We live in an era where anyone can be a star. Just about everywhere you turn there’s a new upstart YouTube or Twitter personality garnering lots of attention. Today’s smartphones make it easier than ever to create fun, interesting, and compelling content. And, thanks to high-speed 4G LTE, we can even broadcast direct to YouTube and other platforms.
If you’ve ever considered dabbling in video content, you want to make sure you have the right tools. Sure, you can go it with the out-of-the-box stuff that comes with your phone and keep it simple. It works, but you’re just a half-step away from a much better audiovisual experience.
The Movo Smartphone Video Kit V7 is an inexpensive bundle that lets you dial up your video production quality. Not in a massive undertaking sort of way, but one that doesn’t require any education. It’s just the right amount of tech to punch up audio and video without breaking the bank.
Priced just $120 at the time of this review, the Video Kit is comprised of four key pieces and a carrying case.
- PR-1 SMARTPHONE RIG
- VXR50 STEREO MIC
- LED30 VIDEO LIGHT
- RC101 BLUETOOTH REMOTE
The smartphone rig features a rubberized grip handle, wrist strap, accessory shoe, and shoe extender. It is designed to fit phones from 2.2-inches wide up to 3.6-inches wide. This means nearly all major handsets including bigger ones like the Galaxy Note.
There’s also a tripod thread at the bottom which means you can add it to your tripod for a standalone setup. And, to make sure you have the proper orientation you can check out the built-in bubble level.
The microphone comes with a foam and furry windscreen which can be added on the fly to help eliminate wind whistling and blowing from sneaking into your audio.
The video light features 30 LEDs and allows for three brightness levels. The remote can be paired to your Android or iPhone and makes it easy to take selfies or group shots from a distance.
Setting up the kit is really whatever you make of it. If you’d like to use all components, feel free to do so. Even then, there’s really not much effort required. Simply unpack the case and insert your phone and any accessories.
It doesn’t sound like much but using a rig alone can lead to steadier shots or more balanced pictures and video. Things feel more natural when you’re holding a pole than having your hands trying to grip a phone. That, and having the bubble level makes sure you have things lined up to the horizon.
Adding on the light can go a long way to bringing out more detail in your portrait shots and videos. Even though there are subtle differences between them we appreciate that there were three brightness settings. And, even at its brightest, it’s still soft and doesn’t wash out the subject. We like that we can recharge it via microUSB and we’ve tossed a small portable charger in the carrying case.
The microphone is considerably more important, and the reason we like this kit so much. If you’re shooting video and expect to have a subject that’s more than a couple of feet away from the phone, you need a quality microphone. To that end, the one that’s included in the Movo Smartphone Video Kit V7 is an excellent way to improve the audio without breaking the bank.
With or without the windscreens, the microphone does a fantastic job of picking up, semi-isolated and directional sound. There’s nothing to think about; it basically does it just by being pointed at the subject. What’s more, it helps to alleviate background and ambient sound. The shock mount ensures you don’t hear any sudden thumps or bumps in your video.
When it comes to assembling and disassembling the kit, things don’t get much easier. All it takes is a simple twist for the shoes to tighten or loosen. We can break it down and put it into the carrying case in a matter of moments.
Speaking of the case, there’s enough room to add in a dedicated phone and/or small portable power supply. It’s perfect if you’ve got an older handset that you’d like to use just for videos.
Head to the Movo website to learn more about the Movo Smartphone Video Kit V7 and other products. It’s also there where you can purchase the bundle for $120.