Monday, November 3, 2014

iStabilizer tabMount Review

I recently became familiar with an app called DSLR Controller (see complete app review here).  This magnificent piece of software for Android devices will allow you to control your DSLR with your tablet or phone.  You simply connect your device through the USB port (you will need an On the Go cable and a device that supports “On the Go” connectivity), and your tablet becomes a field monitor with touch screen controls.

But now that I can control my Canon 7D with my LG GPad 8.3, I need a way to attach my tablet to my camera.  Whether I’m shooting video or still photography, there still needs to be a way to securely fasten the tablet to the camera.  When I’m shooting stills, I don’t use a rig because I need freer access to the settings, and I am also constantly switching the camera orientation, thus mounting the tablet via the flash hot shoe seemed the best answer.  When I’m shooting video I have a camera rig, so it’s a simple matter of attaching to one of the billions of 1/4” holes in the cheese plates.

That still meant I had to get a quarter inch threaded hole attached to the tablet.
Of all the ones I found on Amazon, the iStabilizer tabMount seemed the best bet.



Unfortunately, the maximum tablet size stated in the listing was incorrect.  The listing said the device could handle ANY tablet UP TO 8.25" wide. I should also point out, looking at the mechanics and dimensions first hand, I think 8.25" is pushing it; I would call 8" the maximum dimension of a tablet it could handle.


My LG Gpad 8.3 is too long (8.5") to allow the tabMount to hold it horizontally, and the *minimum width* of the tabMount (which is not listed in the Amazon verbiage) is 5.5" (which would actually still be a little loose since that's simply the fully contracted distance from edge to edge and there would be no spring tension to hold the tablet securely).  Since the LG Gpad 8.3 is only 5" wide, the tabMount will not hold it. To reiterate, the tablet is "too big" in one direction, and "too small" in the other.

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I think the iStabilizer tabMount is probably a pretty good piece of equipment for tablets that actually fit. It seems simple and sturdy. The 1/4"/20 threaded hole is metal mounted in sturdy plastic. The grasping arms are spring loaded so that the tablet is held in place by the contracting tension of a spring inside the backing piece. The spring seems to be strong and the tabs that wrap around the edge of the tablet are large and curved and covered in rubber. I think this holder would do a good job of keeping a tablet in place securely.

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I am disappointed that I can’t use the tabMount, as I like the way it works, and I like the build quality.  There is nothing of similar quality, function, and price that I can find for a tablet with the dimensions of the LG Gpad 8.3, so I think I’m going to have build something on my own (see that build/mod here).

20141103_102008(holding the spring loaded arm open; it’s definitely got some grip!)

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