Posts Tagged ‘iPhone 5’


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

Friday, July 26th, 2013

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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Rockclimbing Shoot

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

I mentioned in my last blog post that I’ve been focusing on the outdoors in my personal work recently. I’ve been an avid rock climber since college and have always thought rock climbing photos, done well, were really cool. I’d done a couple of rock climbing photo shoots, but none recently, so about a month or two ago I decided that I wanted to organize one. I was on a climbing excursion a several weeks ago when I happened to meet some other climbers who were amiable to the idea of having someone shoot photos of them while they climbed, so we exchanged some emails and set up a day we were all free to get together.

Rock climbing photos shot from the ground are usually pretty boring, so to do them well and get a more interesting camera angle, the photographer really needs to be an active participant and actually gear up and get off the ground. But doing this is logistically a bit complicated (you need a second anchor, people who know how not to kill themselves building the anchor, etc.), so it takes time to set up and do properly. So we decided to shoot for this past Sunday as our day.

This weekend was a busy weekend for me as I was shooting for Boston University all day on Saturday and we wanted to get an early start on Sunday (the particular area of rock I wanted to use faces directly east and it was imperative that we not be in shadow for the photos, so we needed to be shooting in the morning). But I think it was worth it. I haven’t had a chance to edit the images from the shoot yet, but I took a quick look and I like them. Additionally, one of my intrepid cohorts even pulled out a brand new, shiny iPhone 5 (mine is coming on Friday, I can’t wait!) and started taking pictures of me taking pictures! One of those images is below, followed by a rough edit of one of my frames from the day.

Photographing the photographer. Image by Luella Benn, shot on Apple iPhone 5. Click for larger version.

The iPhone 5 really does look like it is capable taking quality, quality images. When mine arrives I’ll have to do some tests with it… but that’s a post for another day. Here’s a rough edit of one of the images from the day. I can’t wait to go through and edit the rest!

Jason On the Rock ©2012 Chris Conti Photography. Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. Click for larger version.

Many thanks to my “models” for the day!

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