etc, so Philips story above is proof that in the hands on a professional storyteller – the device is almost irrelevant. THE STORY IS EVERYTHING!

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