Save for the restrooms, nearly everywhere you looked at this year’s CE Week, there was some sort of tech accessory being showed off, a dongle dangled in your face every ten paces and other high and low tech tech related goodies of all types vying for attention and coverage. I liked a lot of what I saw, so in a few parts today and into next week, here are a few photo-related suggestions for you potential gift givers out there or those of you looking to give a little or big something to yourselves at some point:
ZTYLUS Smartphone Camera Lens (iPhone 5/Samsung Galaxy S/Galaxy Note): If you take a lot of photos with that iPhone or Galaxy, you’ll definitely want a ZTYLUS sooner than later. Invented and designed by Tim Hsu, this lens attachment (with optional case that makes your phone look like something even more futuristic) has a 4-in-1 lens that expands your creative options, is relatively inexpensive and as the official site says, will help you take better smartphone photos. The Revolver 4-in-One Lens is $69.95 and the case is $39.95, but I say snap both up in a combo pack from the ZTYLUS web shop for $99.95 and get your friends wondering when you became a secret agent (who just so happens to take REALLY awesome camera photos).
Olloclip: Say you’re a dedicated Apple-head and want an iPhone or iPad lens option for that camera that’s pretty special and will also allow you to take better photos. Well, the olloclip is calling your name, sir or madam!
Available for the iPhone 4/4s 5/5s/5c iPad and iPad mini, this 3-in-1 or 4-in-one lens allows you to take fisheye, wide-angle and macro photos (10x, 15x or both with the 4-in-1 lens) as well as video, works with any photo or movie app currently available and also looks quite cool when it’s on your phone or tablet. Pricing runs from 49.99 to 69.99 for the lens based on your model, but bundling your olloclip with a case and accessories where applicable really makes more sense as it brings the cost to a still affordable 79.99 up to 129.99 – check out the online store for all the details.
Pocket Tripod: Now, let’s say you’re just FINE with your iPhone camera as is, but you’re having trouble doing stuff like taking steady photos and videos because you kind of require a tripod. Well, here you go: a fun little solution that’s pretty incredible thanks to its unique folding design that also makes for a pretty sturdy and pocket-sized tech.
The Pocket Tripod is ultra-thin, rotates a full 360 degrees, supports portrait and landscape formats (although you portrait video makers NEED to learn that widescreen is better than arcade sliver videos any day of the week!) and only costs $25. I say Apple needs to throw money at CEO and Chief Designers Rambod Radmard just so they can pack one of these babies in with every new iPhone that comes down the pike. That and a mandatory “SHOOT IN LANDSCAPE, PLEASE” message when someone holds that camera the “wrong” way just might make me want an iPhone one of these days…
For those of you who still use traditional bodied cameras (film or digital), you absolutely NEED a miggo. Available in two styles Grip and Wrap ($39.99) and Strap and Wrap ($49.99) for DSLR or CSC cameras in assorted colors and patterns, this handy camera protector eliminates the need for a padded camera case by being just that AND a handy neck strap or wrist strap depending on the model you purchase.
I love this product because as a professional klutz who’s dropped a few cameras in my time, having a miggo around my wrist or neck isn’t only stylish, it would keep me from occasionally accidentally drop-kicking a camera that I fumbled and tried to stop from hitting the pavement with a not so well-placed foot. Hey, I have flat enough feet as it is without a nicely price camera denting my toes and getting damaged when it bounces off my poor foot.
Polaroid Cube: Yeah, GoPro has that action camera thing covered to death, but it was great to see Polaroid still around and entering the market with a cuter little go-camera of its own. Price on this one is TBA, but it’ll be out in August and (wait for it), ready for its closeup.
Clearly, the Cube’s designers have a sense of humor, as the camera measures 35 millimeters square (ha and ha) and among the seven different mounting options is a monkey-shaped stand, which made me chuckle a bit because monkeys with cameras for heads are pretty darn funny when you think about it.
The Cube is water resistant up to 2M, has a 124 degree wide-angle lens, can use up to a 32MB SD card and in addition to video, works as a 6MP still camera. I actually want to take one of these for a spin, as I’m new to this getting about with a camera strapped to one’s person to record videos of mundane to major activities and may as well got for the most fun-looking device possible. We’ll see what Polaroid says about this, of course. But I say better to try something new than to say, bring back the SX-70 for one more go-round…