We all know that a lot of people use their iPhone for shooting video. The Apple smartphone's camera is one of the best on the market and when you add in the slow-mo feature on the iPhone 5S it's hard to beat from a smartphone.
The trouble with all smartphones, however, is that you need plenty of light. That's not a problem if you live in sunny California, but if you live in rainy Colchester it's a different story.
Realising that light makes a huge difference to how video looks, Manfrotto has created the Klyp, an iPhone case that allows you to bolt a light on to it to light up whatever you are shooting. A great videographer[s trick. But just how well does it work at this budget price point?
Klyp it on
The Klyp system consists of three parts, with only the slimline case that attaches to the iPhone included in the entry price. You'll want to invest in a top light that attaches to the case, known as the ML240, and Manfrotto also makes a mini tripod called the Pixi if you want to use it. There are two versions of the case that can fit the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, or the iPhone 4 or 4S respectively. The Klyp case offers two switchable slots for attaching the light and the tripod giving you some, but not many, options.
The well-built and designed case comes in black and doesn't add that much bulk to the iPhone experience, which is good, although we doubt you will want to use it all the time when you don't intend to use a light and/or tripod. Luckily it's easy to take off when you need to.
The Pixi pocket tripod is priced at around £25. It's small but a strong and durable tripod that measures 13.5cm when used for support, and is longer - at 18.5cms - when the legs are folded flat for stowage. It's a great mini tripod and weighs just 190g, yet can support a kilo of weight which is good enough for compacts and maybe even a light compact system camera or DSLR.
Let there be LED light
The light that fits the Klyp system is called the ML240 and is priced at around £60. It features 24 LED bulbs that are controlled via a dimmer knob on the side of the unit. This dimmer dial also gives you some guidance as to what colour temperature the light is creating - daylight, for example - but it's fairly obvious once you've got it on when looking through your iPhone's preview.
The ML240's 24 LEDs emit continuous light at a constant temperature of 5600K - roughly daylight temperature - with a luminance of 220 LUX at a distance of 1m. It's not a long-range light, but it does the job for close-ups, so if you are doing quick video shoots it's perfect for lifting the light enough to make a difference.
You can also use this light with your DSLR or other camera and when fitted on to a hotshoe, the LED lights up at 3200K to assist in low-light conditions. The ML240 takes 2xAAA batteries, which will keep it lit at full brightness for approximately an hour.
As with most iPhone accessories these days, Manfrotto has created an app to go with it the Klyp. You don't actually have to use it, as it has no bearing on the performance of the light, but you do get some fun features like the ability to take a picture when you clap your hands - that makes for hands-free work to keep things extra steady without the wobble. A good idea. There are two versions of the app in the app store: KlypApp and KlypApp Plus, with the latter adding more options but costing 69p.
The app is easy to use and comes with a number of handy features like the ability to create time-lapse videos and to help you create stop-motion videos, as well as standard video and photo options. After capturing the required footage it will also automatically render the video into a final product for you to share.
If you are serious about getting more from your iPhone for stills and video then the Manfrotto Klyp is certainly the way to do it.
We especially like the the multiple options available to build the perfect set-up for your needs - although the light and tripod will come at added cost, and it quickly adds up - and the fact that the additional kit outside of the Klyp case needn't just be used for the iPhone. If you've got a camera you can use the light and the tripod to enhance your photos there too, and when you upgrade iPhone devices Manfrotto has the ability to cater for the next generation without needing to buy more than a new case component.