Toy box: iPhone photography
The iPhone 5 has an eight megapixel sensor and the next model could be double that, but, whatever the resolution, taking pictures from your mobile still isn’t as flexible as using a dedicated camera. Thankfully, accessories are emerging that add optical power to smartphones.
Action sports cams are all the rage with skiers, snowboarders, surfers and skaters, but why bother when your phone can do the same? Designed for the iPhone 4/4S, OutRide (HK$1,165) adds both a waterproof, shock-absorbent case and a wide-angle lens that stretches to 170 degrees. Clips can fix your phone to hats, handlebars and more. The OutRide also comes with a free app that allows sharing of the HD videos or photos via YouTube and social media. Uploads include a GPS location tag.
The Kogeto Dot (HK$830) offers only video, although it does have a special wrap-around 360-degree field of view. Catching the current trend for panoramic shots, the Dot slides onto an iPhone 4/4S/5 before capturing everything around it. Laid flat, Dot records video using a free app called Looker, which then prepares a flat image for viewing or sharing by e-mail or social media. The Dot is an interesting idea, but the app is a fiddle and we'd rather take photos.
It looks like a simple clip-on lens, but Olloclip (HK$598) is actually a three-inone, offering an impressive wide-angle option, as well as a macro lens that can magnify 10 times - a vast improvement on the iPhone's "pinch" digital zoom. The third option, a fisheye lens, captures 180 degree photos or HD video. It's easy to pocket between shoots, but attaching it is problematic if you have a protective cover on your iPhone 4/4S/5 or, with a new adaptor, the fifth-generation iPod Touch.