While smartphones have been legitimately shooting great-quality videos for a few years now, you’ll still need to reinforce your setup with some handy accessories if you want to make your one-man productions look more professional. From vlogging tripods and handheld gimbals to electronic dollies and three-axis motion boxes, having the right tools can seriously level up your smartphone filmmaking arsenal. If you’re looking for a tool that will allow for automatic side-to-side and arc-based motion filmmaking, you’ll definitely want to check out the Joby Swing.
Designed to mimic the function of dollies and sliders, the device allows you to perform subtle side-to-side movements, both straight and along a predefined arc, so you can add dramatic motion footage even when shooting alone in your bedroom. No more stationary videos where you sit on a chair and talk to the camera – this thing allows you to make the simplest scenes feel a lot more dynamic without the need to pay your little brother to move the camera around.
The Joby Swing is a smartphone accessory designed to mount on tripods, allowing you to easily integrate it into your video recording setup. It’s equipped with two moving arms that’s powered by three motorized pivot points, one each controlling the two arms and a third one that can rotate the camera in place. As you can imagine, this allows for all sorts of creative camera movement, allowing you to shoot a variety of motion footage to give your erstwhile amateur videos a professional cinematic feel.
Do note, the accessory is equipped with a standard tripod socket, so you can’t actually mount your phone directly on it out of the box. Instead, you’ll have to purchase a separate smartphone clamp (preferably for Joby, the one they make themselves, of course) in order to secure your phone right on the device. And yes, it will also work with ball heads if you’re using an action cam or a point-and-shoot, although it only supports maximum payloads of 1.32 pounds.
The Joby Swing has a linear travel distance of 15 inches, so while it’s highly-limited compared to professional filmmaking sliders, it will still allow for a whole host of creative cinematography. Even more, in fact, when you integrate it with other equipment in your content creation bag. Maximum movement speed is 0.4 inches per second, so it can travel its path at a pretty brisk pace if you want to shoot more action-oriented scenes. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that allows for up to 1.5 hours of runtime between charges, all while recharging via a USB connection in 2.5 hours.
By the way, all three motorized sections are controlled via the smartphone app (iOS and Android), where you can program the movement, speed, and various other parameters you want it to perform, so you can leave the accessory to its own as soon as the camera rolls. When collapsed, it measures 6.7 x 1.9 x 2.1 inches, ensuring it can easily fit into your equipment bag.
The Joby Swing is available now, priced at $129.95.