Last week at Macworld/iWorld 2014 I had the opportunity to be a speaker, doing a presentation on Friday afternoon about Siri and The Internet of Things. One of the benefits of being a speaker at this conference is a "swag bag" full of goodies from companies that are sponsoring the expo, and it's always a little bit like Christmas opening up the bag. This year I was quite happy to see some items from Square Jellyfish, and immediately put two of their products to work helping me out at the show. The Tablet Tripod Mount (US$29.99, currently on sale on Amazon.com for $17.95) and Jelly Long Legs Tripod ($19.99, currently on sale on Amazon.com for $9.95) were incredibly useful tools while I was shooting the short videos you've seen over the past five days.
First, the Tablet Tripod Mount works perfectly with the iPad mini and any other tablet with a screen size up to 7 inches. For smartphone work, the company also sells the Spring Tripod Mount (US$24.99, currently on sale at Amazon.com for $14.95) that holds your iPhone and provides a threaded mount for installation on a tripod.
The mount has a spring-loaded "jaw" that grips your iPad mini on the "skinny side", and it weighs just a scant 2.6 ounces (73.7 grams). On the back is a knurled knob for tightening or loosening the mount so that you can tilt it into portrait or landscape orientation. In the bottom of the "stand" piece of the mount is a threaded hole that works perfectly with the company's Jelly Long Legs Tripod.
The Jelly Long Legs Tripod has legs that extend out quite a ways to ensure that your iPad mini will be standing straight and tall without any chance of falling over. Those legs curve a little bit, so you can also collapse them down and they become a comfortable hand grip. That's what I ended up using the mount and tripod for during Macworld/iWorld -- i was using the amazing Vizzywig app and my iPad mini to shoot and edit short product videos on the show floor, instead of using a monopod and DSLR as I have in past years.
The Jelly Long Legs only weighs .7 ounces (19.8 grams), so the complete mount and "hand grip" tripod weighed just 3.3 ounces (93.5 grams). The iPad mini doesn't weigh all that much either, so this was a fun and fast way to shoot video for TUAW. If I have one concern about the Square Jellyfish products, it has to do with durability -- I just don't have enough long-term experience with these products to know how long they'll last.
When you consider that you can get the entire ball of wax -- mount and tripod -- for just less than $28, you not only have a flexible and lightweight solution, but one that's affordable as well. I plan on using this for my future filming needs; now I just need to find a good directional microphone to mount on the iPad mini and I'm ready to film my next feature film...
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible