MoJoCon 2017 took place in Galway a couple of weeks ago and for the episode of Live Stream Insiders that week, we decided to pre-record the weekly show. We took it as an opportunity to cover one of the topics discussed at the conference and also the opportunity to talk about some of the products that were being presented.
You can find the replay of the show below or here on YouTube.
Attending a conference such as MoJoCon is a great way to be able to get to test out products for mobile brand journalism that you may not easily be able to access on the high street. One of the unique things about MoJoCon, however, is the fact that it is a smaller event that exhibitions that take place so you get time to speak with the companies representing the products and in many cases, these are the founders and creators. In turn, they get the opportunity to connect with creators first hand. As a result, I know that the feedback they access gets put into the development hopper to be considered as they move forward with their products.
In turn, they get the opportunity to connect with creators first hand. As a result, I know that the feedback they access gets put into the development hopper to be considered as they move forward with their products.
I was fortunate to be speaking at MoJoCon, delivering workshops and moderating a panel (more of that in future articles). It was a terrific event to learn and network from mobile journalists from across the world.
Events such as MoJoCon would not be possible without the hard work of the organising team, the speakers (who are not paid to attend through they do have travel and accommodation costs covered) and the sponsors.
In this article, I will share with you some of the products that caught my attention for video and live video creation and yes I admit I invested in a few of them to add to my mobile brand journalism toolkit.
One of the products I was delighted to see at MoJoCon was Insta 360.
As you may recall from my Twitter posts and live streams, I have been using the Insta 360 Nano with my iPhone since 2016 (thanks to the team who sent me one to use and demonstrate in my digital communications, live video and social media workshops). At the conference, I got the opportunity to see the Android Insta 360 Air and the Insta 360 Pro which delivers a 360 experience in 8k.
If you are considering getting started and learning how 360 video, images, animations and live streaming can add to your online storytelling and create immersive experiences for viewers, the Insta 360 Air and Insta 360 Nano are great tools to get started with.
My only wish is that the Insta 360 Nano came with a housing or mount for use with a tripod as many times you do not want to have to hold the camera or have it attached to your phone. If you are in the US you could check out this mount from Aobelieve.
See an example of the Insta 360 Pro here (photo credit Sir Cam – see bottom of article for links to his profile).
I was also delighted to meet the MikMe team – I have been interested in this microphone for some time as it is a wireless solution which means you do not need to be tethered with cables using lavalier microphones. The product is still in development and should be available this Fall.
They are also working on ensuring it works with live streams. Definitely one to watch as it offers the opportunity to deliver very high-quality audio and as you know in live streams people may forgive your video in a live stream but never your audio. I will be interested to see how this works with tools such as the Mevo camera from Livestream and Switcher Go (more on them later in this article).
You can see and hear a demonstration of the Mikme microphone in this video that they recorded at MoJoCon 2017.
Talking of wireless microphone, it was good to see Samson with their Go Mic Mobile wireless microphone. When you are recording video or live streaming, sometimes you want to have a handheld microphone and if you are with the media you will probably add a mic flag with your branding.
I have previously used the Samson Stage X1U which I was kindly given to test by Samson distributors in the UK. This works with smartphones and has a USB connection so works with PC’s and laptops – though I did find the gain very low even when adjusting it which meant that the audio was quiet. Having spoken to the Samson representative at MoJoCon I understand that product was not specifically developed for mobile content creators, unlike the Go Mic Mobile which allows you to capture audio through the dual-channel receiver that mounts and connects directly to a smartphone or DSLR camera. The dual-channel receiver allows users to transmit and mix digital audio on two separate channels.
Having spoken to the Samson representative at MoJoCon I understand that product was not specifically developed for mobile content creators, unlike the Go Mic Mobile which allows you to capture audio through the dual-channel receiver that mounts and connects directly to a smartphone or DSLR camera. The dual-channel receiver allows users to transmit and mix digital audio on two separate channels which is especially helpful for interviews.
I understand a further development of the product is underway, so another solution to check out later this year if you are looking to enhance your audio in your videos, live videos and podcast recordings on mobile.
