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Padcaster Turns Your iPad Into a DSLR Style Video Camera

Danny Greer

One of the more unconventional products to debut at this years NAB show is the Padcaster – a case/rig concept that allows you to mount high-end lenses on an iPad.

Born out of the desire to shoot better looking iPad video, Manhattan Edit Workshop (MEW) has developed a rig to improve the look and functionality of shooting with Apple’s popular tablet.  Place the iPad in the Padcaster’s aluminum case-like frame and you’ll be able to mount it on any standard tripod.  Holes and openings around the frame give the flexibility of integrating with a shoulder rig or mounting a portable light.  Additionally, the Padcaster can double as a DSLR camera cage by simply removing the iPad case insert.

Take the Padcaster to the next level with the separate $70 Lenscaster attachment.  Attach the Lenscaster universal lens mount to the Padcaster and you’ll gain the ability to use any standard DSLR lens with your iPad’s video camera. This allows your iPad to produce good looking depth of field shoots, similar to what you’d get with a video DSLR camera.

Padcaster iPad Video
Photo from Geeky-Gadgets.com

So, why would you want to deck out your iPad to shoot video, when you can achieve similar effect with a compact DSLR?

You can shoot, cut and upload from the same device.  It doesn’t have universal application, surely, but there may be instances when you’ve got a simple fast turn around project (examples might be auditions, short interviews or location scouts).  Sync your iPad up with Dropbox and you’ve got a quick way for a client to make decisions on a location or talent.  Using the Padcaster may also present interesting opportunities for live streaming video from the iPad.

Check out a sample video shot using the Padcaster and Lenscaster devices:

In the coming months, Manhattan Edit Workshop will be creating a similar device for the iPhone.

Order the Padcaster ($200) and Lenscaster ($70) from MEW.

Do you shoot video on your iPad?  What do you think of this device?
Let us know in the comments!