Expand the Capabilities of Your iPhone’s Camera with mCAM and mCAMLITE

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So, you’ve got yourself an iPhone, and now you want to know how to get better images and video with it. Luckily for you, Action Life Media (ALM), a manufacturer of iPhone accessories, makes a couple of rigs designed to do just that. The mCAM stabilizes your iPhone or iPod touch for blur-free movie recording and still image capture. It also solves the problem of fingertips appearing in-frame. Great as a secondary camera on a shoot to complement your DSLR or video camera, the mCAM with attached iPhone or iPod touch can even be mounted on top of your DSLR, enabling you to shoot stills and video simultaneously.

The mCAMLITE is similar to the mCAM, but it lacks the mCAM’s handles, has a slightly different mount configuration and is compatible only with the iPhone 4 and 4S. The full mCAM comes in different versions to accommodate the iPhone 3G/3GS, the iPhone 4/4S and the iPod touch. All rigs come with the same bundled accessories.

Constructed from a solid block of airplane grade billet aluminum, the mCAM features a sleek black anodized finish. Solid but not heavy, it’s a durable piece of equipment offering the weight and stability you need to steady your iPhone or iPod touch while shooting. It also serves as a protective housing to safeguard your valuable investment. Two compact handles extend downward from the body, providing a supportive and stable grip. These handles, combined with the raised top corners of the device and the overall shiny black surface, make the mCAM look like a tool Batman would use to perform surveillance. The rig boasts four ¼”-20 thread mounts, two on the top corners and two on the bottom of the handles, while the mCAMLITE has one on top and three on the bottom.

The device also features a cold shoe, centered on the top, for mounting additional accessories. Between the cold shoe and the ¼”-20s, you’ve got the ability to attach microphones, lights, cross mounts, tripods, monopods, dollies and other accessories. The mCAM also comes with a 180-degree directional microphone that connects to your iPhone or iPod touch via its headphone jack, improving the quality of your captured sound. The directional microphone is great for interviews and other situations where you need wide coverage, such as in large rooms, and it has an easily adjustable pivot point. Just be sure you set your iPhone or iPod to airplane mode to avoid radio interference or popping, thus ensuring optimal sound to accompany your brilliant video.

Also included is a case for your iOS device that snaps snugly into a recessed area on the back of the mCAM. The case fits like a worn shoe, going on and off easily while providing a secure hold, so you can concentrate on getting the shot you want without having to worry about your device falling out. The case provides easy access to the headphone jack for inputting or swapping microphones, as well as to the charging port for revitalizing your battery. You can also adjust the volume easily.

To enhance the quality of your images and HD video, the mCAM comes bundled with a 37mm Wide Angle/Macro Combo Lens which incorporates two glass lenses in one; one wide-angle and the other macro. The wide-angle lens has a 37mm diameter rear lens thread and screws onto the front of the macro lens, which in turn screws onto the thread mount on the mCAM itself. This allows you to keep both lenses together for easy portability and convenience. Simply remove the wide-angle lens and the macro is ready to go. The wide-angle lens, which features a 49mm front thread, provides a greater angle of view, enabling you to get closer to your subject while still fitting everything in the frame. By contrast, the macro is designed for extreme close-up shooting, letting you catch and magnify minute details that would be missed by the naked eye. If you’re really serious about your lenses, you’ll want to get the optional EnCinema SLR adapter. The adapter screws into the back of the mCAM and accepts Canon EOS lenses on its front end.

  mCAM  mCAMLITE
Construction Airplane grade billet aluminum Airplane grade billet aluminum
Finish Black anodized Black anodized
Handles 2 None
1/4"-20 Mounts 4 4
1/4"-20 Mount Configuration 2 top, 2 bottom 1 top, 3 bottom
Cold Shoe Mount Yes Yes
Microphone 180-degree omni-style directional mic: 3.5mm tip, 2.2K ohm impedance, -54 +/- 2.0 dB sensitivity  180-degree omni-style directional mic: 3.5mm tip, 2.2K ohm impedance, -54 +/- 2.0 dB sensitivity 
Lenses 1.46" (37 mm) wide angle/macro  1.46" (37 mm) wide angle/macro 
Lens Construction Glass Glass
Wide-Angle Lens Rear Thread Diameter  37mm  37mm 
Wide-Angle Lens Front Thread Diameter 49mm 49mm
Macro Lens Front Thread Diameter 37mm  37mm 
Optional EnCinema SLR lens adapter 1.38" (35mm), 2x 1.45" (37mm) Macro close-up filters 1.38" (35mm), 2x 1.45" (37mm) Macro close-up filters
Compatibility iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S; iPod touch (via customized versions) iPhone 4 and 4S