While smartphone cameras have been improving rapidly in recent years, even top-of-the-line devices can fall short of the visual effects we really need. One area that can disappoint is that of field of view – the area that the lens is able to ‘see’. At CES we were lucky enough to test out Olloclip’s new 4-in-1 lens for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The lens offers 4 options – Fisheye, Wide-Angle, 10x Macro and 15x Macro. The device will take the iPhone’s photography and video-making capabilities up a couple of notches, and comes with a free clip and Lanyard for easy carrying and switching when you’re on a selfie spree. Watch the video above to see the device in action.
The Olloclip 4-in-1 is available now for £59.99. Visit Olloclip to find out more.
The cameras embedded in our mobile phones may have troubled the lower end of the digital camera market, but they’re still some way short of the quality found in high-end compacts and DSLRs. Add-ons such as the new Telephoto Lens from Olloclip can help add a touch of professionalism and style to your mobile snaps — the £99.99 gadget halves the distance between you and your subject thanks to its 2x optical lens and comes with other focus and colour reproduction enhancements too.
In addition to the telephoto zoom lens, this Olloclip package also includes a circular polarising lens (CPL) — in layman’s terms, that means your snaps come out with more realistic colours and fewer distracting reflections. The CPL blocks out light at certain angles based on user settings and helps raise your photos further above the default iPhone standard. You can use the CPL on top of the telephoto zoom lens, on its own, or on the original 3-in-1 Olloclip (reviewed in our Best iPhone Photo and Video Accessories).
Another trick you can do with the Olloclip Telephoto Lens is to take advantage of the extra optical zoom to adjust the subject focus — use the depth of field to bring the object of your attention into sharp focus and leave the background blurred (or indeed vice versa). Without changing anything on the iPhone itself, you suddenly have a number of additional professional tools at your fingertips. “Whether you’re on location or on vacation, the Olloclip Telephoto Lens adds better quality close ups and more flexibility to the convenience and mobility of the iPhone and iPod touch,” commented Patrick O’Neill, Olloclip’s CEO and founder.
The Olloclip Telephoto Lens works with the iPhone 5 and 4S as well as the fourth and fifth generation iPod touches. Put together from a multi-element coated, precision-ground lens and high-grade aluminium body, the gadget can be picked up now from the Olloclip website and from the Apple UK Store in the near future. If this particular add-on lens doesn’t quite take your fancy, there are plenty of alternatives, including the Optrix iPhone XD5 we’ve previously covered.
I love my olloclip but I also love my iPhone not being smashed into a million pieces so I often cover it with a protective case. Like an overprotective ex-lover this gets in the way of my love for my olloclip as I often have to pop one off to pop the other on (if you’re lost in this simile, don’t worry so am I).
The clever folks at olloclip know this is the case and have come up with a great compromise – the olloclip Quick Flip case. The Quick Flip has a special hinge that reveals a corner of the iPhone where you can pop on the olloclip. My immediate concern was that the hinge would snap off within minutes of being in my bag, but the robust construction and clever design make this unlikely.
Even cleverer, the corner that flips over becomes a trigger for the shutter release (the volume up button) so you take much more stable photos, reducing camera shake.
The olloclip Quick-Flip case is made of polycarbonate material and as a case it’s functional and merely ok – I’ve a range of amazingly well designed cases to chose from. But the ability to quickly step into the world of more creative photography is worth the sacrifice.
The included Pro-Photo Adapter has two standard tripod mounts and a cold shoe for attaching photographic accessories such as tripods, video lights or microphones. There’s even a special adapter, which allows the olloclip case to be used with the iPod Touch 5th generation.
The olloclip Quick-Flip case for the iPhone 4/4S and 5 comes in white or translucent black and retails for £39.99. The olloclip 3-in-1 quick-connect lens for the iPhone 4/4S currently retails for £59.99 and olloclip 3-in-1 quick-connect lens for the iPhone 5 is available on the market for only £69.99. The olloclip Quick-Flip case and olloclip 3-in-1 lens can be purchased individually or as a bundle at olloclip.com and through major retailers including Apple, Best Buy and Target.
As the old adage goes, the best camera is the one you have with you. And more often than not these days that will be your smartphone. Pretty much all modern smartphones have great cameras. That’s a given. And there are a range of amazing apps out there on all OSs to enhance your photography, as well as a range of retro filters if you value pretension and inauthenticity. What gives iPhone users the edge is the wonderful 3rd party ecosystem of accessories that help you take your photography and film making closer and closer to a professional standard.
Rotolight OWLE I shouldn’t have to say this but lighting is one of the most important elements of recording visuals. You’d be shocked at how often people forget and you wind up with terrible, terrible looking footage or images that are either too bright or too dark. The OWLE HD VIDEO KIT for iPhone 4/4S adds some serious clout to your mobile cinematography. It comes with the award winning Rotolight RL48-B HD LED Ring light and a range of filters so you can create perfect soft fill-in light. This alone is a great addition but the OWLE also includes a custom 37mm wide angle / macro lens, high quality 180 degrees adjustable Vericorder microphone and tripod mount threading on all 4 corners so it’s the most versatile high-end tool on the list.
When I spoke to Rotolight at the Gadget Show they promised an iPhone 5 version was coming. Still no word on when.
Shaking hand syndrome ruins so many videos and almost every photo I’ve take would have been better had I used a tripod. Hence the Joby GripTight GorillaPod – a tripod and clamp system that helpful works with most modern smartphones and folds up neatly into your bag when not in use. I have one in my bag right now. And obviously the upside of the GorillaPod is that it’s not just a regular tripod and seems at times almost infinitely versatile – you can manipulate the legs into numerous combinations that enable you to capture more exciting shots.
The olloClip is an old favourite and one of the earliest to the iPhone lens game. The pocket sized, high quality three in one lens, including a Fish Eye, Wide Angle and Macro lens, simply pops on to the edge of your phone. However, this does mean that olloClip does not play nicely with iPhone cases, and it does feel a little exposed at times filming with an iPhone in its naked state. The fisheye lens captures approximately a 180° field-of-view, the wide-angle lens nearly doubles the iPhone’s normal field of view and the macro lens applies roughly a 10X magnification.
Sadly for videographers only the mobislyder allows you to take smooth tracking shots that can breath life into your cinematography. The mobislyder is developed by the world’s No. 1 camera slider company, Glidetrack, so it’s has some fairly substantial clout behind it. It’s incredibly sturdy, with an articulated mount and there are all sorts of amazing shots you can pull off once you have one (there’s also the incredible temptation to go a bit overboard).
Fortunately the mobislyder is compatible with all sorts of hand-held camera devices, including the iPhones, Android, compact cameras, small DSLR cameras and small camcorders.