Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:26 PM EDT, May 7, 2013
Name: Tiffen Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone 4/5 and GoPro
What it is: a lightweight hand-held camera-stabilization device that allows users to create smooth, stable videos while on the move with their iPhone or a GoPro. The Steadicam Smoothee is a looping metal frame with stabilizing weights and a built-in camera mount. Different models come with a case for iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5 or the GoPro. Cases feature a quick-release removable camera mount that fits in the Smoothee's camera mount along with most tripods. The Smoothee is 21/2 inches deep, 8 inches wide and 141/2 inches long. According to my luggage scale, it weighs slightly more than a pound. The easy-grip handle folds up for portability. The Smoothee also comes with a belt clip.
The good: It's easy to use out of the box and makes pans from left to right or up and down smooth and shake-free. Initially I struggled to get the counterbalance adjusted, but once I had the Smoothee tuned for my thumb and index finger, shooting video was easy. On a hike in Utah, I carried it over my shoulder for easy access. It also has a bit of a "wow" factor if you like to impress people with your gadgets.
The bad: It's awkward to pack, so I sometimes leave it behind. I wish the Smoothee could fold in half to make it more compact. But that might diminish its perfect balance.
Available from: bhphotovideo.com, adorama.com, amazon.com.
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