iPhone 12 Pro Max + RODE Filmmaking Kit

How’s it going everyone? And welcome back to another post. So, one of my favorite companies in the world has reached out to me to test out the new Rode Vlogger Kit with the Rode Wireless GO II. I’ve been using their products ever since I started making videos and always had a great experience with their products. So I’m quite excited to share with you guys this filmmaking kit setup for mobile phones. Smartphones have come a long way. And most of the smartphones out there are capable of shooting high quality videos. So, if you’re someone that is considering getting into mobile vlogging or generally wants to capture great content with their smartphone, then make sure to stick around as this could level up your mobile filmmaking skills. So, Rode has sent me the Vlogger Kit iOS edition since I’m using the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But if you’re using an Android, they also have a USB Type-C edition. And for devices that have a 3.5 millimeter jack, you also have the option to choose the Universal Vlogger Kit. To give you an idea, I will first talk about what’s in the box of the Rode Vlogger Kit and Rode Wireless GO II. Show you how I set it up with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, some test footage, pricing, and my final thoughts on it. Keep in mind that all the products mentioned will be in the video description below, as well as a timestamp if you want to skip or go back to a particular part of the video. With that said, let’s jump into the post.

Whats In The Box

I would first like to start off by showing you what’s in the box of the Rode Vlogger Kit. So, you will get the Rode VideoMic Me-L, which is a directional microphone that helps capture better audio by reducing the noise in the background. You will also receive a windshield that helps block wind noise.And the built-in microphone on smartphones produce decent audio quality But when facing windy conditions outside, you won’t have the option to add a windshield to the built-in microphone, and therefore will have unwanted noise in your audio. For me, good audio is very important as it’s half the viewing experience even if the video quality isn’t that good. You will also receive a rubber clip to better support the microphone. A smart grip made out of metal to mount your smartphone. And a tripod for handheld or static shots. The tripod also has a ball head for positioning your camera in different angles You also get a micro LED on camera light to better light your shots, as well as a diffuser for a more softer lighting. You will also get eight colored filters for creative use and a USB-C cable to charge the LED light. Rode has also provided me with the Rode Wireless GO II for a hands-free setup, which is a compacted dual channel wireless microphone system. The Wireless GO II is not included in the Vlogger Kit and has to be bought separately. But what I really like about it is not only the great audio quality but also the small size and how extremely versatile it is to use. But I will talk about that more later. In it, you will receive two transmitter, one receiver, three furry windshields, a USB-C and a USB-A cable, a TRS to TRRS cable for analog outputs, and a carry pouch. So as you can see, I’ve already set up the iPhone 12 Pro Max

Setup

with the Rode Vlogger Kit. And to show you how I’ve set this up, basically, I have the Rode VideoMic Me-L plugged into the side of the iPhone 12 Pro Max with the windshield. I have the LED light with the diffuser I mounted on top and also screwed the tripod with the ball head to the smart grip. Now, I like to keep things simple and use the standard camera app as I can quickly access this on the home screen. I prefer using the front facing camera as I can monitor myself, and easily set and lock focus and exposure before filming. The resolution and frame rates are set to 4k 25 frames per second. because I live in Switzerland which is in a PAL region. You can enable the video format in the camera settings on your iPhone. So, if you leave in an NTSC region, I recommend that using a 24 frames per second. I also keep grid enabled to better set my composition. Now, once the microphone is plugged in, you don’t have to do any further adjustments since the iOS has an automatic gain control that regulates the input signals to make sure the audio doesn’t distort. You have the option to monitor your audio by plugging your headphones on the back of the Rode VideoMic Me-L. So, one thing that bothers me is that with the windshield attached, some of the screen is covered over here. And usually the record button is right over here. But what you can do is you can easily press the volume key to trigger recording. As for the LED light, there are three output levels. I like to keep it at the first level And I only use the LED light if there is not sufficient light.

