Big, chunky and with a wealth of features. Read our BeastGrip Pro review and watch our video demonstration
There are smartphone cameras cases, and then there is the BeastGrip Pro. The Beastgrip Pro isn’t meant to be small, or discreet, it takes your smartphone, adds a cage/grip to it and turns it in to a (not so) mini rig for taking smartphone video capture to a whole new level.
BeastGrip Pro – Features
At the core of the BeastGrip Pro is an adjustable frame that will fit virtually any smartphone, and even some small tablets. The vertical and horizontal bars of the frame can be repositioned so that you device snuggly fits in to place, but the unique part of the design is the way that the lens holder can also be repositioned. This means that whether you phone’s camera is placed centrally, or off to one side, the additional lenses that come with the BeastGrip Pro, can be mounted perfectly over the lens.
BeastGrip Pro – Lenses
The lens mount assembly can be taken off of the frame, although even when not using any accessories it is quite unobtrusive, so unless you are using third-party clip on lenses, you can just leave it mounted when not in use. Speaking of lenses, the lens mount assembly has a 37mm screw thread, which can be used for accessory lenses, or for the addition of optical filters, such as a polariser or ND filter.
We reviewed the BeastGrip Pro with the additional Wide-Angle and Fisheye adapters. Whilst the 180 degree fisheye adapter is of somewhat limited appeal, the extreme wideangle adapter offers very wide, GoPro like views of the world to be created, making it useful for bloggers and those who like their extreme sports videography. Both of the lenses have a macro attachment, which offers yet another field of view, and is great for getting close-up details which is great for cutaway shots.
BeastGrip Pro – Depth of Field Adapter
At £102.95, the Depth of Field adapter is an expensive accessory, but it will make your smartphone a serious bit of filmmarking kit. The device allows certain SLR lenses to be mounted, which makes shallow depth of field footage a possibility on a smartphone. The device has a Canon mount adapter, a glass screen and a built-in macro lens. The image from teh SLR lens is projected on tothe ground glass screen and then the macro lens allows your smartphone camera to focus on it. The image is presented upside down, but there are apps that can correct this. There is also going to be a slight lossin sharpness, due to the additional optics and the ground glass, as well as some slight vignetting and loss of light. But if you want to shoot at f/2.8 and create footage that looks cinematic (read as: shallow depth of field), then it is an interesting option.
Sadly we haven’t had the chance to try the Depth of Field adapter yet, but if you have a range of manual focus lenses, it is certainly an optional extra to add to your wishlist.
BeastGrip Pro – Mounts
There are a total of 5, standard, 1/4in tripod mounts on the BeastGrip Pro frame, allowing all manner of accessories to be attached, or for mount the camera to a tripod, monopod, shoulder rig or even a stabiliser. There is a well machined metal coldshoe mount for a microphone or LED light to be attached, and you can always add another coldshoe to one of the 1/4inch screw threads if you wish to use both a light and a mic. You could even add an articulated arm to hold a LED light off camera.
BeastGrip Pro – Verdict
First things first – the BeastGrip Pro is a substantial bit of kit, and one that you will have to carefully consider when you plan to use it. This goes against the whole point of a smartphone being the device that you can carry everywhere to be creative. However, what it does offer is the chance for those who aren’t familiar with using a full camera rig set-up to get better footage. Even just using the BeastGrip to hold your smartphone with two hands, can improve your footage by making it more stable. Add an additional light and/or microphone, and bloggers and aspiring filmmakers are well on their way to having a great little kit.
But the BeastGrip isn’t just for young bloggers who want something simple. In the age of the instant news and social media being able to shoot, edit and upload, from the same device, is a huge advantage. The BeastGrip helps to make sure that the quality of footage captured is even better.
So, in itself, the BeastGrip pro is useful device, but it is when you start adding to it, just as you would any other rig, that it comes in to its own. It lets you decide what you want to make your footage better, and with universal mounts and adapters, you aren’t reliant to using BeastGrip branded accessories, like you are with other smartphone grips and cases. It may not be cheap, but if your smartphone is your main video camera, it is a great accessory.