Steadicam Smoothee - Take The Rough With The Smoothee

12/22/2012 6:24:10 PM

Liberate your inside Kubrick, without even a Hollywood budget

Steadicam Smoothee – Liberate your inside Kubrick, without even a Hollywood budget

Steadicam Smoothee – Liberate your inside Kubrick, without even a Hollywood budget

First introduced in 1975, Steadicam created the revolution of cinematography by emancipating camera controllers to record animation without conventional dolly-track system. Now, when iPhone 4S is able to capture 1080p video and compete with professional camcorder, Tiffen’s Steadicam Smoothee is a choice for mobile movie makers.

But, wait a minute! Did Apple include anti-shock system in iPhone 4S? It was yes indeed and in comparison with scenes captured by iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, it is such a considerable progress. Though, it cannot rival Steadicam Smoothee, which is able to make scenes look completely smooth, regardless whether you put it still or in running state.

Tiffen’s Steadicam Smoothee is a rational choice for mobile movie makers.

Tiffen’s Steadicam Smoothee is a rational choice for mobile movie makers.

Professional Steadicams used in cinematography costs up to $60,000 and requires capturer to wear safety clothes, but iPhone is clearly lighter and smaller than a huge 35mm movie recorder. It allows Steadicam to shrink down to 8in width, 14.5in height and 2.5in depth. Smoothee is amazingly simple: a plastic handle is connected to one gyroscopic base where the phone lies while two heavy metal curved lenses are lengthened to balance to recorder.

Your iPhone is installed into a frame which is quickly released and available for iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 3GS, fourth-generation iPod Touch, Flip Mini HD and GoPro Hero. How convenient! These frames can be moved to any quick-release tripod. Setting up an appropriate balance may be the hardest aspect in using Smoothee, but it’s really not much. There’re two knobs adjusting tilt levels rightward/leftward and backward/forward. At first, I felt Smoothee hard to control but instruction videos on Tiffen’s wensite revealed the secret: while holding the handle, gently use your thumb and index finger to keep the gyroscope balanced. You can also use any video recording app on iPhone; Tiffen suggests connecting Smoothee to any anti-glare system based on apps, if available, which increases the scene’s smoothness.

Although Smoothee is much smaller than a system including tripod, it has some small problems. Recording video with one hand in hours really tires your wrist out. Be careful not to make it collided with objects or scenes during recording process. This drives the gyroscope to lose control and destroy your scene. On the other hand, Smoothee is a dream (which comes true) for home or amateur movie makers who are looking for ways of creating high-quality videos by their iPhone.

Key points

We had many scenes destroyed due to our effort of holding the iPhone as firmly as possible. While it’s not really practical to carry Steadicam Smoothee along to anywhere, for some special reasons, the device is totally value for money.


·         Price: $169

·         Manufacturer: The Tiffen Company

·         Website:

·         Requirement: iPhone4/iPhone 4S, iPhone 3GS or fourth-generation iPod Touch



·         Quick-release frame can be removed for tripod usage.

·         Compatibility with front/rear cameras on new iPhones

·         The device can be flipped over for recording low-angle scenes.


·         The frame requires user to remove even the thinnest iPhone case.

·         Difficulty in one-hand use during hours

·         The device needs avoiding collision.


Ratings: 4.5/5


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