In just a few short years the smartphone has evolved into a surprisingly capable tool for videographers, but for creators looking to improve the videos they shoot but don’t have the budget to pay for a talented camera operator, Joby is introducing two relatively affordable devices that can help make any video appear more dynamic and engaging through simple camera movements.
Joby has long been a brand associated with photography and videography thanks to its innovative GorillaPod tripods with flexible legs that can wrap around and secure themselves to irregularly shaped objects. Last year the company introduced an upgraded version called the PodZilla with improved grip and more flexible legs, but for 2022 it’s expanding the capabilities of its tripods with the Spin and the Swing, two affordable motion-control devices that can perform simple camera movements on smartphones so captured footage isn’t so static when using a tripod.
The Joby Spin is the simpler of the two devices and is a Bluetooth-controlled, battery-powered carousel that can spin a smartphone 360-degrees in about 30 seconds time, but its speed and range can all be defined using a new Joby Motion app available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
For $90 the Spin makes it incredibly easy to create buttery smooth pans, tilts, or even a combination of the two using an optional arm that allows two Spins to work at the same time. Battery life is rated at around three hours making the Spin an ideal tool for creating dynamic timelapse footage as well, and because it connects to a standard screw mount it’s compatible with any tripod, not just Joby’s GorillaPods or PodZillas.
At $130, the Joby Swing is the more expensive of the two new accessories, but it features two moving arms powered by three motorized pivot points (the third is used to rotate the smartphone) that all work together in unison to create smooth dolly- and slider-type movements as programmed through the Joby Motion app. Battery life is limited to 1.5 hours, or half what the Joby Spin promises, and while the amount of physical travel is limited to just under 15-inches, the subtle motions and movements the Swing can add to a video will go a long way to making the content appear more compelling to viewers with minimal setup and without the need for an entire video crew behind the camera.