It’s that time of year again - everyone is shopping up a storm for friends, family, co-workers, etc…and with video continuing to grow in popularity, it make sense to showcase gear that’s on my radar (full disclosure: some I’ve used, some I haven’t…but, I’m religious about reading reviews, and wanted to pass all of my research on to you)!

All of this gear is for folks using their smartphones to step up their game! And yes, each piece is under $100! Oh, and full disclosure - if the product is sold on amazon, I’ve included an affiliate link at no additional cost to you, if you want to give me the kickback of like, 5 cents or whatever. ha!



Ok, here we go:

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  1. Handheld Video Grip

The more you make videos, the more you realize…your arms get tired! I’ve heard a LOT of rumblings about this rig, and how it’s great for folks producing a lot of handheld smartphone video. But, remember: keep those elbows in, that will make your picture way more steady! The cool thing about this grip is that it also comes with space to clip on a light, or mic.

Also, another cool thing about this rig is that it’ll be easier to shoot on the fly, because the handles have a bluetooth button for start/stop. Great for events!

2. Ring Light (stand included)

Ohhhh la la, does this look great. Lighting can be terrifying when you’re just starting out - but this piece is going to make you shine. I know it’s $99, so, right on the top edge of the price point for this post - but, it looks worth it. What stands out to me, is that the bulbs have two different color temps. Which, is huge - because most other cheaper ring lights require that you manually put on a separate filter, no fun. It’s also dimmable, AND has a tripod FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE. Talk about all in one! Boom.

Keep in mind, this is going to be awesome for desktop video blogging! Nice even light on the face. Good stuff.

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3. Rode Smartlav+ mic

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know this is a repeat from last year…and for good reason. Mine is still going strong, and I beat that thing up! It’s reliable, and literally plug in and use, easy as that. Also, recently - the mic on my iphone has been sounding like crapola, but if I plug this little baby in, it’s alllll crystal clear.

Keep in mind…if you have an iphone with a lighting port instead of a headphone jack, you’re going to need a little adapter like this:

The only downfall with this, is that it IS pretty short…so, you might want to get one of these extension cords with it as well!

4. Pico Dolly

A dolly will add really smooth movement to your video, as long as you’re on a smooth surface. This is great to show different angles for product videography, or - to give your audience a different perspective at an event, conference, around the office, etc…

So, what does it look like to use a dolly? Here is a video I shot with Ellen - you see how the cam is going back and forth? That’s a dolly track :) It’s basically the hefty version of the little guy I’m recommending.

And there you have it - a few pieces of gear to help you UP your smartphone video game, in a quick and easy way. What other fun tools have you been using? I’d love to hear more in the comments.

If you want more tips like this (I’m not gonna spam you, gross), feel free to sign up for my newsletter.

And, if you haven’t already registered - I’m giving a Mobile Video for 2019 Workshop on December 6th!

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Thanks again for reading, stay awesome - and keep puking rainbows!

Erica Hanna
Owner, Puke Rainbows Creative
Speaker, Director, Producer
MInneapolis, Minnesota

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