Somebody asked me which smartphone tripod mount grip I liked better the Ztylus Smartphone Rig or the Shoulderpod S1 iPhone Pro Grip. Today I thought I’d share my thoughts.
I’ll get to the point right away. Both the Shoulderpod and the Ztylus are great products and work well. If I had to choose I’d say get the Ztylus. The Ztylus is less expensive, at $13 its less than half the price of the $33 ShoulderPod. I paid $10 for my Ztylus and was able to buy three for less than the price of one Shoulderpod. The Shoulderpod isn’t two times better.
Since the Ztylus is much less expensive, you can buy two or three. With additional rigs you can use or borrow additional smartphones to shoot secondary or B-Roll footage. I use my iPhone when I create the overhead videos my YouTube channel. I used to use my Shoulderpod to hold the phone in place. Now, have a dedicated Ztylus in place that I leave there permanently. I used to remove and replace the Shoulderpod as I did not want to buy a second one at $33.
If you carry either of these grips in your bag you may end up lending it to someone and might not end up getting it back. At $13, the Ztylus is replaceable.
As for the two grips, the Ztylus has the cold shoe mount which is great for attaching accessories like the Rode VideoMicro or other cold shoe accessories. The Shoulderpod does not have any accessory mounts. Both grips have a 1/4 20 mount on the bottom for attaching to a tripod.
The Shoulderpod as a screw adjustment for tightening the clamp on the top and the Ztylus has a screw on the front. The Shoulderpod is maybe nicer in this respect. Both clamps were able to hold my iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 Plus as well as my Nexus 5x and Nexus 6 with all the phones in a slim case. The Nexus 6 fit in the Ztylus a little better.
The Shoulderpod comes in a fancy box, with a nice handle, and a leather strap. The handle is weighted and nice but a little too small in my opinion. The Ztylus comes in as plain a cardboard box as can be.
While all online retailers still sell the Shoulderpod S1 kit, if you look on the shoulderpod.com, you’ll see that the now have an S2 kit with a larger handle. They also have an R1 and X1 kits that can attach microphones and lights. They offer additional handles, cold shoes, plates, and knobs to build up a rig out of the S1 grip. I think you’d have to by these newer kits and accessories directly from Shoulderpod as I haven’t see them for sale at any other online retailers.
As I said both of these grips are good but I’d say go with the less expensive one. I’ll continue to keep both in my bag so I can see how they perform over time.