As a photographer, I'd been eyeing up a number of gadgets that might make the shots my iPhone takes closer to the quality I can get with an SLR.
After all, SLRs are powerful and reliable, but they're also bulky and not always convenient. Whereas these days we pretty much take our smartphones everywhere we go. And Murphy's Law for photographers says that the times that you don't have your SLR when the opportunity to take 'that' shot comes up, right?
So, I got my hands on an iPhone Eye Scope and tested it, to see if it'd do what I wanted it to. Maybe I'd never miss a good shot again...
The verdict in a nutshell...
This product does have potential, but it's not nearly convenient or reliable enough for professional application. I wouldn't use it in my studio, and it wouldn't be convenient enough to take with me. However, you can certainly get some fun and novel results out of it, if you are just looking to explore and experiment.
And, all that said, the (more convenient) tripod that comes with it has additional uses which I'll be taking advantage of...
What's in the box?
- Tripod attachment bracket
- Protective iPhone cover
- Lens cloth
- Carrying bag
How To Set It Up
- Slot the protective iPhone cover over your iPhone (simple enough)
- Screw the lens into the iPhone cover (it attaches above the iPhone's camera)
- Screw the tripod attachment bracket into the the tripod
- Attach the iPhone to the tripod bracket by pulling up the metal bracket, placing the iPhone on the tripod, and allowing the bracket to come down and secure the iPhone.
Setup is pretty speedy and relatively painless.
Considerations when using
- Use AF/AE lock on your iPhone - you'll be focusing using the external camera attachment, and you don't need your iPhone trying to focus and change exposure automatically as you are doing it by hand. It just makes things more complicated!
- Alternatively use it in combination which an app such as Camera+, which comes with additional stabilisation features and allows you more creative control over exposure.
- Watch for camera shake causing your photos to come out blurry, which is now a larger problem with zoom, and especially so in lower light environments.
- Tripod is relatively well made and is quick release. The bracket is easily detachable and also has an adaptor on the bottom, allowing you to attach it to any other tripod or monopod stand.
- Lens does what it is supposed to, namely adding the ability to add additional zoom. No complaints really.
- Lens will not focus on things too close (it's got a minimum focus distance of 3 meters) - this makes close ups (such as portraiture), wide angle shots and macro photography hard to pull off. It's more like a telephoto in this regard...
- You have to attach the extra case to use it with the lens. This is inconvenient, I have my own case.
- Tripod is not hugely sturdy and can't hold the weight of the iPhone at particularly extreme angles (it slowly slides off, which is annoying and unhelpful)
Price: Around £20, depending where you look.
Minimum focus distance: 3m
Field view: 246m
Compatible with: iPhone 4, 4/S only
- The additional case that you have to stick on to your iPhone makes this somewhat inconvenient, because that's two extra attachments, not one.
- However the tripod and tripod bracket does not require the extra case, I'll be using it to film videos with my iPhone. My only complaint with the tripod is that the bracket doesn't grip too strongly enough, but at least it's fast releasing
- For the price you pay, it's not bad.
- Wouldn't deliver the goods in a 'professional' setting.