Review: eBay iPhone 4 Tripod Stand Holder

Jeff's Rating: 4/5

tl;dr: For $7, why not? It's secure, and versatile enough for most any job the iPhone 4 can handle (plus, it works with other smartphones too!).

iPhone 4 Tripod Stand and Adapter - from eBay

After seeing this little gem in a video on Vimeo and another on YouTube (I think I was first introduced in a MacRumors.com forum thread), I decided it was worth the $14 price to buy two—one for home, and one for work. I already have a hacked-together $10 iPhone 4 tripod stand I built with an old iPhone 3G case and some hardware store parts, but this stand looks a lot more elegant!

Using this Tripod stand and mount, I can trim down my portable HD recording studio (using the iPhone 4 as the backbone) even more... Be sure to check out my article about getting external microphones working with the iPhone 4, iPad, etc.

I ordered my tripod + adapter from eBay, but you can get the same thing for $7 from Amazon: Mini Adjustable Tripod+Camera Holder for iPhone/other smartphones.

The Mini-Tripod Stand

The little mini-tripods that come with the tripod adapter are what you'd expect—relatively lightweight and flimsy, but surprisingly sturdy if you keep the iPhone/smartphone upright (vertical or horizontal). It's really only if you're trying to aim the camera downward or upward that the tripod that you have to worry about stability.

The mini tripod is about the same in build quality and fit-and-finish as the $10 Targus mini tripod I bought at Target some time ago. It's just okay.

The Smartphone-to-Tripod Adapter

iPhone 4 Tripod Stand and Adapter - Up Close

Yes, you can detach the adapter from the tripod (and use it with any tripod/mount).

The spring-loaded clip that holds the iPhone (or, as it's adjustable, any other smartphone) to the base of the tripod adapter is very strong—I feel it would be okay even if I were to mount the iPhone to a car tripod mount, or upside-down. There are some foam pads on all the parts that touch the iPhone to prevent scratches. I would even dare to say the clip feels a little too tight... but it will probably get a little looser over time.

The other end of the adapter is also adjustable; it goes left and right to accommodate taller or shorter smartphones. I didn't really need to adjust it, though.

The female 1/4 x 20 tripod screw (where the tripod actually screws into the adapter) is plastic, so be sure to not overtighten the tripod screw! It feels secure enough for my purposes, though, as the iPhone is pretty lightweight, and won't cause as much stress on the screw as, say, my D90 with a vertical battery grip and a 70-200mm VR lens (5+ lbs!).

Video Review

Conclusion

Although I'm a huge DIY fan, I think this adapter is $7 well spent. Pick up two or three so you can have a spare, or have one everywhere you go. Tripods are always—always—nice to have, regardless of what you're shooting.

Buy one for $7 on Amazon »

Comments

This looks great, and it could be mounted on any other tripod. One thing though, that it covers the headphone jack, so I couldn't plug in an external mic... crikey! If you have any other tripod mount suggestions for the iphone 4 (preferably one that fits the bumper as well) they'd be very welcome!!

You can simply spin around the iPhone the other way, and that takes care of the headphone jack being blocked... it's not ideal, though, as the interface seems to work better the other way around...

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Hmm... doesn't look all that appealing to me - I wish it worked with the iPhone 4, too...

Will this fit a larger smartphone (Droid X) at 5.02" x 2.58" x .39" ?

I think it will; it expands horizontally a great deal; I just don't know about vertically. It only goes up another 3/4" or so.

Great review, do you thing that tripod mount could accept an iPhone 4 WITH the case on?

Yes, it will work with a case on, but I wouldn't try with a thick case.

where can i get it besides ebay?

Do you think it will fit with iphone 4 with capsule rebel?

Do you think this would fit an iPod Touch 4g with an otterbox Defender case?? Im really interested in this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un3Q7dmE-Kk

I'm pretty sure it would fit. The only concern I would have would be the vertical part of the grip (spring-loaded) might be a bit tight. For a few bucks, you can't go wrong :)

where can I find this? I clicked the ebay link you had and it's not active anymore... I would really like to buy this for work, but I need a company name, or a link or something...

