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Olloclip 3-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone

Smartphones like the iPhone 5 have grown into serious photo and video cameras. These devices now have the megapixel resolution, better lenses, and image processing to reasonably replace point-and-shoot cameras.

So it's not surprising that the recent CES conference (see earlier post) featured a variety of photo and video accessories for these new imaging platforms.

For example, the iPhone lens is good, but sometimes it would be nice to have a wider angle, or to be able to zoom in close. But smartphones don't have threading for lens mounts, so this requires a different approach -- like the Olloclip quick-connect lens for the iPhone.

The Olloclip is actually a 3-in-1 lens that slides over the corner of the iPhone, aligning with the lens for the higher-quality rear-facing camera. It's a quality device, made from anodized aluminum and ground glass multi-element optics.

The clever design has lenses on both sides. Insert it one way to use the wide angle lens to double the viewing angle, or flip it over to use the fisheye lens with around a 180 degree field of view. Plus, you can unscrew the wide angle lens to expose a macro lens with 10X magnification, to focus within a half inch.

You then can shoot photos and videos with the native iPhone Photo app, or with other imaging apps, but now with a greater variety of looks.

As you learn to take advantage of the new possibilities, be aware that the wide angle lens does produce some barrel distortion in the captured image, and shooting with the fisheye lens can produce a slight offset that depends on your particular device. Olloclip recommends experimenting with tilting the fisheye lens within the assembly to compensate.

The Olloclip is available in red, black, and white versions for the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4/4S, for around $69. It comes with lens caps and a microfiber bag that also serves as a lens cleaner. The iPhone 4/4S version also includes a iPod touch 4th generation adapter.

This is a smart and simple device -- just quickly slide on for your choice of additional lenses.

See my Holiday Gadgets 2012 coverage of Portable Accessories for more imaging devices and other useful and fun ideas.

Find the Olloclip lens for iPhone on Amazon.com


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This entry posted on January 22, 2013.

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