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Making “The Best Camera” Better – The iblazr Flash Unit

Hi all! I’ve been out of the country for the last two weeks and just landed back in North America a day or two ago (with the jet lag I’m having a bit of trouble keeping track of days…!) so things are incredibly busy around here at the moment, but I wanted to do a quick post about this very quickly:

In the photography world the saying has been going around for a number of years that “the best camera is the one that you have with you.” In other words, the best, fanciest, most expensive SLR camera in the world is useless if you don’t have it with you when you want to take a photo (and since most pro-level cameras are large, heavy and bulky, we tend not to have them with us all of the time). The cameras that most people do now have with us all of the time are the ones in our phones (the camera-phone phenomenon has literally upended the entire photography world, with a recent statistic I saw saying that in 2013 over 99% of all the photos taken in the world will be taken on phones). While the cell phone camera is ubiquitous and convenient, since these devices are phones first and cameras second (even though some phones’ cameras have gotten remarkably good; I’m continuously impressed with the camera in my iPhone 5) they lack lots of features and functions of real cameras.¬†With that in mind, a number of different companies have started making products to enhance the photo-taking capabilities of phones. Enter, iblazr.

iblazr in black and white colors. Photo courtesy iblazr lab.

iblazr is a Kickstarter project by some folks in Ukraine who’ve designed a small device that can act as an external flash unit or continuous light for iPhones, iPads, Android phones, etc. It plugs into the phone or tablet’s headphone jack, and four powerful LEDs sync with the phone’s camera function. The device even includes its own battery, so it won’t deplete your phone’s battery.

I just heard about iblazr today, and when I read the Kickstarter page, I ponied up fifty bucks to back it immediately. This device, if its designers pull it off (and from what they’ve done already it looks like they will) should really help smartphones take much better photos in low light (the unit can even be used as an off-camera flash by using a simple headphone extension cord!). The Kickstarter funding period runs through September 3, so if this sounds like something you might like, go over to the Kickstarter page and get your name on the list and help this ingenious little product become reality!

The iblazr people estimate that they’ll have the finished units delivered in December of this year, so I’ll keep this post updated and give you my thoughts when I receive the product!

iblazr. Photo courtesy iblazr lab.

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