I got a fun piece of equipment in the mail today, a Glif from Studio Neat. Studio Neat specialises in little things that you may not have realised were missing from your life, that turn out to be (somewhat) useful. Years ago, I bought a couple of Kosmonauts from them, a chunky stylus that was more like a child’s crayon than the skinny pens most people had for drawing on tablets. Eventually I grew bored of that, but it was fun for a while.
The Glif strikes me as much more useful for the long term. It’s pretty simple: a springloaded clamp that can adjust for various sizes of smartphone, with three screw threads on it so you can mount your phone to a regular tripod, either vertically or horizontally.
Or if you’re feeling a bit crackers like me, you can get a handlebar clamp with a quarter-inch tripod screw on it, and attach the Glif to that, and then attach that to your bike. Three degrees of separation for your phone, and if I can think of more things to clamp to clamps, I’ll bolt them on too.
Being able to mount a phone to a tripod without some enormous case makes travel photography much easier. Instead of lugging my huge SLR everywhere, I can take my tiny Velbon tripod and the Glif, and take nice, steady timelapses or long exposures without having to worry about my wobbly hands mucking things up. Tripods are nice, and so are smartphones, but being able to combine the two easily makes it much easier to take photos here, there and everywhere.
Of courses, as there’s a standard tripod mount, there’s all sorts of silliness I can now get up to, like mounting a tiny iPhone onto the biggest tripod I can find. Take that, practicality! Take that, luggage allowance!
I still love my Canon for "proper" work where the investments I made in posh lenses can justify itself. But now if I’m on a business trip for a day or two, I have a reasonable hope of getting some good shots with my phone, when before I might have been limited to handheld only.
Also, this might make for a killer videoconferencing set up. The little things that please us…