Here you can see the Samson Go Mic Mobile being used by two people at a distance from the smartphone that is recording their interview.
Staying with audio for a moment, it was good to see Shure at MoJoCon with a variety of products. The one that caught my attention was the Shure MV88 microphone.
The MV88 works ith your iOS devices and is a digital stereo condenser microphone – it plugs into the lightning connector on your device. I was curious to see if it would fit my iPhone when using the iOgrapher – which it did as you can see in the image below. You can rotate the mic to help you get the relevant position when recording your videos and live videos.
The quality of the audio recorded was great – the only downside is that this is not going to work for you if you have an Android device.
Here is the Shure MV88 in a phone without the foam windscreen.
Staying with Shure for the moment, as a sponsor of MoJoCon, they generously provided some prizes for delegates and I was lucky enough to win a Shure lavalier microphone which I have used many times since the conference for videos and live streams. I have two other lavalier mics that I use, but I have found it really handy to keep the Shure lavalier mic in my desk draw all the time to reach for when I am recording an impromptu video tutorials on my phone.
In advance of MoJoCon I realised that the Switcher Studio team would be attending and was looking forward to meeting them in real life.
If you are not familiar with Switcher Studio, they are a live stream app that allows you to have multi camera angles in a live stream working with iOS devices. Using the platform you can add multimedia including lower thirds.
They also have a free Switcher Go iOS app that you can use for mobile live streaming – this tutorial takes you through how to use it and if you scroll to the bottom of the page you will find a live video interview I did with their founder.
Switcher Studio hosted a workshop on how to host a multi-camera live stream at the conference which unfortunately I was unable to attend. If you are looking to live stream an event for your organisation and all camera angles from devices can be connected to the same wifi, then I highly recommend checking out Switcher Studio. You will find they have regular live streams on Facebook to cover tips for live streaming with their app and have a very active Facebook Group of users constantly posting their questions and supporting each other.
If you are looking to live stream an event for your organisation and all camera angles from devices can be connected to the same wifi, then I highly recommend checking out Switcher Studio. You will find they have regular live streams on Facebook to cover tips for live streaming with their app and have a very active Facebook Group of users constantly posting their questions and supporting each other.
Another product I use all the time is the iOgrapher mount for my iPhone. Unfortunately, iOgrapher were not able to attend the conference in person, but they generously gifted a number of units to the MoJoCon team that were used by the students helping with the social media content for the conference. I also noticed they were in use at a number of exhibitor stands.
They also generously hosted a competition so attendees of the MoJoCon conference or the fringe events had the opportunity to win a gift voucher for their online store.
The benefit of the iOgrapher is that the frame for your device can attach to a tripod and you can connect lenses plus you can attach your light and microphone through a hot shoe mount.
The only downside from my personal experience is that the mounts are not universal – they are specific for your phone or tablet. You could, however, invest in the iOgrapher for action cameras and attach a universal phone mount to give you flexibility if you need it.
You can watch a live stream I hosted with their founder several months ago here on Facebook.
If you want a frame to help you mount your phone or tablet for better quality live streams and videos, I do recommend checking out iOgrapher – a plus is that the frame is very light so will not add much weight to your MoJoKit – plus their customer support is second to none.
Another mini tripod I have used for many years is The GripTight One Micro stand – it is such a compact mini tripod for my phone I carry it literally all the time in my bag. It is a very compact, foldable phone stand that is helpful to hold your phone when travelling – even when watching movies or streaming TV!
Joby are probably most well known for their Gorilla Pod Tripods which are very flexible and help you when filming or live streaming to maintain a stable shot. Over the years they have released many products for smartphones and tablets.
I could not resist investing in their new GripTight POV Kit – this is handgrip with bluetooth remote camera control for Android and iOS smartphones (56mm-91mm). There is also a GoPro style universal pin joint allows mounting of your phone onto any GoPro accessory – you can therefore use the mount also on a tripod using a GoPro tripod adaptor.
What I particularly like about it (and yes I have other mounts for my phone) is that it is very light and the handgrip pivots 180 degrees so you can easily turn the phone if you want low level or high level shots – such as capturing people walking into a conference. Using a grip will also help with the stability of video and live video recordings.
