Taking iPhone video is usually a pretty manual affair. You try to hold your hands steady, but eventually some shudder creeps in. Trying to maintain a steady focal point can be tricky, especially if you’re filming a larger scene, like a concert or play.
You could use a tripod, but they’re big, bulky and require some setup. You don’t want to move around with a tripod.
Monopods, however, offer the stability and easy-panning joy of a tripod without all the fuss. Manfrotto’s monopod (the aptly-named 562B-1) is a solid, tall, adjustable, simply fantastic accessory to make all your videos, iPhone or otherwise, look much more professional.
Monopods give you much smoother video, whether you’re panning across a wide shot or following the action from one spot to another. The Manfrotto monopod I tested has a buttery-smooth head at the top that allows you to aim your camera up and down without moving it from your location. There’s a professional panning handle (it’s totally adjustable as well) that lets you pan left to right and back without any stutter or camera jump.
When you’re zoomed in, camera shake is magnified. Manfrotto’s monopod is rock-solid, with an intriguing little mini foot on the bottom with three legs that provide added stability over the standard monopod’s single foot. You can fold these little tripods up when not using them, but they do let you stand the monopod up on a level surface if you need to let go for a second.
If you’re taking still photos, any sort of stabilization like this helps you use slower shutter speeds and get better depth of field effects.
I took this bad boy to a couple of soccer games and a rock concert one of my kids was performing in, and wow did I feel like a pro. The mounting plate at the top of the Manfrotto monopod will accept anything with a standard tripod port; I added a ShoulderPod iPhone mounting head, pointed my iPhone at the action, and let fly.
After only a few moments I could feel an immense difference in the experience of filming these types of events. My arms didn’t get tired from holding an iPhone up for long periods of time. With an adjustable height from a little over 2 feet up to a maximum of 6-feet, 4-inches, I could get the iPhone up high when at the soccer game to see over the tops of the spectators in front of me. At the concert venue, I was able to drop it down to the minimum height and set it on the table in front of me to capture the rock ‘n’ roll dream without impeding the view of folks behind me.
Having this professional-level kit to take iPhone videos may seem like a little bit of overkill, but having amazing gear makes everything better. You can mount any kind of still or video camera to the Manfrotto monopod and get still and moving images with ease, making your end product that much better, with smooth pans and stable videos captured using a much-less-than-a-tripod footprint.
You can get one of these solidly built, adjustable Manfrotto monopods from Amazon for $220, which might seem like a lot at first glance, but the incredible build quality and precision engineering of this iPhone monopod is worth every single dollar.
If you’re serious about your iPhone video or still photography, you can’t do better than a Manfrotto 562B-1 or similar monopod. Your photos and videos will shine much brighter with this type of pro gear on board.