Smartphone Video Cage Review – Ulanzi
If you were going to have a real video camera, i may have been wrong so starting a new video series on smartphone video and how to get the best footage you can and all right, better late than never hi. Everyone welcome to pal to tech today were doing a mini review of the ulanzi lino smartphone cage ulansi sent this unit into us to take a look at, but they did not sponsor nor pay for this review. If you think about it just a few years ago, it would have been unheard of. To put you know, a camera cage around a telephone camera cages have always been used for professional video camera setups and are used most often to protect the camera, as well as make it more functional. You can put a metal cage like this one right on an xt4, and this will allow you to attach, to the top and to the sides, items like follow, focus, setup or microphones, or external monitors and so forth. But the fact of the matter now is that the quality of video on the newer smartphones is now good enough to take seriously as a filmmaking camera and just like shooting, with a professional camera shooting with a smartphone youre going to want to have lights and capture. Good quality, audio and the ulanzi cage attaches to your phone and its designed to attach devices to help you do that. Its made entirely out of metal, weighs 245 grams and can pull out to accommodate a phone to about 165 millimeters its real easy to attach it.
To the phone, you basically drop the phone in just like this and pull out the side until it fits just like that, and then twist the knob on the side to tighten now regarding sizing, it can hold an iphone 13 pro with a case on it. Okay, however, a google pixel pro will not fit in this unit with a case on it. You have to take the case off the pixel pro in order to fit it into the cage and it barely fits. The unit has rubber gaskets so that the metal cage doesnt scratch up your smartphone generally. What i found is that filmmaking and shooting ergonomics on smartphones are pretty terrible. However, by having these two handles on the sides that rotate, so you can get footage, for example, really high up holding it like this or you rotate these just like that, and then you can lower it and hold it further down and get low shots and being Able to hold the phone just like this really does help with stabilizing your footage. Now the unit has several cold shoe mounts some quarter inch screw holes and the ability to attach to a tripod either horizontally or vertically. You can very quickly and easily attach both a small light, as well as an external microphone to the unit. I decided to take this out on a brief shooting test. I wanted to see how it was able to allow me to get low angles.
Stabilized shots, panning shots and, most importantly, can i operate a heavy piece of machinery at the same time as shooting cinematic b roll Music? Well, it turns out thanks to these handles. I could now one issue i ran into was the distance between the mic port on the phone and the side of the cage. There was not enough room, at least on the iphone 13 pro to directly attach a microphone via the lightning port. So instead, i attached an audio recorder using a piece of velcro tape and connected that to the external mic on top, and that did the trick. But this is something you definitely want to consider. If you want to connect your microphone directly to your phone and not record audio on a separate device, you need to be sure that youve got enough room to clear the mic connector on the side. Now, one other item that i noticed – and this is an ergonomic problem in general on smartphones – and that is once you have the phone inside the cage. Okay, just like this. At that point, you cant access the on or off buttons. So what i would recommend, if youre going to use one of these things, is that on both android and ios, you want to set the tap to wake up. You know by tapping the screen make that setting so that you can quickly turn the phone on by tapping the screen instead of trying to fumble and get to the button on the side.
Overall, this is not a bad unit. It supported all of the gear that i attached to it with no trouble. I would recommend this on the condition that you understand about the audio jack issue that i mentioned, as well as the ergonomics of accessing the on off switch on the device. I do want to explore additional topics on how to shoot better, smartphone videos. I now think that any smartphone can be a great addition to your mirrorless or dslr camera, so just about everyone now has a smartphone camera with them at all times. Now, more than ever, it is time to learn to shoot great smartphone footage, and that is the topic ill be exploring in future videos in the meantime. Thank you so much for watching, and i hope you found this video helpful or at least entertaining and if you did be sure, to give it the like and subscribe ill be back in a new video very soon take care.