Gizmon iCa iPhone camera case in Review – Barnack would be proud
In case you missed the front page review, the Gizmon iCa is wonderful. It's not just good looks, its full of utility and fun.
GIZMON iCA (each color) $65.00
GIZMON iCA MILITARY $70.00
Fisheye Lens $55.00
iCA Pod Tripod $25.00
Here's where to buy it
Highlights from the review:
The iCa’s iconic exterior isn’t just for show. It’s feature-packed. There’s a wide-angle viewfinder, an easy-to-press shutter button, camera strap loops, a detachable tripod mount, and a real lens mount. Sounds like a camera, doesn’t it? I think of it as one. Currently, Gizmon have only two lenses for their camera -errr… iPhone: a circular fisheye, and a close-up lens. But couple those with the iPhone’s ~28mm 135 format equivalent lens, and you’ve got quite a powerful and fun camera system. That said, I’ve only got the fisheye to test.
At least it’s fun.
It’s nothing more than a magnifying glass tuned for distance focusing, so don’t expect Nikkor optics. Instead, expect fun, crazy vantages, close-ups, a 180º world view; in short, expect great pictures in that bloated, extended, fisheye perspective.
Both the fisheye and close up lens mount into the iCa case via magnetic backs. If you don’t have the case, each comes with mounting hardware for all but the original iPhone. But with a little sticky tack and some luck, you can attach either to your iPod touch, original iPhone, or iPad.
Photographers know that fisheye lenses can get big, heavy, and scratched. Gizmon have combatted each of these issues. Well, maybe Apple started it. The tiny photo sensor in the iPhone is perfect for fisheye photography because an iPhone lens can be the size of a thimble and still produce great images. Of course, resolving all those tiny (and numerous) pixels is tough work, especially for a 60$ optic. But I don’t think work was Gizmon’s aim.
A street camera in disguise
Just like the GoDAP transforms your iPhone into a HiFi listening device, the iCa transforms your iPhone into a street camera. The process, which involves twisting two parts, sliding two others, and snapping one into place, takes about a minute; and, as you snap it all together, the realisation deepens that the iCa ain’t just looks.
No. With a flick of the camera icon on your lock screen, your iPhone disappears. Bring it up to your eye, frame a shot, and press the shutter release. You have your shot in as natural a pose as is possible for a camera. (Yep, that button on the top that looks like a shutter release _is_ a shutter release. The others: film rewind knob, film advance knob, shutter speed dial, etc. are just for show.)
And what a show it is.
Snap-shooting around Akihabara, I practically forgot that I was shooting with a phone. It’s probably because I carry it in two hands like a camera, and squint into the finder like I do into a real camera. While for some, using the iPhone like this may seem quaint, for me, it is freeing.
Since the lenses are so small, changing them in ‘the field’ is easy as pie. (When not in use I deposited the fisheye in my trouser pocket as really who needs a belt or camera bag to stow a thimble?)
Definitely a KISS!
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