If you're shooting a selfie-like shot like a news report or a presentation, you may have the need for a teleprompter to keep the details straight and know what you're talking about on camera.
But what if you're shooting a report using your smartphone? Or a DSLR? Well, there's a new, collapsible teleprompter on Kickstarter called the mPrompter that promises to work with any camera you find yourself shooting with, even a smartphone. And it will collapse in your bag for easy storage.
Looking at the current state of portable teleprompters, mPrompter creator Gabor Nagy saw devices that were perfectly capable of doing the job, but had a fragile piece of glass built into their design, putting them in danger of breaking when tearing down and transporting. Those that were designed to work with smartphones are usually built with plastic materials to keep them light, and that means variable build quality. The results would be a device that couldn't take the kind of long term abuse that a news crew would put it through.
Nagy also wanted a teleprompter that could be used no matter what camera a reporter found themselves using, whether it be a large ENG style camera, a DSLR, or even a smartphone. Nagy designed the mPrompter to have the "Swiss Army knife" flexibility all of them.
The mPrompter is about the size of a large paperback book and is built out of stainless steel, and high quality, 3mm glass with a 70/30 reflective coating. The glass is also "free-floating" in a stainless steel bezel, so there's no need to remove it. mPrompter is designed to fold up and lock when not in use.
Included with mPrompter is a series of camera mount threads, ranging from 52mm-82mm in diameter. There is also an optional 15mm rail to secure mPrompter to any cinema camera or DSLR setup.
mPrompter is also designed for use with any smartphone on the market thanks to a platform-agnostic adapter that fits on any smartphone connected to a tripod. Users can also choose any teleprompter app they want, no matter the platform. Of course, if you're shooting with a smartphone, you'll need a second smartphone to run your teleprompter app.
As for balancing the mPrompter on a smartphone, the 1/4-20 mount is on the bottom of the mPrompter itself, leaving the smartphone to float from behind on the cradle style smartphone mount, so there isn't any pressure on the screen itself.
Now sure, there are other mobile style teleprompters on the market. The Padcaster Parrot comes to mind, and at $139, it's a lot cheaper. But it's also not as compact or collapsible like the mPrompter either. So, I think that with that kind of engineering, if you're looking to do a lot of reporting in the field, the mPrompter may be a great tool for your camera kit.
Currently on Kickstarter, the mPrompter can be backed for a minimum order of about $278. You can back it here. The expected shipping date is January 2020, so if you need one before then, check out the Parrot, or, you can always go the DIY route!