The removable bluetooth works up to 90 feet (I have yet to put that distance to the test) from the phone and fits onto the grip – this allows you to be really creative with your shots. One of the team on the stand showed me some shots he had done which I am looking forward to trying myself – frankly that photo alone sold me on the grip! Plus there is a cold shoe adapter, which allows you to attach accessories such as mic or light to top or bottom of the grip to improve the production quality of your mobile videos and live stream recordings.
I should add that many of the exhibitors such as Joby were offering special prices for their products at the conference, well at least that was my justification for making the investment in this great multifunctional smartphone grip for my phone!
Another brand for mobile content creation I was delighted to see at the conference was Olloclip – their co-founder attended so it was good to meet him and learn more about the company who has a first class reputation in the creation of high-quality lenses that work with your mobile device. I always recall interacting with his fellow co-founder online several years ago when I watched him talk about how Olloclip used 3D printing to help fast track product pro-typing and innovation.
What I had not appreciated is that they now have a grip for your phone called the Olloclip Pivot. I was fortunate to be given a grip to try out.
The grip allows you to connect your mobile device or even an action camera and includes a Universal Clamp, 1/4-20 mount or GoPro adapter. It also has an integrated cold shoe mount, you can attach accessories, for example, a light or microphone.
The Pivot provides 225° of rotation so you can film at a variety of angles and also provides some stability – I’ll be trying this out at lake and sea swimming events my daughter is participating in over the Summer as it is water resistant so great for use with a waterproof action camera.
Another thing I had not realised is that the latest Olloclip lens clip and pendant also functions as a stand for your phone. What a great idea to be multifunctional and compact. This started off as a promotional incentive but was so well received it is now part of the product – see the image below.
It was great to see a number of live streaming products on show at the conference – one that you may not be familiar with is the Iris live streaming platform. the parent company is Bambuser, a Swedish company founded in 2007 which is a mobile live video streaming platform – created well before Facebook Live or Periscope were even imagined.
Iris facilitates the creation, management and distribution of HD mobile live video and photo content, generated by anyone – for example members of your team or attendees at your events through social media influencers.
As content is created on mobile devices it makes it very easy for users to create live video – back at the main console, the content can be viewed and moderated so you do not need to publish content that you have not approved.
I am hoping the Iris team will be joining me for a live stream in the near future – but in the meantime, if you have an event or conference and want to have people contribute from wherever they are to a live stream, then you might want to check out the Irish platform.
Not only were there hardware products exhibiting at MoJoCon, alongside Switcher Studio and Iris for live streaming, there were other mobile live video apps present including Lumafusion, Kinemaster (see later in the article) and FilmicPro.
LumaFusion is an app I use and is only available for iOS and you can create projects with square, 16:9, 9:16 or 4:3 aspect ratios. One of the recent updates to LumaFusion is the ability to inject VR Metadata for uploading 360° videos – this means you could bring your video from the Insta 360 camera to edit and even add text overlays to it.
Filmic Pro is an app that is available for both android and iOS. The app is used by many mobile journalists but what got me interested in the app (which I have yet to test) is their forthcoming beta for iOS which will be enabling live streaming. I registered for the beta and when I get access I will no doubt cover it in one of my tutorials or live videos.
Another mobile app I was pleased to see represented at MoJoCon was Kinemaster who launched their iOS app just before the conference.
Kinemaster is well known for it’s Android app so for those of us who teach mobile brand journalism it is good to see another app that now works across Android and iOS. They have a subscription model for the app so you can purchase it for a month or for a year. You might think that is an expensive way to invest a mobile app, but it means that the team can afford to continue to develop it. In addition, the power of the app on my phone means that I find it far quicker to edit a video on my phone than with the desktop video editing tools I have access to.
I have been testing the app and I am particularly interested in the way I can repurpose content such as from Instagram and Snapchat stories in a 16×9 ratio. I understand there are other aspect ratios coming later this year.
