Bottom line: The ShiftCam ProGrip adds traditional camera features (and a battery pack) to your iPhone.
Somewhat lackluster case included
Overkill for some?
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Smartphones are the camera of choice for most users because of their convenience and ease of use. Despite this, there's no denying some standard camera features are lacking that many miss or rather not do without. ShiftCam ProGrip addresses many of these issues, as the DSLR-inspired mobile battery grip offers various features missing on the iPhone alone.
The ShiftCam ProGrip starter kit adds a more comfortable grip to every iPhone on the market, including the current iPhone 13 series. It also adds a simple-to-use Bluetooth shutter Samsung battery cells for longer shoot times and supports additional ShiftCam products such as pro-lens and pro-LEDs.
Although the ShiftCam ProGrip isn't for everyone, it does bring lots to the table, as you can see below.
ShiftCam ProGrip: Price and availability
The ShiftCam ProGrip is available through Amazon and the ShiftCam website. The starter kit is $150 and comes with a comfy pouch, 1.5m USB-C cable, hand strap, cold shoe mount, and an adapter. The ProGrip is offered in charcoal or ash.
ShiftCam ProGrip: What's good
One of the first things that struck me about the ShiftCam ProGrip was how easy it was to set up and start using. After performing a fast charge on the accessory, I put my iPhone 13 Pro Max into it using the built-in spring-loaded jaws that attach on both horizontal sides. It offers a secure fit — as it should for an expensive device such as iPhone.
The ShiftCam ProGrip supports every Apple handset going back to the iPhone 8, plus select phones from Samsung and Google. In addition, the accessory works with naked smartphones and those in non-bulky cases. ShiftCam says the ProGrip clamp system can hold any mobile device between 58 and 90 mm wide, with and without a case. From smaller phones such as the iPhone 13 mini, you can use the two included bumpers that attach to the jaws.
The jaws don't just allow the ShiftCam ProGrip to attach to the iPhone; it also has a pivot that allows for an easy switch between horizontal and portrait use. The pivot is a nice touch, although the functionality feels much more natural when in landscape mode. Moments like these are when it would be nice to have Face ID available horizontally on iPhone, but that's an issue only Apple can remedy.
Beyond this, the ProGrip's hand strap is well made and easy to resize using the built-in velcro. Use it to secure your iPhone during shots better. The Bluetooth shutter (at the front top right) is well positioned and makes it feel like you're using a traditional camera.
With a single press, you can take a photo; with a longer press, begin capturing video. Setting up the shutter takes less than 30 seconds and requires simply using the iPhone's Bluetooth tool.
What about charging?
Battery life has increasingly become less of a problem with iPhones, although it's always nice when you add some juice on the fly. The ShiftCam ProGrip provides 15-watt wireless charging, which you can turn on/off with ease. Use the 20-watt USB-C port to recharge the device or add battery life to AirPods and other connected accessories. As needed, there's also parallel charging for both the ShiftCam ProGrip and the accessory. Inside is a 6400mAh powerbank.
The ShiftCam ProGrip can also serve as a wireless charging dock when in portrait mode. Offering a 75-degree angle at this position, it's ideally suited for hands-free filming, video calls, and everyday iPhone viewing when sitting at your desk.
ShiftCam says the battery "enables you to shoot up to 3 times more content" thank with the iPhone alone. I'm not sure where it came up with this number or which type of smartphone it used during testing. Unofficially, let's just say the ShiftCam ProGrip is a great way to add more battery life when away from your home and its electric plugs!
ShiftCam ProGrip: What's not good
As you tell by its stars rating in this review, there's little I don't like about the ShiftCam ProGrip. One criticism I have is being unable to store both the ShiftCam ProGrip and iPhone in the included case. Because the accessory works with different-sized smartphones, this limitation makes sense from an engineering perspective, although it's still a disappointment.
Beyond this, some will have a problem with its price, perhaps rightfully so.
The best iPhone charging cases start at around $30, suggesting that the average consumer's multi-use ShiftCam ProGrip is too pricey. I would say a better number would be $100. Besides saving users some money, the ShiftCam ProGrip's many accessories would be more appealing at this price point.
The available ProLens and ProLEDs start at around $90 each. This makes the ShiftCam ProGrip system very pricey after adding only a few items to a cart. (At least the accessory comes with tripod and accessory sockets.)
Beyond these two points, the ShiftCam ProGrip is a terrific accessory for what it does, with and without the extras, which I hope to review soon.
ShiftCam ProGrip: Competition
There are other iPhone camera-grip-like products on the market, such as the Sibosz Smartphone Grip and ShutterGrip 2 Secure Camera Handle Holder. There's also Moment's extensive lineup of iPhone accessories that also include lenses and mounts.
None of these products are entirely in-sync with everything ShiftCam ProGrip provides. For some users, this might be okay, and make some of these a better choice.
ShiftCam ProGrip: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if you ...
- Need to better grip
- Are looking for extra battery life
- Or considering adding extra lenses or LEDs
You shouldn't buy this if you ...
- Want to save money
- Don't like bulk
- Won't add camera extras
The ShiftCam ProGrip is beautifully designed and does what it promises. In addition, with some of the available add-ons, it can take your picture-taking to even higher levels.
The ShiftCam ProGrip comes highly recommended for anyone looking to improve their photo- and video-taking but isn't sure how to get started. It provides a comfortable grip and shutter, works in portrait and landscape mode, and includes a battery system. It can prove pricey, however. So before making a purchase, ask yourself whether you really plan on taking more photos with your iPhone this year. If not, save your hard-earned cash.
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.