Clip on, clip off
The iPhone camera. As with most smartphone cameras, it's always been the subject of much debate and discussion/comparison with its competitors. As the phone has evolved, so has the camera and lens integrated into the phone. And the number of camera apps that you can get is almost mind boggling.
In its most recent incarnations (iPhone 4/4S/5) it takes some pretty good photos as long as you keep it clean and protected. It's no replacement for a reasonable compact camera (or above) but if your battery has died (or you've left the battery in the charger but didn't discover this until you pulled your camera out for the first shot of the day) then it can come to the rescue.
You might want to take some wide angle, fish eye or macro shots. For this, you need an add-on lens, like the Olloclip. The Olloclip comes in a little velvet style bag and contains interchangeable fixings that provide these functions.
First step. Attach to phone. Oh hang on, the phone case is in the way.
First step. Remove your phone case (because it's highly likely that you do have one).
Second step. Attach the clip over the iPhone lens. Hang on, make sure the phone is clean and free of debris.
Second step. Clean phone.
Third step. Attach clip over iPhone lens. This is easy and pain free and it slips on very nicely.
Fourth step. Attach the lens bit you require.
Now take some photos.
And now, you can add a fifth step if you wish. Olloclip have now released their own camera app which is specifically designed to work with the lens and support its fish eye, macro and wide angle options and it gives you options to edit photos taken with its lens.
For some reason it turns off any music or podcasts you are listening to. Why? And I still haven't got it to actually edit a photo without crashing. Hopefully this will be fixed in the next release.
Here are some sample shots from the phone
1) Normal lens view
2) Wide view
3) Fisheye view
4) Macro shot
I've been pretty pleased with the results from the lenses. The macro option allows you to get very close up and get some nice detail. The fish eye and wide angle lenses also give some interesting effects but they are probably a bit more niche.
The downside? I have to take my case off to use it. My phone always feels naked and vulnerable without its case. Very slippery too. Very droppable. If this clip was adjustable so that it could take into account a case it would be so much more attractive. I don't know how easy that would be, lens proximity to add-on lens being the obvious first consideration.
Olloclip do have a solution. They have their own case which incorporates the lens. But I want my case. I like it. It's only a cheap Cygnett case with a few dings and scratches. But it's mine.
Definitely worth checking out if you want to give yourself some new shooting options for your iPhone. But it comes with the case caveat.
Olloclip have now released a new Telephoto lens, to complement this three-in-one set. Further details here...