The best gear for mobile video journalism, mobile journalism for TV, mobile filmmaking and creating broadcast-quality mobile content.
Please scroll down to see a range of gear options for rigs: from basic to high-end solutions for every type of mobile video production. If you are outfitting your studio or newsroom, don’t hesitate to contact me for a consult. I have designed affordable live video studio solutions for media organizations for many years.
Pricing for the items shown is variable from market to market, so I provide the best available links that will point you to the latest versions offered for sale.
I am not a seller. I am not shipping products. I am an editorial reviewer and independent expert. I am not paid to promote products.
I show the actual gear that I use on real productions.
Basic Video Gear
This is the mobile video gear you need for your smartphone to start filming professional video. It will last a long time and you won’t be spending a lot of money.
These are the essentials: A grip, a mini tripod and a small microphone. This humble rig is the foundation for more advanced setups.
The gear list
At first you may be thinking that you will need extra lenses and a gimbals before you can shoot good quality video. That’s not true.
I find it is better to first focus on stability and sound.
Capturing good sound is always the most challenging issue and the one that makes the biggest difference at first.
This basic kit fits into a small plastic bag and is always in my bike bag or backpack when I head out the door.
When it comes to microphones, I always stick with the reliable manufacturers like Røde, Sennheiser, and Shure.
Microphones are the one thing you have to rely on. I only show the gear that I have tested in real field conditions.
Interviewing from 6 feet away
How to capture audio from a safe distance for interviews. A wireless microphone give you a superpower and the ability to record two audio sources: Yourself and your interview subject, for example.
With this rig you will always be ready to safely capture audio and use the mic for live reporting and capturing VOX pop sound bites from people at a scene.
Wireless mic boom pole interview kit
- Compact Wireless Microphone
- Mini Windjammer
- Micro Boom Pole
- Camvate Adapter
- Smallrig Mount
- TRS Adapter Cable
Mobile Journalism textbook
“Mobile Journalism” is the textbook for teachers and media students.
The ‘MOJO bible“ features 200 color illustrations, 170 double-page magazine-style page spreads, 16 videos, and 36,710 words.
Microphones for mobile video
Mics are the most valuable pieces and will serve you a long time. Avoid the cheap copies from unknown brands. They will break when you need them most.
The lapel mic
The next step in building a complete interview kit includes adding a small lapel mic.
This tiny mic can be pinned to you or the person you are filming for better control of the sound.
Recording with two mics
And now, if you using on iPhone I suggest you add in the Røde SC6-L two mic adapter.
This unit will let you record with two microphones and to split the audio tracks left and right so you can better separate the volume levels of interviewer’s voice separate from the subject’s voice.
(Android users can audition the SC6 analog adapter to see if it works with their handset, OS and apps.)
This two-mic SC6-L adapter for iPhone is a game changer.
It comes with a digital interface which sounds amazing, and provides the ability to record one microphone in the left channel and the other microphone in the right channel. Plus you can monitor with headphones.
This rig simulates many of the functions of a professional video camera, but it can make live streams and multitrack video edits while still in the field.
In this configuration I make the rig really secure with a high quality metal mini tripod, a metal tripod mount (which rotates, locks, and allows an additional cold shoe mount for the receiver) AndI upgrade the built-in mic of the Røde transmitter with a pro quality lapel microphone and a windjammer.
- Metal Tripod
- Metal iPhone mount
- Wireless Mic
- Cold shoe Mount
- Lapel Mic
- Cable adapter (2)
- SC6- L Split track adapter
- On camera mini-shotgun mic
- Arca Swiss quick release plate and mount are included with the tripod – a very pro touch.
For example You can use the new free DoubleTake app with your iPhone 11 and film two camera shots.
I prefer the Shoulderpod G2 for more advanced situations like this, as it lets me attach a light and mics easily.
Typically I use two Røde mics and the SC6-L for audio.
You will also need an audio adapter cable when using the Wireless go with a smartphone. Mini plug to Smartphone. (This is the TRS to TRRS cable adapter I use.)
