B&H Wedding Guide: Putting an iPhone to Work

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No matter whom you invite to your wedding, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one—if not several—Apple iPhones will show up. Since your friends and family will be snapping photos and shooting video of your big day with the world’s most notorious smartphone, you may want to consider outfitting them with some accessories so they can capture better-looking results.

An important tip for shooting video with an iPhone is to hold it in landscape orientation as you’re filming. This creates a rectangular image that fits the dimensions of a video screen. You can also enhance the image of an iPhone in three different ways: by adding an external lens, by using a stabilization accessory and by using an external light. Read on for ideas on how an iPhone can help record your wedding day; however, we don’t recommend using Siri as the ceremony officiant.

External Lenses for iPhones

An unobtrusive lens-accessory option for the iPhone is the olloclip 3-in-1 Lens System. It’s a simple external lens gizmo that slides onto the corner of the phone. There are lenses on both sides of the olloclip: one side is a macro lens, and the other can be shuffled between a fisheye and a more standard wide-angle lens. Different versions of the olloclip are available for the iPhone 5, in either red or black, and for the iPhone 4 and 4S in red or black.

Another iPhone lens accessory that’s small in size is the Digital King Magnet Mount Conversion Wide Angle & Macro. It’s similar to the olloclip in some ways, but what makes it different is that it attaches to the iPhone with a magnetic ring. Two lenses are included with this kit: a wide angle to take in the room and a macro for close-ups. Because the Digital King uses magnets to attach, it’s compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5.

Designed specifically for the iPhone 4 and 4S, the iPro Lens System does double duty as a protective case for the phone. The portion of the case around the lens acts as a mount, where you can attach the included wide-angle or fisheye lenses. The lenses screw together for storage, and also screw into an included handle. The handle can be mounted to the side of the case to add stabilization when shooting, and it also makes it possible to mount your iPhone on a standard tripod.

The alm mCAM lens enhancement system offers a more sturdy approach to iPhone image modification with its durable aluminum frame. A 37mm wide-angle/macro combo lens is included, as is an additional silicone case to protect the iPhone. The external aluminum frame also serves to protect the iPhone, as well as adding a shoe mount and multiple 1/4"-20 threads—so you can attach additional accessories.

The original alm mCAM is available for the iPhone 4 and 4S, and it includes a 180˚ rotational microphone. The alm mCAMLITE is also available for the iPhone 4 and 4S, and a different version of the mCAMLITE is available for the iPhone 5, which also includes the external microphone. If you’re looking for a really nice upgrade in sound quality, the mCAMLITE is available in the alm MoJo Pro Pack for iPhone 5, which includes a Røde M3 condenser microphone. Another version of the MoJo Pro Pack is also available for the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Stabilization for iPhones

The most basic form of camera stabilization is a tripod. However, a traditional tripod is a bit too large to carry around as you’re mingling with others at a wedding. But you're in luck: Joby makes a really small and lightweight tripod that was specially designed for smartphones, called the GripTight GorillaPod Stand. The great characteristic of the GripTight is that it’s compatible with all smartphones (Apple, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, etc.). In addition to acting as a tabletop tripod, its flexible legs can be used to affix your phone to poles, fences, torchieres and other objects.

Another really basic form of stabilization is a hand grip. The Fostex AR-4i is a hand grip accessory that’s compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S, as well as the fourth-generation iPod touch. Your Apple device slides into its cradle, which connects to the 30-pin docking port. A handle is included, which screws into the side of the cradle. A big plus is that the AR-4i takes over the responsibility of capturing audio. Two small microphones are included, which also connect to the cradle and improve the sound quality of the attached device. A standard camera shoe is also found on the side of the cradle, so you have the option to attach other accessories, such as a light.

If you’re not interested in an audio upgrade, but you like the idea of having a handle for stabilization, the Zacuto Zgrip iPhone Jr. is a very durably constructed option that’s compatible with all iPhone 3 and 4 models. Both the bottom and the top of the Zgrip Jr. are outfitted with 1/4"-20 threads, so it’s easy to mount the unit on a tripod and add a light. Another simple hand-grip option that’s compatible with most smartphones is the Woxom Slingshot, which acts both as a handle and a tabletop tripod. The Dot Line Grip Kit is another iPhone handle accessory, which has the added benefit of having a front-facing LED light.

If you want to achieve those dreamy-looking video shots where the camera appears to be floating and gliding around, the tool you need is a Steadicam Smoothee. This accessory demands a little dedication before the wedding day, because getting great-looking footage using a Stedicam requires some practice. However, the effort is well worth it. The Smoothee is based on the same technology that’s used in major motion pictures, and it comes with a quick-release mount that enables you to remove your phone from the Stedicam and attach it to a tripod. Different Smoothee models are available to accommodate the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4 and 4S.

External Light Options for iPhones

Similar to the Dot Line Grip Kit that was mentioned earlier in the article, the Dot Line iPhone Pod Kit is a hand-grip accessory with an integrated LED light. Like the Grip Kit, the iPhone Pod Kit features a telescoping handle, so it can be adjusted to the height you need. The outer portion of the hand grip can be removed, exposing small yet flexible tripod legs.

The Manfrotto KLYP series is based around a form-fitting case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. The KLYP case features a 1/4"-20 thread, so you can just leave it on your iPhone as an everyday case and you’ll be able to quickly attach it to any tripod. An LED light is included, and it can be attached to the KLYP case with its snap-on adapter. Versions are available with either an ML120 light, which features 12 LEDs, or you can get a KLYP with a ML240 light, which features 24 LEDs.

One More Thing…

Digital images are great for sharing online, but an actual physical print of a photo is a wonderful memento. The VuPoint Photo Cube is a small printer that enables you to print 4 x 6” photos from an iPhone or an Android device in approximately 55 seconds. You can connect your gadget to its USB port, or to the 30-Pin dock connector on top of the printer. A free “Photo Cube!” app is required to make the prints, which can be found easily on Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

If you have any questions about the products in this article, you can visit our SuperStore in New York City, give us a call at 1-800-606-6969, or interact with us online in a Live Chat.

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Great Article. 

However, the product links all point to products that are no longer available.

Bill,

Time marches on and so does technology. As this article was written over a year ago, it is to be expected that much of the product described therein has been replaced by newer technology.