If you had asked me years ago to do an iPhone camera case review, I probably wouldn’t have taken you seriously though I had full knowledge that I’d eventually do them. Fast forward a while, and here I am: and enjoying the heck out of it. One of those cases that is rather enjoyable is the SNAP! Pro lens case.
Built like a tank, it allows you to use a variety of fisheye, wide angle, telephoto, and macro lenses in addition to a CPL filter. The case is built hardy and tries to do what it can to embrace the ergonomics of an actual camera. In some ways, it feels like a rangefinder. And in some other ways, it falls short.
Pros and Cons
- It’s a case that will appeal to the very serious iPhonographer
- Lots of selection with lenses
- An actual CPL filter
- Compact case
- Excellent build quality, built like a serious tank
- Nice implementation of the shutter button with ergonomics
- Secure screw mounting
- Video shooting becomes much more versatile
- Sitting with this in a pocket can be uncomfortable
- Lenses can get dirty easily
- Lots of distortion for pretty much all the lenses, but it’s easy to embrace that
- Vertical image shooting isn’t so simple.
- Kind of a bit too large for my personal liking, though I’d use it again for sure.
The SNAP! Pro iPhone case was used with all the lenses available, the CPL filter, and the iPhone 6S. Images were shot with Apple’s camera app or Manual, edited with RNI Films and then exported to either EyeEm, Facebook, or Instagram.
Specs taken from the product page
- Product name:SNAP! PRO (for iPhone 6 / iPhone 6S)
- Dimension:14.4 x 7.7 x 1.5 cm (with regular grip)
14.4 x 7.7 x 2.6 cm (with special grip)
- Weight:50g (with regular grip)grip)
60g (with special grip)
- Package size:12.8 x 21.6 x 2.8 cm
- Material:ABS, TPU
- Color:Black, White
- Accessories (in the box):Special gripx1, Thumb restx1, Strew driverx1, Screwx2, Strapx1, User manualx1
- Accessories (sold separately):Lenses, Premium wood grip, Hand-made leather strap
- Made and Design in Taiwan
The SNAP! Pro case is one that is designed to work well with the needs of a serious iPhonographer and for the most part the ergonomics lend itself nicely to this. The business end of the case has an area for the lens and a grip. The standard grip is small; but can be switched out for a number of wooden grips that they have in brown or black.
They’re nice, but impractical since they make the case that much larger.
The top section of the case is where you’ll find the view of the lens on the left and the shutter button on the right. The design here is rather genius: the shutter button here is linked to one of the volume buttons on the other side in a color coded way. Behind the shutter button is the thumb rest that you can put in: which is honestly one of my favorite parts about this case.
Switch over to the other side and what you’ll side are the volume/shutter buttons. The grey one is the shutter. You’ve also got a button for the other volume setting and a cleared area for the silence switch.
The front interface is pretty barren, but what you’ll find is the thumb rest which will take up a bit of room on the screen. For the most part though, it stays out of your way.
To get the lenses into there, you’ll use a standard screw mount system. It’s very secure and of any of the iPhone lens accessories I’ve seen so far, this is my favorite.
This case is built like a tank. It isn’t an Otterbox, but man–can it take abuse. It’s fallen at least four times since the beginning of the year and it kept the phone totally scratch free. Even the lenses survived with no issues: which is more impressive. Indeed, this case wins major brownie points for durability.
Where it kind of falls short though is with the design of the grip, how big it is, and shooting vertically. I personally don’t want any sort of grip: not even those interchangeable ones that it can come with but I didn’t even bother using. Instead, all the security should be given from the thumb–and for that reason I really love the thumb rest that you can insert.
What I’d really love is the choice of just using a mounting plate like how Moment allows.
Ease of Use
Shooting in landscape mode is when you’ll find it easiest to use this case. That’s where the shutter buttons and the thumb rest are most effective. But when it comes to vertical shooting it’s tougher to do. You’re essentially trying to use it in the same way that you would with a regular iPhone, but the ergonomics don’t make the holding experience so simple.
SNAP! Pro has their own free app that they recommend using with the case, but I personally just didn’t see the use. The Apple camera app is so much faster and I’ve become more familiar and comfortable with what Manual can offer.
Let’s be honest here, if you’re shooting an image with your iPhone you’re going to edit it like crazy. It’s going to go through HIpstamatic, EyeEm, Lightroom Mobile, RNI Films, Instagram, or a myriad of other apps before you put it on the web. So SOOC quality is really negligible as long as the lenses used have glass: and they indeed do.
The lenses are overall very good with the telephoto, wide angle and one of the lesser fisheye lenses being my favorites. Part of this has to do with the perspective that they offer more so than anything else. Sharpness, clarity and the rest can be modified with an app.
I’ll let you be the judge here.
The SNAP! Pro case is capable of helping you deliver some absolutely incredible images: make no mistake about that. It’s fun, it’s versatile, and it belongs in the hand of the very serious iPhonographer. But at the same time, the lenses and the case itself are large. Then again, so are the Iris lenses. The perfectly sized lenses are those from Moment. This case also has a heck of alot going for it, but I’d love the option of just using a mounting plate.
The SNAP! Pro case wins four out of five stars. It is available in a number of kits for a very affordable price point.