Test Footage

For example, if I’m filming indoors. Now, I always keep the diffuser attached as this produces a more pleasing look on my face. I’m gonna use the built-in LED light so that you guys can see how it looks like. This is level one, level two, level three. So, this is how it will look like with the LED light on The LED light lasts around four hours which is more than enough for my usage. Let me now show you how it looks like with the Rode Vlogger Kit. Hey. What’s up, guys? Sorry. I’m in the middle of Zurich. I’m here with George. He’s currently setting up his time-lapse and it’s quite loudy out here. I’m in the middle of the road,there’re cars passing by me the background. And there’s also a construction site going on down there. And that’s great because I would like to do a comparison between the using the Rode VideoMic Me-L, which is plugged in right now, versus the built-in mic.So that you guys can see the difference. Future Benett here. I apologize. The audio recording on the built-in microphone on my iPhone 12 Pro Max didn’t go well because I didn’t restart the camera app. I actually just plugged that out to the external mic and then started recording. And that caused the audio to distort. There are a lot of wind noise because it’s also quite windy up here. So, anyways. This is how it sounds like using the Rode VideoMic Me-L plugged in. It’s a little bit windy outside.probably also hear birds singing. But yeah, with the shotgun mic, it’s more directional so my voice will probably be more present.So, I’m now going to switch over to the built-in microphone on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. So, this is how it sounds likewith the built-in microphone on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. It shouldn’t sound that bad cause there’s actually not a lot of wind noise going on. You might hear a little bit more ambient noise. When there’s a lot of wind, you should get an external mic with a windshield because that will help improve the audio a lot. So, let’s now head back. For the hands-free setup, I’ve setup the Rode Wireless GO II on top of the cold shoe mount and connect it with my iPhone using the Rode SC15 which has to be purchased separately. I then added the furry windshield, clip the transmitter onto my shirt, turn on both devices and I’m basically ready to shoot. A second transmitter is also included which is perfect for recording two audio sources at the same time. If you’re traveling with a companion, this could be quite useful for filming yourself and the second person from different distances and maintaining a good audio quality. Okay, guys. So, we’re now using two transmitters. I have the second channel hooked onto George and we should have two audios running right now. So, George, what are you doing? I’m trying to shoot a time lapse here but it’s, the clouds are not moving very well. – Yeah, that’s true. And as I walk away, I can still hear or you guys can still hear George pretty clearly. – Hey, Benett. Where are you going? – See? The Wireless GO II can operate up to seven hours and the transmission range is 200 meters which again is more than enough for my usage. If you additionally want to mount the LED light, you will have to get the Rode DCS-1 which has a dual cold shoe mount. When using two transmitter for vlogging, I like to keep the audio split instead of merge which allows the audio to be recorded separately. I can adjust the settings in the Rode Central app which is a great feature Rode added for more control over the Rode Wireless GO II. Also when recording in audio-split tracks, I can selectively mute or lower one person’s audio. So, if you’re out vlogging with someone, both having a mic on, you can decide how you want to hear the audio in your final edit which is amazing. Another great feature I have activated is the backup recording, which records the audio on the internal storage of the transmitters. Each transmitter can record up to 24 hours of audio. Once turned on, it will automatically start the backup recording. And if the memory is filled up, it will begin deleting older files, which is great. This way, I don’t have to worry about it. The recordings can be accessed through the Rode Central app where it can playback and export the files.

Final Thoughts

So, using the Rode Vlogger Kit has been a great experience. you have everything you need to film a great vlog. The simple setup makes it very easy to vlog. This way, I can focus more on storytelling. I also like the versatility of the setup as I can use the Rode Wireless GO II for a hands-free setup and can also include a second person in my vlog and film from different distances while maintaining good audio quality. The idea of vlogging with a smartphone is great because the video quality is good, the setup is fast and doesn’t feel heavy, and looks more discreet since everyone carries a smartphone nowadays

Price

The Rode Vlogger Kit is available for around $145. The Wireless GO for $299. You will definitely get a lot of value for its price. And it doesn’t have to be just the vlogging, you can use the Vlogger Kit and the Rode Wireless GO II for live streams or for your YouTube videos. This package is designed for a high quality video and audio recording to a smartphone. But, of course, you can also use the Rode Wireless GO II with a larger camera as well. But for me, this setup feels complete.

Let me know in the comments, if this post was helpful and make you don’t miss out on the newest filmmaking tutorials. Before I end this post, I just wanted to thank you allfor being part of this big community. I’m super grateful for that and happy to see that I can somehow help you guys get better at filmmaking. So, keep it up. Thank you so much for Reading. Stay creative and have a good one.

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