The Padcaster – Filmmaking In A Frame

HDVideoPro by Neil Matsumoto

The Padcaster will help turn your iPad into an all-in-one filmmaking device

If you work in production, iPads have become ubiquitous on set. With its Retina display, the iPad delivers higher than HD resolution (2048 x 1536) and has become the go-to device to view on set dailies and many production professionals have also been using the iPad as a film slate and teleprompter as well. But for shooting, most believe the iPad is not ready for primetime.

But in the past year, we’ve seen a number of solutions for the iPhone such as cases, handles, bayonet mounts, and lenses. Both the iPhone and iPad camera’s can capture 1920 x 1080 video and because they’re devices you always have with you, they’re ideal to capture shots on the fly. With the iPad alone, you can shoot, edit and even distribute HD content.

I recently had the opportunity to test out the Padcaster, which is a smart yet simple accessory that will help turn your iPad into an all-in-one filmmaking device. The Padcaster is a simple aluminum frame with a urethane front and a small hole to let the iPad’s camera lens shoot through. What makes the Padcaster a useful tool is that it has a multitude of both 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes lining the frame in order to mount filmmaking accessories such a light, a microphone, monitor, etc. At the bottom, there is a round plate that works with a quick release plate for your tripod head and the plate can also balance the Padcaster on a level surface. Although there are no handgrips on the Padcaster, it’s still pretty easy to shoot handheld. What’s also cool about the Padcaster is that you can also remove the urethane front and use the aluminum frame as a DSLR cage, which typically run around $500.

Your iPad snaps into the Padcaster easily and fits very snug. Included with the Padcaster is the Lenscaster, which is a universal lens mount (72mm) that screws into the frame with four simple screws and allows you to attach lenses that goes over the iPad’s camera lens. I used a 72mm Vivitar Wide Angle Lens that attached to the mount. To capture shallow depth of field, you can also use a depth of field adapter such as the ones from Redrock Micro, Letus, or Cinevate. DoF adapters with DSLR lenses can give you a more cinematic look but since the iPad’s native camera lens isn’t exactly Zeiss Master Prime glass, it’s not an ideal solution. (If having a pleasing bokeh is super important to you, a low end DSLR might be a better solution.) read more...

Check out these items featured in this post and available now at
Padcaster & Lenscaster Bundle with FREE Cold Shoe Adapter $149.00 Azden SMX-20 Stereo Microphone Perfect for DSLR Cameras $129.00

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