Being an avid photographer and cameraman, I was pretty excited when the opportunity to review the Hot Shoe Holder presented itself.
For those of you who aren’t camera geeks, the hot shoe is that little metal plate that sits on top of a camera. It’s used to mount peripherals (mainly flashes), and while you won’t normally find them on point and shoot cameras, they’re staples for DSLRs.
That brings us to the Hot Shoe Holder, a small plastic iPhone 4 holder that allows you to mount your iPhone onto your camera’s hot shoe.
If you’re into photography, no-doubt your wheels are already spinning at the possibilities, while non-camera folks might start scratching their heads.
Why would you want to mount an iPhone 4 on top of a camera? Folks, the possibilities are almost limitless…
Before we get into those possibilities, lets talk about the device itself. From the initial glance, it’s clear that the Hot Shoe Holder was built from the ground up for the iPhone 4.
It’s roughly the length of your iPhone 4, with two small arms that extend subtly around the iPhone’s top and bottom to hold it into place.
Speaking of holding the iPhone into place; this thing is snug. Let me reemphasize that; this thing grips your iPhone like a hiker hanging onto the edge of the Grand Canyon. In fact, if you have a screen protector on the front or the back of you iPhone, it’s very possible that the Hot Shoe Holder could separate the screen protector from the iPhone.
Granted, let me just say that my particular screen protector isn’t a Zagg protector or anything, it’s one of the free ones that came with my Incipio case, and I didn’t exactly place a lot of care into installing it. With that said, it’s possible that you will experience different results when it comes to your screen protector.
In the end, I’d much rather the device compromise my $5.00 screen protector than risk causing my iPhone 4 to fall to the ground, so I can’t knock the product too much when it comes to that.
Once your iPhone is inserted into the Hot Shoe Holder, sliding it into the camera’s hot shoe is as easy as inserting a flash, or any other peripheral device for that matter.
The good thing about the hot shoe standard is that it’s universal among all camera manufacturers. That means that the Hot Shoe Holder is a guaranteed to fit your camera.
The fit into the camera’s hot shoe is a good snug fit. It’s not too lose and not too tight. The good design can be attributed to the 3D printing process that was used to manufacture the holders.
From here, the possibilities are only hindered by your imagination. Just think of all of the different iPhone apps that you can use in tandem with your camera.
You can use your iPhone as a digital level (as I did in this review), a compass to help orient panoramic photos, a teleprompter for when you’re conducting interviews, a depth of field monitor, note taking, GPS tagging, etc. Like I said, the possibilities depend on what your mind can come up with.
I chose to stick with the simple route, and downloaded the iHandy Level app to test out the Hot Shoe Holder. It worked just as expected, and I found it much easier and intuitive to use when compared with my camera’s built in level; I think it’s just nice to have such a big auxiliary screen for functions like this.
All in all, I’ve come away fairly impressed with the Hot Shoe Holder, it’s a simple device that opens up a lot of potential for the iPhone 4 + Camera collaboration. The little plastic device even has a drilled out hole to mount it directly on a tripod if that’s your sort of thing.
It’s like Dwayne Wade and LeBron James teaming up on the same team, it’s almost unfair to have this much functionality combined together.
That’s not to say that the device doesn’t have opportunities for improvement. The snug fit around the iPhone is almost a bit too snug, and will potentially cause issues with your screen protector.
I’ve suggested that the arms of the device be extended a bit to help out with this, but we’ll see where its creator decides to go from here.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit Hot Shoe Holder’s Official Website for more details. They come in the two color flavors featured here, black and clear, and each will set you back a reasonable $25 sans shipping.
What do you think? Does the Hot Shoe Holder have a place on top of your camera?