Taking a group picture with an iPhone (where you are included) has been one of the challenges that I have been scratching my head about. Recently I picked up an i.Trek Supamount after seeing glowing reviews on Amazon.
So what is this thing and why do you need one?
Well imagine this scenario. You have a group of 5+ people and you need to get a picture, but you want to be in the picture yourself. Your “arms length” self portrait will only go out as far as your arm, so short of asking someone else to take the picture, what can you do? Besides, who wants to ask a total stranger to snap a picture, they may just take off with you phone. More likely, they’ve not used an iPhone before and you’ll spend the next awkward moments teaching them the finer points of snapping a decent picture with a camera phone. What a pain!
If only you could mount the iPhone on a tri-pod and then get some built in delay – like on your dedicated cameras..
This is where this little $18.95 contraption shines.
First, just look at the thing! Upon opening the box, I just sat there and admired it. Beautifully machined aluminum with an anodized gold accent. I love functional gadgets that are well made. heck, the iPhone is about the ultimate example of that. This is made of aluminum so it is light. The “jaws” that clamp the iPhone have a rubber surface that grips very well without having to tighten the clamp very much. The aluminum handle also acts as the control for the clamp. Simply turn it to open and close the jaws of the clamp. There’s are threaded holes on two sides to accommodate the standard tripod mounting screws.
OK, so it looks great, how does it work?
Wow! Not only does it work great on the tripod, I later learned that I can use it for holding the phone upright to watch videos or whatnot.
But let’s return from the diversion. So I whipped out my “TrekTek” walking stick/tri-pod (worthy of it’s own review) and mounted this clamp with my iPhone. As you can see, it’s one tidy little setup. It’s very sturdy and the ball joint on the TrekTek makes the adjustments almost infinite. The mount can hold the iPhone in either portrait or landscape mode with little issue.
One of the issues with the TrekTek is that compact nature of the legs makes it a bit wobbly for large 35mm cameras. As for the iPhone, it is super light in comparison and because of that the combination tripod becomes very stable.
So that last piece of the puzzle is how to get into the picture when you have to manually fire the shutter with the iPhone. As you may have guessed, the application store can fix that problem in spades. Whether you want a fancy program that you can pay for or a free option, there are plenty out there.
I wanted to get a free “no frills” program and settled on one called “Ten Seconds”. Here’s a link below to a video of that application.
OK, so I just got this when I returned from a trip so I could only try it with a picture of myself. Here’s a closeup of the business end of the clamp, tri-pod, and iPhone along with a picture of my goofy self using this combination.
Again, the ball joint of the TrekTek mount combined with the clamp mount makes it quickly and infinitely adjustable. The combination handle and clamp control of the SupaMount works perfectly. The iPhone is held very securely with very little pressure. You can have it be in portrait or landscape mode and it’ll work fine.
Using the Ten Seconds app is simplicity. Fire the app and in 10 seconds it’ll shoot a picture. The last few seconds will have an audible signal that the shutter is about to fire. After the picture is taken, you have about 3-5 seconds to review the picture before it is written into your camera roll. It’s so easy to use.
You still here? Go buy one already. Here’s a link to it on Amazon. Seriously, if you want to stop carrying around a separate camera and use the phone you always have with you anyway, this is a perfect solution. With the 8M resolution of the iPhone, it’ll do a great job in almost any situation.