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Product Review: The Olloclip

Product Review: The Olloclip

February 19, 2012
It's no surprise that people like taking pictures with their iPhones. The iPhone 4 and 4S are the most used cameras on flickr, and for good reason: they take great pictures. With social photography apps like Instagram, it's easy to see how people get sucked into the world of "iPhoneography." Photo editing on the software side of iOS is easy with the hundreds of photography apps available, but what about tweaking your photos from a hardware standpoint? There are a few goofy accessories out there like this, or even this, but for practicality's sake, I'm going to tell you about my time with the Olloclip ($69.99). The Olloclip, origianlly a Kickstarter project, is a quick-connect lens solution for the iPhone 4 and 4S. It includes a fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lens. Just slide it onto the corner of your naked iPhone. One side holds the fisheye lens, while the other holds the dual wide-angle + macro lenses (unscrew the wide-angle lens to reveal the macro lens). While there are other similar options, the Olloclip is iPhone specific, meaning you won't have to permanently affix something to your precious iPhone to use it. That being said, let's see how well the Olloclip performs. The Good The Olloclip does what it sets out to do. The fisheye lens packs a LOT more into your photo while giving the desired fisheye effect. The wide-angle subtly brings a little more into your photo, making it effective for landscapes, or even normal group photos. The macro lens let's you get up close and personal with just about anything. The lenses don't decrease the clarity of your pictures the slightest bit. Colors are still as vibrant and sharp as they would be without the Olloclip attached. The Olloclip fits snugly and gives no indication that it might fly off. The lenses can all be used to record video as well, although the effects won't be as dramatic since the iPhone "crops" the field of view when shooting video (load your camera, and switch from photo to video mode to see what I mean), but it still makes a pleasant difference.

The Bad You cannot use the Olloclip if you have a case on your iPhone, as it's formed to fit a bare iPhone 4 or 4S. Screen protectors might be in danger of getting pushed up by the Olloclip. Also, there is some vignetting while using the wide-angle lens. While some may find that to be a welcome quality, I found it to be pretty annoying. It's nothing a little cropping can't fix. Verdict The Olloclip is a handy little accessory for adding some fun to your photos. It's portable and can easily fit in your pocket. There's no doubt that anyone who's a heavy iPhone camera user would have a blast with the Olloclip. That is, if they don't mind taking off their case every time they want to use it. You can get yourself an Olloclip for $69.99 on Olloclip's website. Would this be something you'd use?

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