Every year at NAB we see new and improved hardware accessories for taking mobile device video to new levels. Now, we have the Padcaster. The Padcster consists of an aluminum frame containing a rubber insert that will accept any second generation iPad or newer. The outer frame edges contain several threaded mounting holes (both 1/4-20 and 3/8-16) that allow you to mount lights, external audio, and lenses to achieve higher quality video acquisition with the iPad. The bottom of the frame has a locking pin mount for tripods, monopods, shoulder mounts, etc. For those who want to use a 35mm DOF adapter, there’s a second lens hole at the bottom of the insert along with holes on the frame for mounting lens rails. A PDF document on the Padcaster website gives general guidelines on how to use the unit with 35mm DOF units.
The Padcaster/Lenscaster combo kits sells for $149 and includes the following items.
- The padcaster frame
- A lens adapter with 72mm threads (aka The Lenscaster)
- A step down adapter from 72 to 58mm threads
- One cold shoe mount
- Two 1/4-20 screws
- Two 3/8-16 screws
- One special camera mount screw
The included screws, with the exception of the special mounting screw, have a nice d-ring on the head so they can be hand tightened. You use the 4 included screws to mount the Lenscaster piece to the frame.
Although it’s called the Padcaster, you can actually remove the rubber frame insert for mounting a DSLR camera. This dual functionality just adds more value in my opinion.
I ordered one of these for myself and just recently received it. Having a bit more time with the Padcaster, I can’t find much of anything I don’t like. I did notice that it’s a bit cumbersome to access the sleep switch on the iPad, but that’s about it. The build quality is good, and going back to that point about the removable insert… I think it will future proof the Padcaster against new iPad designs. Any radical changes by Apple can be corrected with an updated insert.
All in all. I think the Padcaster is a decent deal, and with the help of apps like Filmic Pro, you can do a lot better video with your iPad than was thought possible. Just having a standard tripod mount opens up many rigging possibilities. I already have a few ideas for mine.
For more information, or to purchase, visit http://www.thepadcaster.com