Here's one for you: http://cgi.ebay.com/Tripod-Stand-Mount-Holder-iPhone-4G-3G-iPod-Touch-4-...

Just search for something like "iPhone 4 Tripod Holder"

I found this and ordered it. I to have a defender case and do not like taking my phone out of the case. Just passing it on.

http://www.digitaltreasures.com/camera_acc_details.php?recordID=07471

Sounds like another good universal-smartphone-mounting solution!

Dear jeff

I have saw some video's about this tripod mount. Some people are saying that the the mount is very low quality and it can be easily broken. What do you think of this tripod mount:http://www.thoughtout.biz/products/PED3-Tripod.html

I think that mount is more stabilised and has better quality. Overall i wanna thank you to this review and the portable mic's review, i learned so much about it ! btw, im from holland is my english is not that good.

My family's from Holland, and I've visited once, so hello from a fellow Dutch soccer (voetbal) fan!

This tripod mount is definitely not the best out there—just the cheapest that I'd recommend. I personally use the SnapMount (right now it's backordered), or the Glif for day-to-day use. However, I have one of these cheap tripod mounts in my car, in case I ever need it.

Have you clicked on the link in the previous message? What do you think of that mount?

btw, i buy the mount if the the iPod Touch 5g will come out because the cam on the 4g is crap. So hopefully the new 5g has a better cam with same sizes as the 4g!

That mount looks okay, but the long gooseneck seems like a weak point in the design (especially if you were to use the camera in motion).

The 4th gen iPod Touch's camera is on par with many Android phones I've used, but nowhere near as awesome as the iPhone 4S' 1080p camera (which rivals the sharpness of my Nikon D7000 in movie mode in good lighting).

So would you recommend the mount on the link ? It's pity that there aren't not that much tripod mounts for de iPod Touch. I think it has to do with camera specs.

Yes, that mount looks sturdy enough.

Ok thank you ! My last guestion is about filmmaking, i just don't know where to post it, so i did it here because we are in a conversation.

Question: If you have a case on while filming on the iPhone 4/4s people say that you have '' glare'' . Is that only when you turn on the flash? I want to know this because i want to know if I go shooting without a case or with the case on. Is it right you don't have glare if you just film without flash?

Thanks for all support, i really appreciate it!

Glare can be caused by a lot of things... but mainly, when a bright light is shining onto/into the lens, or is right next to the lens, glare almost always results. Some cameras can mitigate the problem with special lens coatings, but that's asking a lot on the iPhone.

Even without an external case, the iPhone's LED always creates some glare, and makes people look a little ghost-like (due to the color temperature). I'd say always avoid that little light if you can, unless in dire need (e.g. it's pitch black).

Hi Jeff!

We are 2 years further and I just came by your name by looking at some amazon microphone reviews! I instantly thought, this guy has helped me before! As soon as I could, I searched you on Google and it brought me to this recognisable website which I vistited like 2 years ago. I read my questions/comments and you're reply's again. I was like at the age of 15 or something and really interested in iPhone/iPod videography and I remembered that I was so happy that I could finally find someone who took reviews for iPhone/iPod mics seriously and give me very usefull feedback. I really appreciated it! Now I'am rolling the iPhone 5 with the ATR-3350, iStabilizer tripod mount and a tripod from Hama. For filming I use the Filmic Pro 2 app. For a nice upgrade I may buy the 4 in 1 lens from Olloclip, do you think that's a nice upgrade? Once again I would like to say thank you because you really gave me some usefull tips for iPhone videography/audio and today I still make use of that knowledge!

The lenses are a very nice upgrade, if you make sure to keep them spotless, as well as the little sapphire cover over the lens on the iPhone! They will allow you to do more creative shots (wide angle and more focused), and make the experience a little closer to what you might get with an interchangeable-lens camera like a mirrorless or DSLR.

Please give me the Updated eBay Link. The Link you mentioned leads to a 404.
Thanks :)

I don't see any of the model I bought on eBay now, but they still sell some on Amazon.com: Mini Adjustable Tripod+camera Holder for Iphone and Other Cellphone.