Sometimes you don’t know you need something until it’s too late. Well, after purchasing my iPad mini with Retina, I realized I needed a tripod. It was right before Christmas and I was starting my review of 8MM Vintage Camera Application and I wanted to kick myself. The new iPad I bought took such great video and it had such a crisp clean look to it that I wanted so badly to us it to review the application. When I ordered the tripod I knew it wasn’t going arrive in time to review both iPhone and iPad apps for 8MM Vintage…huge let down. It was worth the wait though! This little tripod has come in handy quite a few times. There are some great things about it and some things I would change.
Having something like the iDw Supermount F is a must have if you like using your iOS device to take photos or videos. I realize our iOS devices don’t take the most outstanding pictures you’ll ever see. There are improvements being made though and you can help (Moment Camera Lens). However, with a few tricks, you can drastically improve your photos on your iOS devices. There are any number of applications in the App Store to help you customize the photos you take. This tripod mount will aid stability so you don’t have to snap a ton of photos. For example, there’s an application I have called HDR and I use it on my iPhone and iPad. It requires taking two exact photos when you use this application. Well, if you don’t get them almost exactly the same, they turn out a bit blurry around the edges. If you follow me on Twitter, @iOSAppCritic, you might’ve seen some of the photos I took at Disney World a few weeks ago. A few of those photos suffered from me not using the tripod, while others turned out great when I did use it. The great thing about the iDw Supermount F is you set it up, snap your photos, and move on. It’s easy to unscrew your phone from the mount and put it back in your bag and keep going. Very simple, but what about video.
Shooting video with the iDw Supermount F is a breeze too. Set everything up just like you would if you’re taking photos. The one great feature on this tripod is its ability to expand upwards. There are times when I need to shoot some video for my reviews and I need the camera to be a little bit higher. I can use the iDw Supermount F instead of brining out my large camera tripod. Sometimes my cameras tripod can’t fit where I need it to for shooting video and it comes in handy for those tight shot situations. On those occasions you would want to use a large tripod, the top portion of the iDw Supermount F is removable and will screw into the top of your cameras tripod. Now you are able to grab shots from many different angles. Super useful.
There are great things about the iDw Supermount F, but it’s not perfect. It has some limitations. First off, there are certain positions it cannot hold. When you mount the camera in the clamp on the bottom of your phone and then adjust it so your device is parallel with the ground, like you were taking a shot looking downward, the mount cannot support it. It will tip over from the weight of the device. Even trying to rotate the mount to position it over one of the legs will still tip it over. Another thing, which is not the mounts fault, you must be careful how tight you clamp down on your device. I am attaching it to the iPhone 5 and iPad mini with Retina. These devices are made with aluminosilicate glass (Gorilla Glass), which is scratch resistant and difficult to break or shatter. This doesn’t mean it won’t scratch or break, it’s just difficult to do. When you start clamping it on the device, you begin to see the screen bow in at the clamp point (One of the photos above demonstrates what I’m describing). This was a bit concerning when I first started using it, but eventually I got used to it and stopped freaking out about it . As long as I get it tight enough so the device won’t slip it, I’ve never had an issue. I do fear tightening it any more could result in damage. Keep an eye on how tight it is and you should be just fine.
One thing I did notice about the iDw Supermount F is the iPhone mounted better than the iPad. Take a look at some of the side shots of the iPad. When the iPad is mounted on it, it doesn’t sit flush. It almost starts slipping out of the clip. I’ve found myself trying to tighten the clamp a little tighter than I would with the iPhone since I am worried about it slipping off.
Overall I would say I’m very happy with my purchase. It has performed exactly as I expected it to. When I was deciding on what to buy, I wondered if any of the small tripods would be able to support the weight of my iPhone and iPad in every position. Given the overall composition of these smaller tripods, I think it would difficult for all of them to stay upright in all situations. I knew I was looking for something to supplement what I already owned, but needed added functionality and ease of use when traveling. For less than $30, I really feel like it’s worth the investment. I’ve already taken it out of town and used it in the exact situations I felt I would need it for. If you’re interested in purchasing one for yourself, click here to be redirected to Amazon for all the details.