The Twistgrip system is Manfrotto’s all-new addition to the Twistgrip range.
The Twistgrip, just in case you’d missed it, is a simple but beautifully crafted device designed to enable you to tripod-mount your iPhone or smartphone.
The Twistgrip system builds on the Twistgrip with two additional modular components.
Essentially, the system enables you to transform your smartphone into a video rig, and unlike other systems out there it’s ultra-compact.
Those two additional parts are the Handle, with a hand strap, and the Accessory Bar.
Both parts follow the same design style as the original Twistgrip with a high-quality gun-metal finish and rubberised grip and texture.
The handle design keeps things simple with the textures and finishes making it beautifully tactile, so much so that it could very well be the next fidget fad.
The full metal construction gives the handle a quality feel and the finish just helps to reinforce its premium status.
At the top of the handle is a standard 1/4-inch screw so it can be bolted directly to the base of the Twistgrip or if you like an action camera or another compact camera. Meanwhile, a 1/4-inch thread on the base allows other accessories to be bolted on if needed.
Whilst there are many other mobile phone grips out there, what sets the Twistgrip apart from others is that the handle/grip is flat.
In the past, I’ve tested other grips for smartphones, and the majority have been excellent, but a little bulky. Here the flat, compact design means that it really can fit comfortably into a pocket without too much of an issue.
The handle measures 11cm in height by 3cm width and weighs in at 66g
Twistgrip accessories bar
The accessories bar is the next part of the system and again follows the flat all metal construction.
In essence, the bar is exactly that, a bar that you can bolt things too, well actually slot things into, but you get the point.
On the underside are two positions to bolt in the handle plus a cold shoe where a microphone with a foot can be slotted in.
On the top is a standard 1/4-inch screw thread to attach the Twistgrip and at the far end another cold shoe to attach a lamp.
Once the two are bolted together you can attach the Twistgrip.
The bar weighs in at 89g and measures 13.3cm x 3.3cm; the addition 3mm is attributed to the thumb screw.
If like me you initially wonder why you should bother with a mobile phone rig, then I think you’ll be surprised by just how handy the Twistgrip is.
Mobile phones may have advanced hugely since they first arrived but the basic rectangular design remains. That design is ideal for holding up to your ear but try filming, and you quickly realise how tricky the phone can be to handle.
Add a handle, and it’s far easier to control and direct the phone camera than just holding it by itself.
Use the Twistgrip with the just the handle and you have a nice lightweight rig that enables fluid movements to be made. With the addition of the bar, you have that same ease of movement along with the option to add accessories.
Those accessories can transform the video you shoot on your phone.
iPhones and for that matter, the majority of mobile phones are capable of capturing stunning high-resolution footage, but as with all small sensor devices, video quality in low light is rarely any good. The accessories bar enables you to tackle that with the addition of a light.
Those two cold shoes enable you to quickly attach a lamp, such as the Lumimuse to illuminate your subject and then you can attach a mic such as the Rode Videomicro to improve the audio.
As soon as you start to attach the accessories, you can feel the balance of the grip alter, and this is why there are two positions for the grip.
It’s easy to bolt the modules together and once attached and tightened, the three parts make a good rigid structure.
The full metal construction keeps things nice and tight and while there is a bit of wiggle in the phone clamp, it’s nothing to worry about as I doubt you’d even notice unless you’re looking for it.
Once the rig is fully loaded, it enables you to utilise your phone as a fully fledged video rig, and to be honest not a bad one.
Let’s face it the quality of the iPhone and most Android phones is now so good that it’s no surprise that with a little assistance they shouldn’t be capable of producing good high-end quality footage.
The Twistgrip system transforms your phone into something far more than just a device to make calls and poke at.
The Manfrotto Twistgrip is a premium product, and this is reflected in the metal construction, high-quality build and, of course, price.
Its modular approach works well with the handle on its own giving you the option for far more fluid control of the phone.
Then with the addition of the accessories bar, you can start to take iPhone video far more seriously. Add a light and the support of a decent microphone and you will notice a huge difference to your videos. Factor in live streaming which is incredibly easy with a mobile and the rig makes even more sense.
It might not have the stabilisation of the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, but it is less than half the price yet still enables you a great deal of control over your filming.
The other factor that greatly elevates the twistgrip over the competition is the design and I don’t mean just the aesthetics. The thin, flat design means that it easily slips into a pocket without taking up too much room and that’s pretty important for a mobile phone accessory.
If you like to shoot video on your mobile, I highly recommend you take a look at the Manfrotto Twistgrip system.