Earlier this year, the Kodak Ektra smartphone was announced and photographers looked on with curiosity. The Kodak Ektra is manufactured by Kodak–you know, the same company that makes fantastic film. And so the inspiration for the Ektra was to be revolutionary in the same way that the Ektra camera was years ago. The Kodak Ektra was the first film camera with a manual film advance on it according to Kodak, and so they were trying to bring back a sense of that spirit with the new phone. On that idea, the phone isn’t designed for the uber-hipster techie that doesn’t believe themselves to be a hipster, but instead it’s designed for the creative hipster–you know, the stereotypical one that you’d say is one but is actually just on a different creative level than lots of people are. Take for example Thomas Leuthard, who has been using the phone to great success.
Though many of the more traditional photographers don’t really take the iPhone seriously, it’s very fair to say that lens options like the Bitplay 18mm HD Wide Angle lens for the Apple iPhone are options that can really change the way you shoot. Bitplay has a load of excellent lens optics for their SNAP! Pro case, which we’ve reviewed previously and they’ve updated. But this newest addition is promising incredibly low distortion. So if you’re an adventure photographer, landscape photographer, street photographer, or cityscape shooter, then there is very little reason why you wouldn’t want a lens like this. In the same way that Moment and Zeiss have been changing the way that photographers shoot with the iPhone, this new lens offering from Bitplay is very similar.
When you look at the state of camera phones today, you’ll find loads of interesting options out there–and today the Motorola Moto Z Play & Hasselblad True Zoom phone are yet another option available that’s trying to really stand out from all the rest. It seeks to appeal to a person’s specific interests by allowing various peripherals to be connected to the phone; and with the case of the Hasselblad True Zoom peripheral, you have a 10x optical zoom with a camera, a zoom rocker, and a shutter button that work pretty well. Indeed, it makes a load of sense and truly embodies the evolution of the point and shoot camera.
At the same time though, it has its share of problems that Motorola promises will be fixed very soon.
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.
Photojojo has been known for making some really cool and fun stuff for photographers. They had iPhone lenses before, but they weren’t that high quality. Photojojo wasn’t alone on this though–everyone and their mother tried to create some sort of plastic fantastic lenses for the iPhone. Moment, on the other hand, created some fantastic lenses using glass–and the new Photojojo Iris lenses also utilize glass.
Using a lanyard and mount system, the Iris lenses are a trio including a macro, fisheye and wide angle lens. Made of metal and glass, they’re also pretty large for something that is supposed to mount onto such a small camera and sensor.
Though we don’t review many phones on the site, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some incredible ones out there that make picture taking a better experience. Take for example all of the hype that was behind the recently released Asus Zenfone 2. Touted as being powerful enough to be a serious camera and having DSLR like features, there is still no way that this can replace a dedicated camera despite how much Asus may say it can. However, they’re making a couple of accessories like a flash that make taking photos better in certain situations.
With a 13MP rear camera sensor from Toshiba, five glass elements in the f2 lens, and a couple of cool features like an HDR mode, the phone has quite a lot going for it on top of manual controls. Unfortunately, it has its vices too.
You might get an eye roll in some circles if you say you shoot with your phone. Some might say that phones aren’t real cameras, but the truth is that phones are incredibly capable cameras that can sometimes succeed where bigger rigs might fail. Thankfully, there are a bevy of mobile apps to streamline the process from shooting to editing. Here are our picks for best mobile apps.
Here at The Phoblographer, we get plenty of emails from folks with ideas for ways to trick out your phone in order to help it take better photographs. These ideas almost always come with a Kickstarter link attached. Yet, most are variations on things that already exist. What you see above is the first item that made us take a step back and say, “There’s something there.” The case resting on top of my iPhone 5 is called the COVR Photo, the brainchild of Thomas Hurst, a Seattle-based photojournalist with a wealth of experience. The COVR Photo is a case designed for the iPhone 5/5S, with a 6/6+ one in the works, that has a prism lens for making iPhone photography a little more candid. Essentially, you can hold the phone like you do when you text, but you can make a photograph of whatever’s in front of you.