Review: iOgrapher Turns Your iPad into a Camera Option

And without the dorkiness

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Cash-strapped schools are discovering that the iPad can become a legitimate tool for video production, and not just for apps like doddle’s own scheduler to keep yourself on track. I’m talking making it into a studio camera. But in order to do that, you need to have a proper case that not only protects that iPad, but also to add your microphones and lights. Enter iOgrapher.

The iOgrapher Mobile Media Case is the first all purpose filmmaking case for the iPad and the new iPad mini. Made from high grade polycarbonate, iOgrapher is extremely tough and durable enough to withstand any shooting environment – from your high school football game, your kids’ birthday party to that pro shoot you may be prepping for your next big film. –

iOgrapher inventor Dave Basulto

I received an iOgrapher to test it out on my iPad 2. And when I first got it, I was honestly a bit concerned. Being made of plastic, it seemed a bit flimsy. Made out polycarbonate plastic, it’s rather flexible and that made me wonder if it could take a licking and keep on ticking. But after talking to a friend of mine who turned me onto it, I was assured that once the iPad was slipped into the iOgrapher, it would be pretty darn stiff. And it was. But even then, I was still kinda skeptical… until I went to NAB.

There, I saw an Apple employee walking around with his iPad mini cloaked in an iOgrapher Mini on a monopod with a light and external microphone. I asked him why he went for that, and he told me it was the perfect way for him to grab video for the office back in Cupertino of everything he saw on the show room floor. And he wasn’t just trying to sell me on an iPad mini camera option either (because we all know that the iPad’s video camera isn’t all that great). But for his needs, he genuinely was sold himself on the fact that the iOgrapher really does make the iPad a serious camera tool.

Taking a look around the iOgrapher, you immediately notice the two handles that bookend the stabilizer, and three cold show mounts on top. There’s also a 1/4-20 tripod mount on the bottom.  And so you don’t have to rely on just the iPad’s lens, there’s also a built in 37mm lens attachment that allows you to screw on a teleconverter or Newer 37mm lens. Those aren’t the only options, mind you, but you have to start from the 37mm lens mount and then adapt from there.

And originally, I felt concerned that the plastic attachment would strip rather easily, and so I screwed it on very gingerly. I think that if iOgrapher redesigned this with an aluminum insert and charged a few more bucks over it’s $70 price tag for the trouble, it would be well worth the peace of mind.

Anyway, once you have the iOgrapher on, suddenly you see the iPad for what it really can be… a low budget studio camera. Now sure, I would much rather have one of those slick Blackmagic Studio Cameras, but if you’re trying to indulge your kid’s YouTube interests and want to see where they take it first, then the iOgrapher setup gives you options. And for an introductory video class in high school, it really does make a lot of sense. It should, since it was a high school video teacher who invented it, Dave Basulto.

The iOgrapher comes in iPad 2/3/4 models for around $70, and the iPad Mini model for $65. But at NAB they were also showing off their new iPhone model, which for $40 gives the same functionality. Frankly, I think it may be a bit overpriced. However, if it offered that aluminum lens mount I was talking about, it would be completely worth that price. And iOgrapher also offers a $15 discount for schools and educators. So that makes it a better bargain.

So, is the iOgrapher a good investment? I say absolutely! It offers three different cold shoe mounts, a tripod mount, and handles to keep your iPad good and steady. If you’re teaching kids, it makes it a heck of a lot easier for them to embrace using the iPad for filming. You won’t be shooting your next epic on the iPad, but for learning the basics of the craft, the iOgrapher helps a great deal. And if for no other reason it takes the dorkiness almost completely out of using the iPad as a camera.

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About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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