Ztylus recently debuted a Video Slider Kit featuring their Smartphone rig, a ball mount and a 23″ Kamerar slider. The Smartphone Rig securely clamps your camera-equipped mobile to a tripod with a 1/4″-20 female connection on the bottom and a cold-shoe mount on the top. The Smartphone Rig employs a spring-loaded arm to secure your cell between two padded v-shaped arms with a twist of a perfectly sized screw. However, being that this is Ztylus, there are a couple of innovations that make the Smartphone Rig stand out from other options on the market beyond its very attractive price point.
First off, on the opposite side of the female 1/4″ x 20 tripod mount, you’ll find a Cold Shoe adapter to holster an external light or microphone. But Ztylus did not stop there and included a finger grip to the opposite side of the clamp. This allows the device to be used for handheld action, while supporting an external mic or light. We tested the Smartphone Rig with accessories loaded on the cold shoe mount both on and off a tripod and found it to be a dependable and secure solution. So secure, in fact, we took the rig off-roading in Moab, Utah for some time lapse fun (see video below). No matter what the road threw at our 4×4, the Smartphone Rig did not falter and held our iPhone 6 securely in place.
One of the nice touches on the Smartphone Rig is the enhanced screw head. Instead of just utilizing your basic thumb screw, Ztylus designed their own with a nice textured perimeter and just the right size for fixing the clamp into position. Now it’s hard to get excited about a mere screw, but so many manufacturers get this wrong, it’s worth mentioning.
Ztylus’ Smartphone Rig is the foundation of their Smartphone video/photo accessory ecosystem, which includes other products as well, but we focused on the 23″ Video Slider Kit. The Video Slider Kit adds a mini ball head adapter and Kamerar’s S-23 slider (Kamerar and Ztylus are distributed by the same company). The mini ball head, with a 1/4″-20 male screw on the top and a 1/4″-20 female on the bottom, expands the Smartphone Rig’s possibilities by allowing it to swivel 360 degrees and rotate down 90 degrees, thanks to a notch in the housing. It’s a great addition by itself, but unfortunately cannot be purchased separately.
Kamerar’s S-23 Slider provides just under 2 feet of tracking in a lightweight and portable format. The all-metal slider is machined with a black anodized piano finish and supports the red anodized carrier slides using Kamerar’s compound friction plate for silky, noise-free operation. It takes practice to get smooth tracks without lurching and you may want to experiment with using other methodologies to provide the speed and glassy movement that works best for your production. During our evaluation, our reviewers found attaching a string to one of the screw holes in the carrier provided just the right amount of tension to achieve velvety moves.
» 1- Smartphone Rig
» 1- Mini Ball Head
» 1- Black Anodized Linear Rail
» 1- Red Anodized Slider Carrier w/ Bubble Level
» 1- 1/4″-20 to 3/8″-16 Adapter
» 2- Adjustable Feet for Leveling
» 4- Screws
» 1- Allen Wrench
Employ a shoe bubble level – available at Amazon or your local photography store – in the Ztylus Smartphone Rig’s cold-shoe mount to ensure your smartphone is level.
If you’re using an iPhone, another option is to use the Level Feature located in the Compass app.
Zytlus is building out an entire accessory ecosystem based on the Smartphone Rig. Although we haven’t tested each product, each one is very reasonably priced, portable and serves a particular purpose. Other products include a mini tripod, a mini dolly and more.
The Ztylus Video Slider Kit was universally applauded by our reviewers and scored a 96% rating.
+ Build Quality
+ Very Affordable
+ Quality Of Results
– Can’t Purchase Mini Ball Mount Individually
The Ztylus Video Slider Kit retails for $99.99 and is available now.
The Future: We’d love to see Zytlus offer the mini ball mount as a separate accessory, or even include it with the Smartphone Rig since it’s so incredibly useful. In addition, Zytlus should certainly consider packaging all the Smartphone Rig accessories into a Filmmaking Kit and provide a compact and portable carrying case to securely house all the gear.