Today Zacuto and Apogee announced this neat little kit, comprised of both the Zacuto Zgrip Jr., and the Apogee MiC. The Zgrip Jr. is a handgrip for shooting video on the iPhone 4 or 4s, while the MiC is a condenser microphone that pops right into the top of it. Together with the iPhone, this highly-portable kit allows users to record HD video and high-quality sound almost anywhere.
Those are the positives; but right off the bat, a couple of things trouble us. First off, the kit isn’t compatible with the iPhone 5, and second, it won’t function on any mobile device, other than the iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. After Apple’s much maligned move to a different dock connector, it’s hard to blame anyone for the former, but the long and short of it is that the rig won’t work on the newest model of the phone it’s designed for. Since the real selling point here – given that the Zgrip won’t hold up a MacBook – is phone recording functionality, that’s a bit worrying.
In some ways it would be like having a snazzy, expensive remote that only works with non-smart TVs. The problem is that, as the iPhone 5 and subsequent models are adopted on a wider scale, the devices this rig does fit, will quickly become obsolete. Add that to the fact that the MiC doesn’t work with any device that’s not an iPhone, and its use is very limited.
All that being said, the rig does work on iPads and Macs, and – if it performs as advertised – it will provide some measure of value if used on either of those devices. It’s also – from what we can tell – the only studio-level mic that connects directly to Garageband, Apple’s proprietary music creation software.
Bottom line: If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S already, and you know you’ll be hanging on to it, the kit’s $290 price point could be worth it. If you don’t want to be locked into either device, however, we’d suggest going in a different direction.