Converting Your Samsung Galaxy S3 into an HD Video Camcorder Rig

Share Button

Ribbet collage

So you want to shoot HD video and are considering purchasing new equipment? Perhaps a DSLR with video capability? A Go-Pro? Sony Handheld camcorder? My advice is to not waste your time or money, unless you like buying gadgets for the pride of ownership. If you are going to upload your video to a place like YouTube, then uploading from your phone is sooo much easier than downloading onto a computer and then reuploading. Total waste of time and money.


If you have a modern smartphone, there is no need to purchase additional equipment  to upload internet video or even playing full HD video on your HDTV! For example, your Samsumg Galaxy S3 comes with a 8 mp video camera that shoots at full HD.  Instead of purchasing new equipment, just accessorize your phone. Yes fellas, ladies aren’t the only ones who can accessorize.  Below are my step by step instructions on how bling bling your smartphone up to a fully functioning video camcorder for under $120. The best part is that you will be able to instantly upload your movies while the other suckers have to download and then re-upload. You are already feeling smarter than the average bear aren’t you?



Smartphone accesories


What you will need

The following items are what you will need and can be purchased from your local camera shop like  Sammy’s Camera or online like My goal was to select the lower priced components to keep cost down, although you could upgrade any single component. I splurged on the microphone for example. 


This set up works with any modern smartphone like a Galaxy S3 or iPhone. The newest phones have impressive cameras, so if you are shopping around for a new smartphone, look for one with the biggest camera Mega Pixels.


You will need a modern Smartphone, I recommend the Samsung Galaxy s3 /s4 or the iPhone.




The first thing you need is a rig that will support all your camera accessories. I went with a U-Rig, it is called this because it is shaped like a U. For about $15, you will have a frame with at least 3 shoes, a screw base to support the smart pone and a slot for a tri-pod. Take a look at mine. The version I purchased has an extra shoe for future accessories. I purchased this from the Sammy’s camera shop for $10. 

Smartphone Rig

Cell-Phone Bracket

This is a simple universal adapter that creates a friction lock on your smart phone to keep it stable on the rig.  Snap your phone into the adapter and then screw it into the rig. 

Smartphone Snap case Smartphone in adaptor


LED light

Cell phones do not shoot good video in the dark… at all. You will need to purchase an inexpensive LED light to mount on the rig . Unless you have extra cash or have other uses for the LED, my advice is to start with a cheap $40 LED light that has a foot that will attach to the rig’s shoe. The version I purchased only has an on/off setting and comes with 3 colored “Gels” to dim or adjust for lighting. The nicer LEDs have dimmers and on board color adjustments.

Smartphone LED


Cell phone have crappy microphones, so you will need to accessorize with a better microphone  First determine if you are going to use a handheld microphone like Ron Burgundy or use a condenser microphone. The condenser microphone is like a rifle it hones in on one area to capture high-quality sound. There is one issue, it is comparability of ports! Let me get into this issue in a few minutes.  If you are going for a hand-held microphone, I recommend the Audio-Technica PRO 24-CM Stereo Condenser Microphone. It has been tested to work on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and iphone 4.

Smartphone microphone


Memory Card and Spare Batteries

You may want to consider upgrading your phone’s memory card to at least a 32 gig card if you are going to shoot long video. I purchased a 64-gig card so you don’t have to worry about running of space.  I also recommend picking up a couple spare batteries, you might find both of these upgrades useful to your phone as a standard smartphone.










Smartphone accesories

Gather your accessories together

Smartphone HD Camcorder  rig Shoe

The silver brackets on the rig are called “shoes”. Your Microphone and LED light will slip into these.

Smartphone set up

Slip the feet of the LED and Microphone into the shoes and tighten them down

Smartphone in adaptor

Screw in the Cell Phone Adapter to the base of the rig and then slide in your smartphone into the friction mount



Plug in the microphone into the smartphone. You are almost ready to shoot HD movies, one last step. 


Last step, change your resolution to 1200×720. On the Samsung Galaxy S3 Settings>Resolution


Share Button

Like This Post? Share It

Comments (17)

  1. allot of equip is needed, but it looks cool!

  2. OMGoodness, I got dizzy just looking at all of this! LOL! Great instructions though. If I ever need to do this, I’ll have to go really, really slow. Thanks for the great post and directions!
    Alexandra McAllister recently posted…Direct Marketing Coach Strategies To Brand And Boost Your BusinessMy Profile

  3. Our cell phones are becoming so high tech that you no longer need a separate camera or video recorder. As technology continues to improve cell phones will probably replace most computers due to the portability.
    Christy Garrett recently posted…Teaching Your Toddler How to Have Good Manners: Please and Thank YouMy Profile

  4. Wow, who would have thought you could really do it all with your cell phone! Thanks for sharing this detailed info Tom!
    Meryl Hershey Beck recently posted…Inner WorkMy Profile

  5. Very creative! Nice instructions with the visuals too!

    Yvonne Brown

  6. Amazing! I have a phone like this. I so admire folks who can put stuff together and are technical. Your versatile Tom…great blogs!
    Anita recently posted…Key Time Management Skills to do More in Less TimeMy Profile

  7. You are so adorable my love. I am proud of you. You are just too cute:0 i love your creativity!!

  8. Thank you for this great information and showing us how to do this.

  9. Nice tutorial, i liked that you added the photos that show all the process. Thank you!
    Meire Weishaupt recently posted…Quote / Words of Wisdom – Thomas JeffersonMy Profile

  10. Robin

    Holy smokes! That was some detailed info for sure :) That’s my kind of instructions :)

  11. You are very tech savvy! I like how you presented everything in detail. Next thing you should do is the Samsung Galaxy S4!
    Lorii Abela recently posted…Single at 40? Celebrate it!My Profile

  12. Great post & great accessories. Your timing is impeccable – I’m in the market for a new HD Video Camera. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Gary Hyman (Social Media for Entrepreneurs) recently posted…Video Marketing: How I Got 189,286 Views On A Single Youtube VideoMy Profile

  13. This looks so simple even The Fiery Grandma can do it. I am going to work on this because I bought a flip camcorder and still haven’t learned how to use it. No, instead I use my little camera that is much simpler to use. But, I like this idea better due to the lighting and microphone…thanks for the tips.
    Carla J Gardiner recently posted…How to Focus Your Way to Success Partnering With a MastermindMy Profile

  14. Fantastic blog! I love the set up. Now I want to go out and get one. Great for doing video for my blog! Thanks for the tips!
    Katrina recently posted…Understanding Facebook MarketingMy Profile

  15. I am a visual learner, so I appreciate the photos AND the step by step…I am sure those in the need for this info will be glad to have it!
    Cindy Taylor recently posted…How do YOU learn?My Profile

  16. My MIL just got a Galaxy 3 as her upgrade…it is WAY more phone than she has a clue how or desire to use but Adriaan is now wanting one when he upgrades in November…this will fascinate him….
    Carl Mason-Liebenberg recently posted…What is the Answer to the Healthy Lifestyle You Seek?My Profile

  17. Lots of equipment indeed but it looks very creative! I like the visuals also.
    Delia @ Blog Formatting recently posted…3 tips for heart (and your blog!)… and a giveawayMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge