Datavision I-pad prompter

2 Jan

I have decided to write up about this because before purchasing the Ipad Prompter I tried to find some reviews on it with no look.

The product does what it says, it takes your I pad or tablet device and mounts it using some very nice and heavy duty feeling mounts to your camera tripod plate. Perfect for Sony EX cameras and/or HDSLR’s, (based on my use if you have an ENG style camera, get the More expensive ENG Ipad Teleprompter).

Its costs around £350 pounds and that obviously doesn’t include the I pad but, when you consider the cheapest professional Teleprompter will cost you near £2000 your getting a good deal.

Overview

“The i-Prompter for iPad and i-Prompt Pro, hardware and software combination utilises the power and functionality of the Apple iPad to transform it into a professional, fully-featured teleprompter which is ideal for all location work, especially newsgathering. The fully customisable prompting screen display, together with ultra smooth text scrolling adapts to both landscape and portrait modes with mirrored or standard text alignments.With the correct font choice and the i-Control wired controller, text can be viewed and controlled from up to 3 metres away giving the user the script management they need.By using pro 60/40 beam splitting glass the Datavision i-Prompter is ideal for daylight viewing. i-Pad can be mounted either in the traditional way using the included camera and tripod support rails, hood and beam splitter glass, or under the lens for use with retro-reflective light rings.In addition the i-Prompt Pro software can drive external displays using the VGA or Composite video cables available for the iPad.”

There are two mounting options, below the camera and the traditional through the lens mount. Don’t even waste your time with the below camera mount it makes your Presenter look wonky eyed and is very obvious they are looking below the lens.

The tradition mount is easy to set up and you can adjust it for whatever size camera you have (with the option to add a plate to heighten the camera). Note you cannot however, adjust the angle of the glass that reflects the script from the I-pad, this would be a great addition because the top line of the script can be cut off sometimes thus not utilising the full space of the screen.

Negatives

The Teleprompter is not without its quirks however:

  • For one you have to be positioned directly in front of the presenters eye line for them to view it properly, massively reducing your camera angle options.
  • Secondly the one I bought has a wireless remote which makes a very loud click that can come though on the lav mic when the presenter clicks it.
  • Thirdly the app tends to just randomly go to the I-pad menu if the remote gets clicked too fast (bad when your presenter is getting lost in the script and becoming stressed).
  • Lastly it doesn’t have a slow enough scrolling option, this is not a massive problem because you can overcome it by quickly stopping and starting the scrolling of the script but still annoying considering.

One quick thing to remember is that the traditional mount option reduces the amount of light entering the camera by up to 2 stops.

Positives

  • Firstly its just so easy to use, if you already have an I-pad/tablet device or use an I-pad in the studio for organising like I do then its very fast to just download the script (via email or whatever) and put it into the app through copy and paste.
  •  Its also very cheap (because you are buying just a mount with some  very high quality glass essentially).
  • Its very quick and easy to amend the script by going into the App’s menu, here you can quickly edit words/spelling mistakes and spaces.
  • There are a lot of options in the app to reduce/speed, up the scrolling speed of the script, make the font larger or smaller, add break points and its easy to sync the wireless remote.

I was told by a representative of a certain organisation that the product was just a ‘gimic’. I assure you, once you get used to using the remote the Teleprompter works great and has been a great cost saver for our studio at PLTVNews.

Datavision have a whole host of Teleprompter options here on there website.

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