Simple Cinema Rig
View the sample scene – It was filmed handheld at 4K in ProRes proxy in Fimic Pro and edited in LumaFusion.
This handheld cinema rig features a lot of ND filter because of the intensity of the light in the Florida. In this light I need a lot if ND glass to get a slow shutter speed and a low ISO – the sweet sport for daytime shootingThe filters are removable so the rig can be used for other lighting conditions.
- SmallRig cage for iPhone 13 Pro Max
- MoondogLabs Filter Mount adapter V2
- 52 mm ND filters (ND4 and ND8)
- 52mm to 72mm step ring adapter
- Metal lens hood
- Sirui mini tripod
A light, full-height tripod
Next, you will want to add a full-size tripod so that you can record your interviews, live streams and selfies with more stability and with hands-free.
You must buy one that extends to at least 72″ high (182cm).
This is nice lightweight example of a tripod.
It is made of carbon fiber and extends to 191 cm (75 inches)
This height will let you interview tall people – it is very important to get the camera at the correct height.
This 40 liter waterproof surfer backpack is my all-weather gear bag. It has all the right protection in all the important places. This secure pack is perfect for adventure travel filming or stylish city shooting.
I made this teleprompter rig with two old phones.
In my example an iPhones 6S+ for the camera (running Filmic Pro app) and Samsung S8 for the script display (Running the Parrot app).
Swipe down to tour the specialized gear setups I use for iPhone filmmaking and TV storytelling.
MAX MOJO Broadcast Rig
Here is a single mic rig that is sturdy and light — The Max Mojo Rig for covering events and Vox Pop interviews at broadcast quality.
- iPhone Pro Max
- Røde Reporter mic
- Røde i-XLR digital audio interface
- Camvate Aluminum handle grip
- Shoulderpod G1 tripod mont adapter
- Sirui 3t tabletop tripod with ball head mount
- Two Double male 1/4″ thread adapters
- Two rubber grommets
- Silicone strap to secure mic cable to grip
Filmmaking rig – Counterbalanced with multi-track audio
This is a steadi-cam style counter-balanced rig, ideal for mobile filmmaking.
- DJI Osmo Tripod
- Slik SBH 60 ball head mount
- Sirui TY 50-x Arca swiss quick release and Mounting base.
- SoundDevices MixPre-3 with SmallRig Arca type clamp and plate attached
- Sennheiser AVX microphones
- Shure MV88 microphone
- Shoulderpod H1 and G1 grips
Filming with gimbals
When pros make smartphone videos with motion shots, they want smooth tracking.
I have tried the various third-party gimbals that you can attach a smartphone and I don’t like them. I have learned that the models that work the most naturally for me are the ones that also come with an integrated camera.
For example, I filmed the shots of the Award-winning film “Sophie Sutton” using the original Osmo + 4K camera. That model has been replaced by the much smaller and still capable Osmo Pocket.
Osmo Pocket rig
The Osmo pocket is a nice little add-on camera that can capture smooth motion shots.
Here is a complete gear list for buildin up an Osmo Pocket setup that will get you great results with your iPhone attached. Complete micro movie making rig here!
A lot of pros also like the Shure MV-88 digital condenser microphone.
Light ’em up!
Want your mobile films to look like a feature film? Then you need to learn about filming with anamorphic lenses – just like Hollywood film directors do. It is fun to do this with smartphones – Here’s the kit I use from Moondog Labs.
This is a 4K anamorphic cinema rig featuring an iPhone 6S+ in a Helium Core cage with a Moondog Labs lens. This is my ‘Extreme #Mojotrek’ filming rig in action on a week-long trek hiking across the Alps.
Shown with Manfrotto mini tripod, the Moondog Labs ND filters and a Røde Videomic Pro (Plus SC4 adapter cable.)
The rig above is capable of producing commercial quality work and it is a very low cost way to get started making professional films.
It features an amazing anamorphic lens that allows you to capture scenes that look like this.
This rig films pro video at a native 2.39:1 aspect ratio – using the same technique that Hollywood filmmakers have used for decades.