Thursday, July 14, 2016

Playproof by Rhinoshield

Apple makes absolutely gorgeous devices. I use a laptop bag whenever I lug around a MacBook. But whenever I use one, I generally don't put them in a case. This is because my laptop is, most of the time, put on a table when I use them and there is only a slim chance of them falling to the ground.

However, the same cannot be said about iPhones and iPad. This is because these devices are meant to be held while being used and there is a great chance of them slipping and falling to the ground. This is especially true with Apple's latest smartphones, the 6s and the 6s+: the rounded edges of these devices make them really hard to hand-hold and are, therefore, drop-prone. My iPhone 5s was never in a case, but I felt that I couldn't do the same with my iPhone 6s+.

Thus, a shock-proof case might be a really good investment after you buy an iPhone 6s/6s+. And what better way to protect your precious investment than wrapping it up in something that promises protection from drops of up to 11 and a half feet?

First off, the Playproof does not add much to the dimensions of the phone. It is thin and it wraps beautifully around the phone. The back is fully covered and the same is true for all four sides. There are cut outs along the sides to give way to the mute switch on the left, and the headphone jack, lightning port and speaker grill at the bottom. There is a cut on the back to give way to the camera lens and the TrueTone flash.

The lip of the case is elevated so even if you put your phone face down, the screen of the phone won't be touching any surface. (And if you want more protection, you might consider getting a screen protector for your iPhone also!)

But all these things mean nothing if your phone won't be protected from drops. And boy does this case deliver! I personally witnessed the case tested several times and I have the videos to prove it! If it was my phone I'd still feel uncomfortable having my phone dropped on purpose, but with this case, I am confident that my phone will be saved from accidental drops.

This Playproof by Rhinoshield is Highly Recommended!

Photos shot with an iPhone 6s+ using the iOS app VSCO

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Olloclip Studio - The Perfect iPhone 6s+ Case for Olloclip Photographers

I've always been fascinated by the Olloclip lenses. With it, my iPhone photography has gone beyond what the phone itself can accomplish. The iPhone camera in itself is already very good, but the different Olloclip lenses add more muscles to the already capable camera phone.

To recap, there are several types of Olloclip lenses. The ones in my arsenal are, first, the wide angle lens and the 10x macro underneath it and the fish-eye lens with the 15x macro underneath it. My second set is composed of the 2x zoom lens, the wide angle lens and the polarizing glass.

With the zoom lens, I don't "pinch to zoom" to get "closer" to my subjects. Doing this is actually a really terrible idea because you will just be enlarging the pixels - you are not actually moving closer. If you want to get closer, you have to walk!

The iPhone has an equivalent of 34mm focal length, making it perfect for street photography, but if you want to get a wider field of view, you would need a wider-angle lens. This is where the wide angle lens of Olloclip comes in handy.

And with the fish-eye lens, you get a much, much more of the view!

And of course, macro photography is something the iPhone cannot do on its own: it simply is not capable...

Finally, the polarizing lens helps reduce glare and reflections in your photos.

However, no matter how great the Olloclip lenses are, it has one limitation that may discourage a lot of people: since you slide the lenses to the body, using the lens prohibits you from using a case. I myself often found myself in such a dilemma: I bought an Apple silicone case but when it comes to using the "clips", I still needed to remove the case. And I missed several photographic opportunities because of this...

The solution to this problem is the Olloclip Studio. This is a case made specifically for either the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6+/6s+. The case provides ample protection for the phone and it covers all sides of it. There are cuts along the sides to give way for the mute switch, the speaker grill, the power port and the headphone jack. You can place the phone face down and still feel confident that the display will not touch the surface.

With the case on, the iPhone-case system is built like a tank. Though I rarely drop my phones, I feel confident that, if ever I do, my iPhone 6s+ will be able to handle the impact.

But, the thing that sets this case apart from all the rest is its compatibility with the different Olloclip lenses. The cut at the top of the case makes Olloclip photography (yes, that's a thing) a possibility. You don't need to remove the case anymore if you want to use your Olloclips.

