Review of Paparazzo’s OLIVIA Content Creator Kit
I bought Paparazzo’s OLIVIA Content Creator Kit a while back and am so happy with it that I was compelled to create this short video; I made the purchase after someone (if you are this someone, please do remind me!) pointed me to an Instagram ad about Olivia. If you’re an artist or crafter who enjoys posting about your process on social media, I recommend checking out Olivia.
Olivia is a portable stand that lets you use your phone to take overhead shots. I already have an overhead camera set-up for my virtual school visits (Canon M50 + Manfrotto 244RC Magic Arm), but it’s clamped to my studio desk and a pain to reposition/move. I was intrigued by how Olivia could be folded up into a compact box. The portability lets me easily do overhead photos and videos from pretty much anywhere, like in our living room:
My first Olivia unit had a camera clamp was stuck – I couldn’t rotate it. I contacted Paparazzo support, and they responded quickly. James sent me links to videos and instructions to help me troubleshoot – I tried but no, I just couldn’t get the camera clamp to move. Thanks to Paparazzo for sending me a new unit!
While I was waiting for the new unit to arrive, however, my husband fiddled with the clamp on the first Olivia and was able to loosen it. It didn’t snap in 45 degree increments, but at least it was able to spin around; I decided to give it to my fellow content creator friend, Mary Prasad. Do check out her Awash With Color blog, where she reviews craft and office supplies as well as sharing craft project instructions. In the photo above, I’m admiring the handmade traveller’s notebook she made for me as a gift (thank you, Mary!).
I took Olivia on a test run last week when my husband and I went on a trip last week. Not only did I use Olivia for taking a video for students, but also overhead art process photos AND for extra lighting over the hotel desk work area.
Things I especially love about Olivia:
I love the portability. Olivia is easy for me use anywhere in the house, or even outdoors. I’ll also take Olivia on car trips, even if I’m not sure I’ll need it. Because….why not? The box is so small. This is something I definitely wouldn’t do with my regular overhead video gear.
The lighting on BOTH sides of the phone support. This makes it super-handy for both overhead and selfie shots, in all configurations. I can also see using it just for temporary lighting. And of course you don’t have to use the lighting at all! During our trip, I used Olivia in natural lighting in our hotel room for recording a short video for students about an upcoming virtual school visit:
I love the lack of wires. For short sessions (some photos or a short video), I don’t need to plug Olivia into anything. This makes it MUCH easier to use anywhere in the house.
I like how solid it feels when it’s set up, even with my big iPhone 13 Pro Max suspended on the fully extended overhead arm. This is why I don’t mind the weight of base; it keeps it from tipping.
The Bluetooth remote is super-handy. Being able to use a remote means that I’m able to turn on and off the camera and lighting without having to jiggle the stand.
Paparazzo also has excellent customer service. I was impressed by how quickly their support responded when I had issues.
Things you should consider before you consider buying Olivia:
– It takes a bit of practice setting up and putting away Olivia, but after a couple of tries I found it easy.
– The unit is fairly heavy, considering its small size … 1316 g or nearly 3 pounds. However, the weight is necessary to keep Olivia anchored even with the phone-loaded arm is fully extended, to keep it from tipping over. I probably would not take Olivia if I was just flying carry-on.
– With the arm extended for overhead video, depending on the camera angle, part of Olivia’s base will show in the photo/video. I got around this by fiddling with the camera clamp angle and also cropping.
I haven’t yet had a chance to check out Olivia for for virtual visit streaming while on the road. One reason I’m hesitant is because of the limitations of using an iPhone; I originally switched away from using my phone for overhead art process streaming because I found it hard to control the autofocus (I move around a lot!) and also because the battery drain. Still, I’m going to test out various configurations using Olivia/iPhone and my laptop, just to see. If I find a set-up that works, I’ll do another blog post.
Meanwhile, though, I recommend Olivia for any content creator who does overhead video, especially artists and crafters.
You can find out more about Paparazzo’s Olivia at HeyPaparazzo.com.