A while back, I decided I wanted to pick up a teleprompter for use when recording specific YouTube videos like tutorials, reviews or other similar type of videos where I’m sitting down and talking directly to the camera.
One of the biggest reasons I decided to buy a teleprompter is because a lot of times those types of videos require to you get your point across precisely while also keeping them as short as possible. You don’t want to waste people’s time by constantly repeating things you’ve already said.
Before a teleprompter, I would simply turn on my camera and start talking and while I think there is a time and a place for that, I realized that I was never actually preparing for my videos by writing any type of storyboard or script and a lot of times my videos would end up being much longer then they needed to be because I’d repeat the same stuff several times throughout a video.
I tried just using a teleprompter app on my cellphone and placing my phone as close to the camera as possible and while it did help me stay on track and not repeat things unnecessarily, it looks really weird to always be glancing just off screen to read from your smartphone.
That’s where an actual teleprompter comes in. It allows you to place a 2-way mirror right on the lens of your camera that then allows you to see words on one side, yet allows your camera to record through the other side without seeing any of those words.
Specifically, I decided to try out the Parrot Padcaster as it works with any smartphone and is quite inexpensive at just $99! If any of you guys know me yet, you know I love me a good budget friendly option!
So today, we are unboxing and reviewing the Parrot Padcaster and hopefully I’m able to help you decide if it’s a great buy for you!
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Alright, with the formalities out of the way, let’s dive in!
The first thing I wanna do is head in to my living room where I have everything setup to unbox the Parrot Padcaster and show you exactly what you get if you decided to purchase it for yourself. If you do decide you want to purchase it, the link will be in the description below!
Alright guys, we are back in the office and now I want to go through my thoughts on the Parrot Padcaster after using it to record videos a few times.
First, just let me say, I would 100% buy this product again. While there are definitely some things I don’t like about it, for $99, this thing is great! It does exactly what I need it to and works perfectly for a YouTuber looking to upgrade their game!
So in this part of the video, I’ll go through what I love about this thing and then I’ll share the things that I’d like to see improved on in the next version. With that said, this is version two of the Parrot Padcaster and not the first version which I know had a couple issues of it’s own.
The biggest pro to this device honestly is that for the $99 dollars that you pay for it, it does exactly what it’s suppose to do. It displays words on a piece of glass directly in front of your camera’s lens allowing you to keep eye contact with your audience while reading your script.
While this seems like a simple concept, it always surprises me how many products just don’t quite live up to the hype and do what it is they are suppose to do.
It’s not the most well made product, some parts of it can seem a bit fragile, although I’ve not actually had any issues with it yet so it’s hard to say if they are actually fragile or not, but for $99 it shows you words that the camera doesn’t see and doesn’t seem to reduce the quality of the video in any way which is the important thing.
Version one of this cost $149 dollars so I’m glad to see that the price was dropped to $99 because at that price the quality fits the cost IMO so you don’t feel upset by the couple small fragile seeming parts.
Another thing I love about this product is that it’s super compact and works on almost any lens as the product comes with 13 step up rings for the most common lenses sizes. It also works with any smartphone even if the phone is larger than the Parrot Padcaster’s mirror, as the text can be adjusted in the Parrot Teleprompter App or most teleprompter apps in general.
Again, the biggest pro for me is the fact that it just works and I haven’t noticed any issues in any of my recordings making it worth every penny in my opinion.
However, as I said, there are a couple things I’d love to see improved on in the next version of the product. That is, if they decide to release a version 3. I’ve not actually heard anything about this yet.
The biggest complaint I have in that you must have about a 24mm lens or higher on the camera. When I had on my wide angle lens, Canon’s 10-18mm lens, the Parrot’s hood would show up in the shot.
I do like using a nice wide angle lens to have the camera as close to me as possible for my microphone since I was using a shotgun mic on top of the camera. Because of this, I switched to a lapel which honestly was probably a better choice for the type of videos I’m doing when using a teleprompter anyways.
The second biggest complaint is the stupid fucking Bluetooth remote that comes with it. It was such a great idea and it works perfectly with absolutely no issues when it comes to connectivity or anything like that… However, it clicks so damn loud every time you press a button.
I mean, am I using this device to record a video or am I using this device to take a picture? A video…and you tell me I got to use this damn remote or pay money to buy another one??? I got another one.
Lastly, as I said, there are parts that seem pretty fragile and the piece that feels that way most is the actual smartphone holder. The plastic feels flimsy like it could snap at times and the part that’s actually contacting your phone to hold it in place doesn’t have any protective rubber which means the plastic is pressing directly on your phone’s glass. I would love to see a small rubber bumper to help protect phones when they are placed inside the holder.
My suggestion is when opening the holder, pull down from the sides and not directly in the middle of the plastic piece.
My last tip, would be to use a different teleprompter app. While I don’t necessarily have any big issues with Parrot’s app, I paid for and downloaded Elegant Teleprompter per suggestion of Tim Ferris on one of his podcasts and I absolutely love it and would highly recommend it as well.
Overall, as I said at the beginning of the review part of this video, even with those couple quirks, I’d still 100% buy this product again and think it’s a great bang for your buck. Did you even realize I was using it during this video?
You have to learn to write the way you speak, but if you can do that, reading from a teleprompter can actually still sound quite natural in my opinion!
With that said, thanks so much for watching this video guys, if you enjoyed it, don’t forget to hit that like button!
If you enjoy videos related to videography like this one, don’t forget to subscribe by clicking the red button below and ring the bell next to it to be notified when I post new videos.
Also, if you have any other questions about the Parrot Padcaster, I do livestream regularly on Twitch so feel free to drop in and ask away, links as always are down in the description below!
And…until next time…peace out everybody!