FirstLook: Shoulderpod S1 Smartphone RIG

FirstLook: Shoulderpod S1 Smartphone RIG

  • Company: Shoulderpod
  • Model: S1 Professional Smart Rig
  • Size: 4.7 x 4.7 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $34.90
  • Website: www.shoulderpod.com
 
 
 

About:

With a passion for photography and videography, and a need for stability, the Shoulderpod S1 was born. In Barcelona, Spain Shoulderpod’s design merged a tripod mount, pistol grip with a vise to secure and stabilize your phone.


The Shoulderpod S1 is an adjustable plastic clamp with rubber pads that secures your phone. You can very easily adjust the clamp by using the screw wheel at the very top. On the flipside, at the very bottom they included a standard tripod mount. This opens up a world of utility, enabling you to either attaching their aluminum pistol grip and strap, or attaching it to tripods, booms, sliders, suction cups or even a dolly. They also add that the Shoulderpod S1 can be used as a quick stand.

 

First Thoughts:

I was quite excited, upon receiving this Rig. With the new iPhone6+’s out, we have been looking for a good everyday rig and were hoping this one would be it.

Unboxing was straight forward, Opening it revealed the S1 in three separate parts. The clamp, Pistol grip and hand strap within some cushy foam. Sticking out from the side were two tabs, providing information as to read instructions before use and guarantee. To my surprise, Shoulderpod give a 2year limited guarantee on manufacturing defects. Instruction was straight forward with 3 illustrations on how to use their product.

Picking up the S1 for the first time it felt really light due to it's all plastic construction. Even though it’s plastic is still had a relatively decent solid feel and the rubber pads on the clamp felt nice. It seems it’s a harder rubber not one of those squishy one’s.

I played with the adjusting screw at the very top and started getting a bit concerned. It seems the further open the clamp got the more wiggle room there was. Seeing that the new iPhone6+ it a lot bigger now this had me wondering. My initial thought was the tolerances should have been a lot better. Maybe they should have built it in aluminum in order to accommodate better tolerance and as a better benefit a really solid feel. Thinking to my self, I would have spent a few extra bucks for it. With that said I installed my iPhone6+ and was pleasantly surprised, which actually makes sense in hindsight. Once you clamp it down all the wiggle goes away because of the pressure applied.

I went ahead an attached the included pistol grip and strap. Slid the leather end of the strap over the pistol grip screw, then screwed in the postal grip on the S1. Threads were very smooth and went on without any issues. The pistol grip itself feels like a solid piece of aluminum and seems to add just enough weight to make everything feel good in your hand. The strap is not adjustable, but for me it seemed to be the perfect length. It was not too short to make it hard to handle, nor was it too long to get in the way.

Features & Specs:

  • Tripod mount: Mount your smart phone on any tripod thanks to a universal 1/4"-20 threaded base.
  • Filmmaker grip: Mount the S1 with the provided aluminum grip extension for extra hand ergonomics and the wrist strap for maximum security.
  • Travelers stand: The S1 can be used as its own stand on the go.

What's Included:

  • Shoulderpod S1
  • Aluminum pistol grip
  • Wrist Strap

Final Thoughts: (after a week of use)

After a week of putting the S1 though it paces and paring it with every accessory I own, from small tripods to large dollies. I must say at a price point of around $30 this is one solid accessory to have on hand. If you have upgraded to an iPhone 6+ or own larger smart phone, you will notice the options for a dependable mount are slim pickings. The Shoulderpod S1 isn’t just a mount. You also get the benefit of a pistol grip. I found using it greatly improved my shots. It did seem to take some of the sway out and gave the feeling of more control while shooting. The wrist strap was a great addition as well and must admit. It takes the worrying away of someone bumping me and dropping my iPhone. Letting me focus more on capturing what's important, the moment.

If you're in the market for a mount/pistol grip and have $30 bucks lying around jump on the buy now button and pick your self up one from Amazon. These guys are based in Spain so if you're an Amazon Prime user take advantage of it and get yours in <2 days rather than 1 week like me.

Disappointments: (small nit-picking)

  • I keep thinking "WHAT IF" Aluminum & Better tolerances in the frame
    • Event though the S1 feels solid when tightened down on something and has a nice weight to it. I constantly wonder how an all aluminum one would feel. Seeing as it would be aluminum you would be able to get better tolerances than plastic as well as it being to withstand harder drops. However, would prove to be too heavy as aluminum. Weight seems just right.
  • Tightening takes longer the I would like by top screw
    • While the adjustable screw is great, gives you a lot of control.. You don’t want to tighten things too much or not enough. However, some times it can take a while to tighten it down. Maybe the next version could have some kind of ratchet built-in. So you can just push down on the clamp then tighten with the screw.
 

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