But not only that, there is a railing at the back of the case where you can attach the different accessories that came with the case. Yes, there are accessories that came with the case!

First off are a couple of cold mounts where you can attach, say, an iPhone-compatible microphone and external lighting. There are also a couple of attachments that will enable you to mount the iPhone on a tripod - one for the vertical orientation, the other for the horizontal orientation. There is a hand grip that will stabilize the phone when you, say, hand hold the iPhone during a video session. This will also provide a more stable grip during daily use.

Attaching these accessories to the case is simple via the railing that I mentioned. It is a quick and easy method that will help you expand your iPhone photography and videography.

What is not mentioned in the Olloclip website is there actually is a slot where you can thread a hand strap, similar to what you can find in the box of your point-and-shoot camera. I don't know why Olloclip does not advertise this, but this makes shooting with the iPhone a similar experience to that of using a point-and-shoot.

There is one last accessory but this one is not photography-related: a stand... With it you can prop your phone and you can watch a movie hands free. Standing your phone in the vertical orientation with this accessory is doable but highly unstable...

But of course, not all is perfect with this case. Using a case, outside of Apple's silicone cases, will add heft to the phone. For me, this is not actually an issue. And the alternative, the one where I don’t use a case, is a no-no because I find a case-less iPhone 6s+ to be really, really slippery. If you want a thinner case, this might not be for you. And of course, if you use an Olloclip lens, you won't be able to use a screen guard on the phone's display. If you decide to use an Olloclip, you risk having your screen scratched when, say, you put your phone in your pocket together with some loose change.

But all-in-all, the Olloclip Studio is a must-have accessory if you are a big fan of Olloclip lenses. It just makes you Olloclip-iPhone photography a more fun and fuller endeavor. And your phone will also be greatly protected from behind and from the sides.

Highly Recommended!

Also, check out my video review here!

Note: You can purchase the different Olloclip accessories on on the following links: Olloclip Studio, Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens, Olloclip Telephoto + Wide Angle + Macro 10x Lens + CPL Lens.

Photos shot with an iPhone 6s+ using the iOS app VSCO

Friday, July 1, 2016

Apple's new Lightning-to-SD Card Camera Reader

There are now a lot of cameras out there that have wifi antennas. You can use the antenna to transfer your photos from your camera to your phone. And if you have an Android phone, you can even use the NFC receiver on your phone and the cameras to transfer photos just by "tapping" the two together.

However, wireless transfers are not always reliable. With the iPhone, you have to go to Settings, choose the camera as the wireless modem. Then, after it's connected, you open the app from the camera maker, fire the app, choose the photos you want to transfer, hope the wireless connection doesn't disconnect, and on and on and on...

This process is really tedious, to say the least!

So, the easier, and for me, still the best way to transfer photos from your camera to your iPhone is by using Apple's new Lightning-to-SD Card Camera Reader. (Yes, that's a mouthful...) With this accessory, you can easily transfer photos from the SD card to your phone. No messing with settings, no opening up the different camera makers' applications... After you connected the card reader to your phone, just open up the Photos app on your phone and you will instantly see the photos you took. You can either select individual photos for importing or you can choose to import all.

That's it. Then, you can use any of the million photos apps that are already in your iPhone.

Words of caution though. One, only the second generation of these card readers are compatible with the iPhone (from iPhone 5 to the present). The first generation is only compatible with iPads, so, if you are using an iPhone, make sure you get the right one. How to make sure that you have the latest generation of card readers? Check at the back of the box and make sure that the product code is MJYT2AM/A. Two, you must have iOS 9, or later, in your iPhone otherwise, the phone will not recognize the accessory. If you satisfy both conditions, then, you are all set!

The Apple Lightning-to-SD Card Camera Reader is Highly Recommended.

Photos shot with an iPhone 6s+ using the iOS app VSCO


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