4-Axis iPhone Cinema Slider - Hands Free Cinematic Filming

Handsfree iPhone Cinematography 4-Axis Slider Setup

In Photography by Jerad HillLeave a Comment

Today’s modern filmmaker needs cameras and tools to help get the shot with minimal assistance. We are making videos about all sorts of topics and want our content to stand out. Many of the filmmaking tools out there can do a lot, but sometimes you have to create your own tools out of what’s available. That is what I did with the ROV Pro Everday Slider and the Movi Cinema Robot.

Product Links (Amazon)
Movi Cinema Robot: https://jer.fyi/movi
ROV Pro Everyday Slider: https://jer.fyi/rovpro
Arca Swiss Mini Plate: https://jer.fyi/arcaminiplate
Arca Swiss Clamp: https://jer.fyi/arcaclamp

Hey, what’s up? It’s Jerad with Ditch Auto and this contraption here is a full motion slider that I concocted out of a couple of different things for a mobile phone, like an iPhone or your new Galaxy S10. So what do you do when you want to get those super smooth shots? And yes, I know that your phone cameras have some stabilization built into them and they do a good job, but what about those cool shots that you just couldn’t possibly get unless you had some sort of a system? Maybe you’re by yourself and you want to get some cool B-roll shots like this one.

That is right. That shot was done completely hands free. I did not touch anything other than hitting start and letting it go. And I acted in my own scene. And a scene like that can be easily done on an iPhone with a setup like this. So let’s break down what I’ve got going on here. So what I’m doing is using two different pieces of technology. On the top here, we have the Movi, this is the mobile version of a camera gimbal system from Free Fly Cinema. The Movi cinema robot is an absolutely cool little piece of technology for getting really cool shots, whether you want some super smooth movements that you can’t get hand holding your phone, or you want to do some awesome time-lapses where the camera pans over time or tilts and all that stuff. This is an awesome tool for that.

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But what if you want to add some more motion to it? I mean, I geeked out on this thing because I was able to get some like really cool like pan across time-lapses, maybe even add a little bit of a tilt to it as it pans across. And this is really cool by itself. But if you want to add some motion and get a shot, like the one that I showed you where the camera kind of peeks out from around the back of my truck and captures me getting my new vision 13 bag from think tank out of the truck, you’re going to need a slider. That’s where we bring in this little guy here, which is the ROV Pro every day from Rhino. Rhino camera equipment is fantastic, and I purchased this thing a little while ago and have held off doing any content with it where I’m like reviewing it or talking about it because so many other people reviewed it and talked about, “Oh, it’s a slider. Look cool. You could put your phone or a small camera on it and make it go back and forth.” But I’m really bored with like the just back and forth slider shots. I’m over that.

I’ve had sliders for years now and even motion sliders over the last few years because the prices have gotten more acceptable. And even when I got this, I thought, okay, this will be great because it comes in a cool little backpack, something that I can easily take with me. And just getting those little back and forth shots aren’t too exciting.

But when you can add in a whole another element to that by adding pan and tilt and rotation all at the same time while sliding back and forth, that’s where things start to get dynamic. So I’ve been kind of showing you a couple of photos too. I also shared a whole bunch of photos and a couple of video clips over on the Ditch Auto, Instagram. So if you go to ditch_auto on Instagram, you can see some of the other stuff. So let me talk a little bit about how a setup like this works. So I technically did need to use two phones to make this work. You don’t have to use two phones though. You can use a phone and a tablet. Most of us have a phone in some sort of a tablet, because you’re going to need the Movi App for the movie camera robot here at the cinema robot, because that is what’s going to control the filming. It’s going to control any motion that you do with the movie itself. And then you’re also going to need the Rov app that’s going to control your back and forth. Now, you don’t necessarily have to have a separate phone doing that, it’s just if you want to start and stop, you can’t be in two apps at once.

So you need an app to start the motion on the row, however, you can set it to loop and just have it go back and forth and when it gets to one end, you can hit go on the Movi App and have it pan across and of course get that shot for you, which is pretty cool. And it’s very easy to do that and set it up. However, I just found it easier to use two phones because that way I don’t have to jump between apps. It’s a little bit easier. I happened to have two phones, but if you had an iPad and a phone or something like that or an Android tablet, both of these devices work on iOS and Android. So you’re totally cool there.

Now, to make it easy to get this on and off, not only this device because the ROV here comes with its own little device, I can’t even remember how to get it off in here because it’s been so long. There it is. It comes with its own little plate, but I’m not a huge fan of the plate that it comes with. So I added a little Arca Swiss plate to it and then I added one to the base of the Movi here because this allows me to get this not only in and out of my slider, but it also allows me to put it into any other device that I have, tripod, whatever, because I’m using Arca Swiss on all of my stuff, even my bigger Manfrotto plates, I have an Arca Swiss on top of it so that I could just easily get stuff in and out. So really quickly slide that right in and tighten little knob down. And then of course I have any adjustment here. I can adjust and place it at an angle.

You can set the ROV to go downhill with. This added weight, you’re not going to be able to do too much because see, it’s going to start to fall on its own. So you’re going to have to find kind of a happy place where the amount of weight on here isn’t making it slide. So this is a little heavy for this setup, for going downhill or anything like that, but you know, that’s fine. I’m not really doing too much of that. On the bottom here, we of course have a plate, a tripod plate, and on this tripod plate, we are able to mount this setup to a tripod. There are lots of cool things that you can do there. Obviously tripods allow you to raise this up off the ground, put it in places that might be a little trickier for the little legs that come on the slider itself.

But you know, this set up here is pretty cool for getting those quick simple shots that you want to share quickly to social media because you’re using a smartphone. You don’t want to get out all of your big equipment. I mean, Rhino makes some fantastic sliders, some big ones. They just got done kickstarting a new one with a completely automated pan tilt head, which I backed because I absolutely love their stuff. They have sliders for bigger cameras. And then of course, even free fly systems has huge big camera gimbals. I mean, they’re the leader in the industry in camera gimbals, and from everything that mounts on and handheld to being able to mount a big unit to the bottom of a drone and fly it around. I mean, they’ve got all sorts of great stuff. So this is the compact run and gun, go out in the field.

I want to get some stuff for social media. I want to get a couple of B roll shots. But as you saw, even in that little segment that I shot and showed you at the very beginning of this video, like that’s not bad, that’s an iPhone. But nonetheless, it’s pretty cool that you can get shots like that with something small little package like this that you can carry in a backpack easily and control totally with an iPhone or an android phone. So I’ve got links to everything down in the description below for you to check out. Obviously this isn’t a full review of everything that you see here. I’ve just kind of talking about this setup as a potential for those of you that are wanting to get more dynamic shots with your iPhone or your android phone than you’ve been able to get in the past.

So let me know what you think down in the comment section below. Have you tried a set up like this? What is your solution for getting a full range of motion when shooting video on a smartphone? Of course, I’m always open to hearing suggestions and recommendations from all of you. So that’s why I turn it over to you and we talk about it down in the comment section. So that’s going to do it for this post. Thanks so much for checking it out. I hope you enjoyed it. Share it with someone if you did, and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you want to see more stuff from us. And that’s going to do it for today. Hope you see back in the next one.

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