iOgrapher for iPad Mini
The iOgrapher is a wonderful, relatively streamlined case that turns your devices into more versatile media platforms.
I’m using the iPad Mini-scale iOgrapher to turn my little tablet into something more production-worthy than its typical state. When snapped into place, it gains three cold-shoe mounts, handles on both sides, a lens mount, and a tripod screw-hole in the bottom.
The case itself is made of a flexible polycarbonate material that is strong, but also bends. A lot of the negative reviews I’ve seen for this case have been about the fact that you actually have to bend the case to the point where it seems like it will break to remove the iPad from it, though I’ve twisted the thing a great deal, and once I got the hang of it, I wasn’t at all concerned anything would break. The material itself, by the way, isn’t hard enough to scratch the iPad itself.
The iPad’s camera isn’t great — it’s probably the lowest-quality of the cameras I use regularly, in fact — but it becomes better and more useful with the addition of the iOgrapher. I can now mount lenses (37mm), which gives me the ability to go macro, zoom in, or shoot wide angle compositions. The handles allow for very smooth handling, making up for the iPad’s lack of video stabilizing software. The cold-shoe mounts are great, allowing you to perch microphones, lights, or just about anything else atop the case. I typically use adapters that turn the cold-shoe mounts into tripod mounts, which allows me to add other cameras atop my main camera, getting different shots from the same or a similar angle, or shooting video while also live-streaming via Periscope. Perhaps most useful, though, is the flat bottom with a tripod mount, which allows the iPad to stand up on any flat surface, or to be mounted on any standard tripod.
There are iOgrapher models for many different tablets and phones, and I’m tempted to try one for my iPhone, though am wary because of the shape of the case. It’s not super obtrusive, but because it’s a poly shell with handles, it doesn’t slip neatly into a reliable space the way most of my other equipment does, which can be disconcerting, and can upset and otherwise well-packed bag. My opinion on this may change, though, as this has been one of the more useful pieces of hardware I’ve used on shoots thus far.