Best iPod Cool Gadget : Olloclip iPhone Camera Lens

The age of lugging around a pricey DSLR kit just to capture casual fisheye, wide-angle and macro photos may be nearing its end -- for some of us, at least. Designed by a startup duo in California, the Olloclip was the first project featured in our Insert Coin series, and we were thrilled to learn not only that it was successfully funded, but that the device is ready to ship to both early supporters and new customers just two months later. The accessory brings the functionality of all three lenses to the iPhone 4, and it does so well enough to warrant leaving your pro kit at home on occasion -- assuming, of course, that your photographs aren't responsible for putting food on the table.


While a bargain compared to its professional equivalents, $70 is a lot to spend on any iPhone accessory, so the lens's price tag may not sit well with some users. Also, design limitations mean you won't be able to use the lens with other devices, and there's no way to guarantee compatibility with future iPhones as well. Nonetheless, we had a blast shooting with the Olloclip, and we think you will too. Head past the break to find out why.


The Olloclip is incredibly easy to use. You don't need to install any software, though it's compatible with any and all iPhone apps. And mounting or swapping lenses just takes a second, as you can see in our hands-on video. We did have some trouble using one hand to remove the wide-angle lens to expose the macro, as we were using the other hand to hold the iPhone, though unscrewing the lens while it's mounted on the phone is less of a challenge. 

It's also important to note that because of the iPhone's higher multiplication factor in video mode, the wide-angle and fisheye lenses will present a completely different perspective when shooting video than they do when capturing stills. Don't be discouraged, however -- the video crop factor actually eliminates much of the distortion we experienced with the wide-angle lens.


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