Helium Core – The Premium Pro Smartphone Camera Rig
When Brandon Hoe first envisioned the Helium Core, a truly professional-grade iPhone case for mobile filmmakers, he knew he’d have to create it from scratch.
“The Helium Core was born out of my desire to make the iPhone a better photography and filmmaking tool.”
The Helium Core is the result of two years of R&D and prototyping, incorporating feedback from inside and outside the industry. The result is a beautifully designed, engineered and finished product which should tick a lot of boxes for many mobile videographers looking for a professional solution.
One of the defining requirements was that this not be just another marginally useful iPhone case marketed at filmmakers. The Helium Core is designed for professional use, and this meant a commitment to fulfilling some key goals:
- Minimal setup time
- Simple design
- Versatile and customisable
Brandon has gone into detail explaining how he has met these goals in a recent post on the Helium Cine website. I’d like to just pick up some highlights that are particularly important.
It’s not often that an accessory which primarily needs to fulfil a utilitarian function also manages to look good at the same time.
With a high-end premium feel and finish, machined all-metal construction, and a solid build the Helium Core seems to go more than a few steps beyond the average plastic case with a lens mount.
Machined from aerospace grade 6061-T6 aluminium in two parts, Helium Core completely encapsulates the iPhone while providing all the necessary cut-outs and access to buttons.
In Brandon’s words: “If the material can handle the stresses of flight, it will be able to hold up in this use case (no pun intended!)”
This is one light-weight but heavy-duty iPhone case.
The Helium Core is a lot more like a chassis than a case. It is thick enough to ensure anything screwed into one of the many 1/4”-20 screw holes around the edge is not going to go anywhere.
This opens up the possibility of almost any configuration of handles, hot-shoe mounts, magic arms and other attachments. In addition, it facilitates the easy use of support gear such as a tripod, slider, jib or gimbal.
The threads are strong enough that there is no worry of stripping them, and the solid machined case will take the stress that any accessory might put on the mounting point without any of the flexing you find with plastic cases.
Precise Lens Alignment
The design and material choices combined ensure that the Helium Core provides a solid and precise alignment and mounting of any standard 37mm diameter lens and lens accessories.
This helps ensure that the full optical performance of premium glass such as the Exolens Pro with Optics by ZEISS, and the Moondog Labs anamorphic adaptor are fully realized.
Outlook on Smartphone Video Shooting
At cinema5D, we will put more focus on reviewing smartphone cameras in the near future, because they are becoming valuable tools with surprisingly good quality, when no better camera is at hand. Stay tuned for the first reviews soon.