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Review: DaisyGrip for a Child's Smile Hot Shoe Mount

Overview : One of the most versatile tools for photographing children, the DaisyGrip is a must-have for both parents and professionals. Gets genuine smiles and expressions by holding toys, puppets or iPhones/smartphones right above your camera lens. No more waving a toy with one hand trying to get a child's attention. Use two hands on your camera for super sharp images, while putting that space above your camera to work for you! Fantastic for photographing pets as well!

Features :
  • An Ultra-flexible hand with 4 fingers that are easily bent, yet firmly maintain their shape
  • Connects to the top of your SLR camera via a standard hot shoe
  • Connects to the top of a tripod
  • Holds a variety of toys, stuffed animals, finger & hand puppets
  • Holds an iPhone® or other similarly sized smartphones, including many popular Android® phones
  • Holds phones with or without a protective case - either way the DaisyGrip will handle it!
  • Can be used simultaneously with some wireless transmitters for studio work

Quality/Usability : If you've tried taking pictures of kids or infants, you'll know that trying to get them to look at you or the camera can be a difficult task. Just having someone behind you waving toys, snapping fingers or screaming their name to get a child's attention can be tiring. What if you're alone?

I've even made my own lens buddy. If you're not familiar with a lens buddy, it pretty much consists of taking a hair scrunchie or making your own elastic band, hot gluing some felt or fabric to make an animal or character and placing it over your lens. Low cost and works great until the elasticity loosens.

I first saw and heard about DaisyGrip at the 2012 PhotoPlus Expo and their product looked promising. Saw them again at the 2013 PhotoPlus Expo and decided to try out the DaisyGrip. The DaisyGrip comes in two colors, white/black or all black.

The DaisyGrip is a versatile tool that is made of durable plastic and mounts to your cameras hot shoe. One end mounts to the hot shoe and the other end has "flexible fingers". Each piece is connected to each other to create joints. These joints allow you to bend each piece to hold your objects or angle the DaisyGrip. These fingers can hold your smartphone, small signs, stuffed/plastic toys, finger puppets or just slip a hand puppet over the entire DaisyGrip.

The DaisyGrip is rated to hold up to 12 oz. when horizontally stretched above a camera lens and up to 2 lbs. when used straight up in a vertical position.

Simply slide the DaisyGrip onto your hot shoe and turn the dial clockwise to tighten the dial to the hot shoe. Unfortunately, the DaisyGrip is not compatible with all hot shoes because not all cameras are made the same. It will work perfectly with Nikon and Canon cameras since they use standard hot shoes but if you own a Minolta or Sony camera, there's a chance it won't fit. You will need a hot shoe adapter.

The images above shows the DaisyGrip mounted onto the hot shoe located on the camera. The DaisyGrip's is such a versatile accessory. Some examples of the DaisyGrip is holding a stuffed toy, a smartphone connected to the camera with USB Host ("OTG") cable and DSLR Controller (Android app) for Live View display. If you don't want to use a stuffed toy, you can use your smartphone and play a video to entertain your subject.

But what if you need to use a flash, LED light or wireless transmitter on the camera's hot shoe at the same time?

DaisyGrip offers an optional DaisyGrip Bracket ($16). The bracket is sturdy, lightweight and gives you two additional hot shoes; one at the top and one to the side. The bracket attaches to the tripod socket on the bottom of your camera with a 1/4" screw. The slot on the bracket allows you adjust the bracket to as close and as far as you want from to the left of the camera. Since there is no anti-twist place or anything, the bracket can be angled out towards the lens for greater extension. The bracket also offers a grip which is actually comfortable. It may feel a little awkward at first due to the angle but it wouldn't be a big issue. If you're not using your camera and want to carry it, I suggest not using the bracket to carry your camera. It's not as sturdy.

If you need to mount the bracket and camera onto a tripod, the bracket screw has a female 1/4" screw that lets you screw in a quick release plate. Although it does a decent job of supporting the camera, I wasn't too comfortable with the bracket screw due to lack of support.

The bracket was mounted on to a gripped Canon 5D Mark III camera and there is no issues with it. The images above shows the bracket and camera mounted onto a tripod. With the bracket, it now frees up the hot shoe on top of the camera for a camera flash or LED light. Just remember to position the DaisyGrip slightly off center, so as not to cast a shadow on your subject from whatever it is that is mounted onto DaisyGrip.

Conclusion : Overall, the DaisyGrip For a Child's Smile Hot Shoe Mount is very sturdy. The joints on the fingers are nice and stiff, so you don't have to worry about them loosening. It has no problems holding a smartphone and it won't have any problem holding toys. I love the fact that I can use the DaisyGrip with a smartphone either to entertain a child or use my phone as a Live View display.

The bracket definitely frees up the hot shoe on the camera but the stability and support when mounted onto a tripod is a little scary. I was told that DaisyGrip doesn't produce them but merely resells them. Little birdie has told me that there is a beefier version has a stronger and improved cold shoe. Hopefully they improve the tripod mount as well.

Manufacturer: DaisyGrip
Site: Buy from DaisyGrip / Buy from Amazon / Buy from Adorama

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