It was great to see Teradek (providers of live video technology) in action – they worked hard alongside the conference production team to live stream the conference. For professional live video streaming they are an organisation worth checking out.
There were some very inexpensive mobile journalism tools on offer also for those of us more cost conscious. I found myself investing in a rechargeable selfie ring light for €15 – I had been researching these recently and knew I wanted to get one that could clip onto phone or tablet for occasional use. I also wanted one that could enable me to dim the light and recharge it. So I was delighted to find one to purchase at the conference. It even has different colour lights so I change the tone of the light.
But sometimes a ring light will not be sufficient – another product I had been researching before the conference was the Manfrotto light with 3 LED’s and comes with two filters. It was good to be able to see these in action as I had not been sure of the size of light I would need and I realised this small light was sufficient for my use at this time – the hotshoe mount means I can attach it to the Joby, Olloclip or iOgrpher mounts I mention earlier.
When it comes to lighting nothing is more portable however than the Lume Cube which I have had my eye on for some time. You can learn about how they will be adapting their solution for 360 video in the future in this video. Brightness, mode and other features can be controlled by buttons on the light itself or via Lume Cube’s companion Android and iOS apps, making it easy for 360 videographers to adjust the lighting of one or multiple Lume Cubes in their scene while hiding or at a distance.
This is a great solution if you want to take your on-location filming and live streaming to a professional level but still want a solution that is as compact as possible.
A major sponsor of MoJoCon was Manfrotto (I not only have their light as mentioned earlier but a number of tripods). Their Irish Distributor, Hahnel Insudtries, very generously gave every participant of the conference the new compact selfie stick and monopod. They also had a lot of other offers available for those who were ready to take their mobile journalism to the next level with pro-tools.
I had in fact been looking at this monopod and pole solution prior to the conference as I am on the Manfrotto mailing list (they have some great discounts) – the only thing I would consider before purchasing is if you can manage without there being a tripod or the ability to add a small tripod to the stick and unfortunately this is not possible with the current model (something I fed back to the team at the conference so let’s hope they bring out an adaptor). (Photo credit Sir Cam – see links to his portfolio at the end of the article).
Another product I have been following the development of for some time is the Helium Core iPhone camera case.
This has to be the ultimate phone case. All around the case are 1/4″-20 screw holes so you can attach almost any filmmaking or photography accessory, whether you film in portrait or landscape.
You can attach the case to a suction mount, tripod, gimbal, crane, or other grip for filming – and it is made from aircraft-grade aluminium.
The Helium Core is impressive – but it is not inexpensive – however when you consider the investment you make in your iPhone, and the protection it will give you plus the opportunity to completely customise your mobile rig, it is an investment that just might be right for you.
And the final brand I will reference in this round-up from MoJoCon is IK Multimedia. I think I purchased my iRig Mic Cast when I purchased my iPhone 3GS many many years ago as I used it for podcast recording. It comes with a small stand that I still use every day in the office.
There were lots of products on offer but what caught my attention on the stand is that there was an action camera on the stand. This meant that the person manning the stand could make a time lapse video of the conference to then send back to the central team so that they could see how the stand had been received. I thought this was a great idea if you are
I thought this was a great idea if you are running a stand on your own at an event as you would not be able to report on all the people visiting when you get very busy. If there is something I would add it would be to make sure there was a sign to tell people that the camera was live as they may not want to be caught on film – probably not an issue for a conference about mobile journalism, but good practice.
I hope you found that a helpful run-down of some of the best mobile brand journalism tools and apps you can use to enhance your video and live video production. Do let me know if you decide to invest in any of these products and how you get on with them.
A special thanks and photo credit for the title image for this article and the images for the Insta 360 pro and the Manfrotto presentation goes to Sir Cam on Flickr who documented the conference through his great photography.
Additional Resources For Video And Live Video Production
Find my recommended resources that I use all the time here.
Find my brand journalism kit recommendations here.
If you would like a quick access to the products mentioned in this article that are available on Amazon go to this link.
If you need assistance with video, social video and live video training for your organisation you can contact me here for a free consultation to help you determine the right next step to help you bring your story to life.