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Many companies have been tried to elevate the smartphone camera user experience with various grip add-ons. To be honest, nobody has nailed it yet. I was recently offered a chance to try the new ShiftCam ProGrip. Could the ShiftCam ProGrip be the accessory that finally takes smartphone photography up a level? Let’s find out.

The biggest problem mobile photographers have faced for a long time is that the powerful, and very capable cameras in their phones are not always the easiest to hold and use. ShiftCam wanted to create a grip that would make that problem cease to exist. I have to say, the ShiftCam ProGrip does a mighty fine job of making your phone handle like a DSLR. For reference, I used the ProGrip with my iPhone 11 Pro Max with no problems whatsoever.

Pros

  • The grip is very comfortable
  • You can rotate between landscape and portrait modes
  • Connects via Bluetooth
  • Wireless charging
  • Places to attach accessories
  • You can use it as a phone stand

Cons

ShiftCam ProGrip — Technical specifications

ShiftCam ProGrip

All of the technical specifications for the ShiftCam ProGrip are from the product listing page at B&H Photo:

  • Smartphone compatibility: 2.3 to 3.5″ / 58 to 90 mm
  • Power capacity: 6400 mAh
  • PWR input: 1 x USB Type-C
  • Power delivery: Up to 18 W
  • Wireless charging: Up to 15 W
  • Wired charging: Up to 20 W
  • Dimensions 6.0 x 2.6 x 3.5″ / 15.2 x 6.7 x 8.8 cm

ShiftCam ProGrip — Ergonomics and build quality

The first thing you’ll say to yourself is wow, that’s bulky. The ProGrip is the size of a grip from a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a huge bracket attached to it. Yes, it makes your phone look kind of goofy, but the benefits outweigh this con. The main plastic bracket rotates between portrait and landscape mode. This bracket houses the embedded wireless Qi charger. You’ll also find the Bluetooth connect button and the on-off switch for the wireless charger

To the right is the deep, nicely textured grip. On top of the grip is the shutter button and behind that is a threaded mount for an accessory. The bottom of the grip houses a tripod mount and a USB-C port. On the back of the grip, you’ll find a series of seven battery and Bluetooth indicator lights Attached to the grip is a very nice adjustable padded strap that you can slip over your hand.

The ProGrip has a simple design but it works well. The ShiftCam ProGrip fits in the plan of your hand just right and it allows you to get lots of purchase on it. It feels incredibly secure in the hand. Nice job, ShiftCam.

Build quality

ShiftCam ProGrip
It’s the spring-loaded bracket that concerns me when it comes to build quality.

I’ll come right off the bat and will say I am not entirely sold on the build quality of the ShiftCam ProGrip. The device is a plastic fantastic, which isn’t bad in itself, but I do have concerns. The main body of the ProGrip is solid. There’s no flex or play anywhere and it feels as tough as plastic can get. The grip is also beefy and well made. All of the buttons feel great as well. The part that concerns me is the spring-loaded phone grip.

There’s a lot of play and flex in this bracket. When you have your phone in the clamp it is tight and feels secure. However, when there’s no phone in the clamp it’s as flexible as a 20-year old yoga instructor. I have inserted and removed my camera dozens of times now and everything is still in one piece. However, I do wonder how long this bracket will last, or if it would survive after a few drops to the floor or general bumps and bangs. The ShiftCam ProGrip is not weather-sealed either. So, no creating in the rain. Time will tell if it will hold up or not.

ShiftCam ProGrip — Ease of use

The great thing about the ShiftCam ProGrip is that’s it’s easy to use. You simply slide your phone (without a case) into the spring-loaded bracket, turn on the ProGrip by hitting the shutter button, and then you go into your phone’s settings and you connect it to Bluetooth. Just like that, you’re ready to shoot.

On iOS, you hit the shutter button to take a picture, and you long-press to start recording a video. On Android, you hit the shutter once to take a picture and you long press to take a burst of images. If you want to shoot portrait-style images you simply rotate the bracket to portrait mode. It’s quick, slick, and easy to use.

ShiftCam ProGrip

You’ll find that the ProGrip allows you to capture photos just like you would with a dedicated camera. It’s a great feeling. It even helps when it comes to image composition as well. You’ll also be able to create videos that are super smooth and shake-free because you can hold your phone steady.

If you want to use the grip with a tripod you can do that as well thanks to the tripod mount in the bottom of the grip. This will come in handy when you’re creating long exposures or videos.

When you’re not using the ShiftCam ProGrip out in the field, you can use it as a stand for your phone. This makes it easy to consume YouTube content, and it provides a nice stable platform that will hold your phone for FaceTime calls or Zoom meetings. You can also charge the ProGrip while it’s holding your phone, or you can wirelessly charge your phone.

Wireless charging

One of the big selling features of the ShiftCam ProGrip is the fact that it has a 6400mAh battery inside. You can use this battery to charge your phone from zero to full and then even a little bit more. You can even use the ProGrip to charge other devices by connecting the gadget to the USB-C port. So, how does wireless charging work? ShiftCam will ask you to go to a website and then bookmark it so that you can have access to a phone placement grid.

The idea is simple. On the case itself, there is a mark etched into the bracket. You insert your phone into the bracket. You open the website that displays a dotted line and you simply match the dotted line on the screen to the etched marking on the case. When these two lines line up, your phone will be positioned correctly for wireless charging to work. It works pretty flawlessly. I was surprised seeing as wireless charging can be a little hit or miss at times.

ShiftCam ProGrip — For serious smartphone photographers

ShiftCam ProGrip

At $149 the ShiftCam ProGrip isn’t a cheap accessory, but it does help solve a couple of problems that mobile content creators face. If you want to be able to hold your phone in a way that replicates a DSLR or mirrorless camera, well, there’s no better product on the market than the ShiftCam ProGrip.

The ProGrip genuinely feels fantastic in the hand. You can walk around with it for hours and you’ll still be comfortable. It will allow you to hold your phone securely and steadily and this will lead you toward creating better videos and images. On top of this, you can also charge your phone while you’re on the go. You might look like a lunatic to some while you’re using it, but I guarantee you’ll be enjoying it. The ShiftCam ProGrip has a couple of issues, however, if you’re serious about mobile content creation, the ProGrip is a must-have.