Enhance your photographs and videos with the all-in-one photo/video enhancing smartphone/iPod rig from SEVENOAK.
I think it is the goal of many modern children to become YouTube sensations. This past Christmas, my children asked for a method to capture pictures/videos for their future channels. To support their dream, I purchased them an iPad Stand and lapel microphone for their videos. We tried propping up their iPad Mini 5 tablets but they proved to be bulky, cumbersome, and prone to falling with gusts of wind. We looked for something smaller, more portable, and excitedly tore into the SMARTCINE portable phone rig.
The SmartCine arrived in a 6 1/4 inches wide by 8 5/8 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches thick retail package. The visually appealing cover provided a dark-to-light descending yellow gradient, ending in a white band. Just beneath this, you will find a 1 1/8 inches thick mustard brown rectangle displaying: Portable Rig- Smooth Movement, LED Light Ring + Lens- Cinematic Visual, Pro Microphone – Pro Audio. Looking at the top left of the cover, you will find the “SmartCine” product name and a concise summary of the Complete Smartphone Video Kit. The main showcase was the 3 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/8 inches tall glossy, slightly-raised image of the device. Rotating the packaging 90-degrees counterclockwise, the left side panel displayed the “SEVENOAK” product name, the package contents (1x SmartCine Rig, 1x Fisheye Lens, 1x Wide-Angle lens, 1x Wrist Strap, 1x Detachable Handle, 1x Android-compatible Output Cable, 1x iPhone-compatible Output Cable), and a 2 inches tall by 1 1/4 inches wide oblique ink outline drawing of the Sevenoak device. The opposite side panel displayed the Sevenoak name, the SmartCine device name and the same summary as the cover. The rear panel provided a four-paragraph description of the device/capabilities. The “all-in-one,” compact, effective, inexpensive kit was designed to enhance your inner videographer. According to the Kickstarter page, Sevenoak is a professional imaging equipment manufacturer and the strategic manufacturing partner for MOVO products.
The universal, lightweight, 280 gram, portable rig promised enhanced phone stability, smoother shots in a variety of conditions, and enhanced audio pickup with the built-in microphone. The three-stage adjustable LED light Ring, interchangeable lenses (wide angle/fisheye), and active headphone monitoring will further add to your cinematic toolbox. I opened the outer box and found a 6 1/4 inches wide by 8 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches thick black-textured nylon bag and an instruction manual. The nylon bag had no identifying markings, save a small SEVENOAK tag just inferior to the zipper. I was pleased with the discrete packaging and felt that it protected the contents quite well. The case was surrounded by a 23 1/4 inches long water-resistant zipper and had a 5 1/2 inches long spine. Tugging on the single black zipper pull, I opened up the clamshell case. The mesh-lined inner surface of the top panel provided a convenient organization pouch. Located 1 3/4 inches from the outer zippered edge, you will find the zipper to access the pouch. Within this pouch, I found the included leather/cloth wrist strap.
The larger lower half housed the deconstructed device behind two 3/4 inches wide elastic retention straps. Each piece of the device had its own foam cutout. Along the top left, you will find a 7/8 inch diameter cutout and 3/4 inch cutout for the wide-angle and fisheye lenses. Just below the lenses, you will find a 1-inch wide by 4 inches tall cutout containing the 4.44 oz screw-on handle. Along the right side of the case, you will find a 3/4 inches wide by 4 inches tall cutout housing a 14 1/4 inches long USB-A to micro-USB cable and 14 3/4 inches long 3.5mm to 3.5mm 90-degree angle cable. Located in the middle of the cutout, you will find a reverse “4” shaped cutout, measuring 3 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches tall. With the pieces removed, I aligned the opening of the brown leather wrist strap with the screw on the handle and then screwed the handle onto the main part of the device. You will immediately notice a screw on the top of the main section. If you turn this counterclockwise, the opening will expand to accommodate a larger phone/device. Adjust the grip and then slide your phone to align the camera with the LED lens cutout. Once the proper left/right orientation was met, I twisted the smaller front knobs counterclockwise to release the LED assembly. I was then able to move the assembly in the vertical plane to better align the device with the phone/iPod Touch.
While attending ImagingUSA 2020, I hoped to pair the SmartCine with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. I initially tried this with the phone nestled within a Catalyst Impact case, but quickly found that the phone plus case was too bulky. I removed the case, reinserted the phone, and struggled to align the opening with the triple camera. I quickly found that the SmartCine device was not well suited for the larger phones and for three camera phones in particular. My wife had an iPhone XR, and we had an iPhone 7 with Otterbox case. Again, we found that the presence of the case limited the ability to use the SmartCine rig. Using the iPhone XR sans case, I found the device added a great deal of functionality. I slid my wrist into the strap and then cinched the buckle down onto my wrist. The rig felt balanced and overall easy to grip. I liked that the wrist strap jutted out from the device approximately 1 inch. If positioned over the knuckle of your pointer finger, it almost became possible to loosen my grip and to allow the device to float in my hand/rest on the knuckle. If you place your phone screen down (LED rim facing upward), you will notice the forward-facing LED light ring and the stereo microphone. Along the inside of the microphone, you will find the 3.5mm line out jack. If you flip the device over, you will find the monitoring headphone out jack, and then the audio gain switch and microphone power switch. Along the outer portion of the lens ring, you will find the LED light power switch and the brightness switch (low/medium/high).
One of my favorite features of the SmartCine device was the ease of use. For those individuals with shaky hands or slippery fingers, the phone clamp, coupled with the wrist wrap, offered a drastic improvement over simply holding a phone. The direct plug and play microphone allowed for improved sound capture and did not suffer from enhancing background noise. For non-MAX sized phones and iPod touch devices, alignment proved to be a breeze. The twist knobs easily opened/closed and securely gripped the phone/iPod into place. The rubberized handle was smooth, easy to grip, and felt comfortable in the hand. Similar to an acrobat’s safety-net, the wrist strap provided a reassuring level of control. The adjustable LED light ring added light and the added lenses easily screwed onto the camera port. The device took approximately two hours to charge via USB-micro. You can expect approximately 3.5-4 hours for the low level (16 Lumen), 2 hours for the medium level (31 Lumen), and just at about an hour at maximal brightness (46 Lumen). The included directional microphone allowed for improved sound capture, while my children were recording scooter tricks. If you are looking for an easy all-in-one system to enhance your Audio/video, look no further than the Sevenoak SmartCine by Movo (Kickstarter). The lighting setup Even though the phone vice will open to accommodate larger phones, I was very wary about the weight/limit with my iPhone 11 Pro Max (2.2-3.82″ opening). As an added bonus, you can screw the SmartCine onto a standard tripod, monopod, or selfie stick.