iphone lenses

(Source: Wired.com) If you want high-quality photos, a responsive and full-featured DSLR is the only way to go. But sometimes you don’t want to carry that bulky box around with you. With a couple of accessories, and a few megabytes of applications, you can turn the iPhone in your pocket into a rather capable replacement.

Interchangeable lenses

Photographers have a mantra: “It’s all about the glass.” It doesn’t matter how good the camera is if you mount a junky lens on the front. The iPhone 3GS has added a much better autofocus lens to the mix (you didn’t think that one extra lousy megapixel made all that difference, did you?) but it’s still limited in range.

Enter the Factron Quattro (above), an iPhone case that lets you swap lenses onto your iPhone. It also looks gorgeous, like a 1980s Halina 110 camera. The $200 duraliminum case will fit the 3G and 3GS and you have to buy the lenses too, which run from $18 for a 40mm close-up to $56 for the 185º fisheye.

Product page [Factron]

Camera Bag

camerabagNot a real camera bag (who needs that when you have a spare pocket?) but a piece of software that lets you carry around a whole bag full of virtual cameras. Once you have snapped a picture, Camera Bag will process it to make it look like a photo from a range of distinctive cameras. Trademark concerns mean the names of these cameras aren’t used, but the entertaining alternatives are easy to spot: Lolo and Helga are fairly obvious, and Instant is a Polaroid emulator

There are also a few “filters” that will turn an image black and white, for instance. The app costs $2 and, if you’re serious about your iPhone photographic fun, it should be in your camera bag.

Product page [Nevercenter]

Zoom

If you don’t want to spring for the Factron case and lenses, you can get a little closer to the action, ghetto style (and we don’t mean just walking forward a few feet). Zoom is a $1 app that does one thing: It gives the iPhone camera a digital zoom. Sure, this is better done in something like Photoshop, which has the power to stop the noise getting out of hand (digital zoom does nothing more than enlarge the center of the image), but doing it in-camera means you can swiftly dispatch the results to the internet.

As you’d expect, you pinch to zoom, and it gives you a 4x bigger picture than usual.

Product page [iTunes]

Pano

pano


What if you want to do the opposite of zoom, and just fit more of the scene into the picture? The fisheye lens is one way, or you could do it with software. Pano adds panoramic stitching to the iPhone. This is available in many point-and-shoot cameras, but you need to do the actual assembly on a computer. The iPhone is a computer, and it will, astonishingly, do this heavy lifting for you.

Pano gives a transparent overlay of the previous photo to line things up, and you can take up to 16 pictures for stitching. The finished image can be as big as 6800 pixels wide. Pano costs $3.

Product page [Debacle]

Joby Gorillapod Original

Tripod

One thing is missing from the iPhone that pretty much every other camera has: a tripod bush. And because there’s no way to attach the iPhone to a support, there’s no easy way to shoot blur-free low-light pictures or even run around and snap a picture of yourself.

There are plenty of homemade options, or you could keep it real basic and just use the reassuringly heavy and steady iPhone dock from Apple. But until a better solution comes along, Joby’s little Gorillapod Go-Go will do the trick. The flexi-tripod can balance on its three legs or you can bend those same legs around anything and the Joby will hug it tightly. The Go-Go comes with three interchangeable heads: a tripod screw, a suction cup and a couple of adhesive pads. It’s $30 and will work fine with an iPhone.



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