Many of us have stopped using traditional cameras since the rise of smartphones. After all, the best camera is the one you have with you, and you always have your iPhone with you. But if you miss the look, feel, and flexibility of a dedicated camera, bitplay has a solution for you. The SNAP! PRO, formerly a Kickstarter project, brings back the comfortable shooting ergonomics of a real camera. They offer six interchangeable lenses and a tripod mount for even more photography situations. There is also a free app that can be used with the set or separately. SNAP! PRO can be purchased as a kit, or in individual parts.
What I liked
This is the complete kit. It can be purchased all together as shown, or individual pieces can be purchased separately.Credit: bitplay
A picture speaks a thousand words, but photos don’t do this product justice. When you put this case on your iPhone, it is transformed into a camera. The two included ergonomic hand grips, one to match the case and one wood grain, makes it easier to hold the iPhone steadily. An optional thumb grip makes your iPhone even more comfortable to hold. A threaded hole allows you to mount your iPhone on a tripod. Two included wrist loops prevent you from dropping your iPhone. Best of all, a physical shutter button allows pre-smartphone muscle memory to come back for more natural shooting. I can’t figure out how that shutter button works because it’s not over any of the iPhone’s buttons, but it does.
Six add-on lenses come with the complete kit for a variety of effects. They are Fisheye + Macro, Full Frame Fisheye, Telephoto, Circular Polarizer Lens Filter, Wide Angle + Macro, and Ultra Wide + Macro. The lenses swap out easily and screw securely into the case. I took some photos with each one as you can see below, though I am only a photography dabbler. I can imagine what a real expert could do with these.
The case itself, styled to look more like a camera than an iPhone, offers drop protection. It could be used as a full-time case without the lenses, hand grip, thumb rest, and wrist strap. The camera and all buttons and ports are fully functional on the case.
The optional SNAP! Pro app is an excellent all-around photography shooting and editing app you can use in conjunction with the kit, but you don’t have to. The app can also be used on its own.
What I didn't like
While the ergonomic grip is ideal for taking photos one-handed, it’s not particularly pretty, and it takes away from the iPhone’s sleek aesthetic. The kit does come with two grips, plus a plain plate you can use instead, but the tripod mount is only drilled into one of the grips. So, you can use the kit without the grips if you want a smoother look, but then you lose the tripod mount. Swapping out the plate and grips isn’t hard, but it does require removal of the case and two tiny screws. At least the small screwdriver you need is included in the kit.
The SNAP! PRO is an expensive iPhone accessory. If it means not having to buy and carry a separate camera, it might be worth the price. Still, you can probably get a point-and-shoot camera with a lot of the same functionality for less. Even with all of the cool lenses, it’s not a DSLR camera. It’s still an iPhone camera underneath it all.
The SNAP! PRO is undoubtedly a cool product. It makes your iPhone look, feel, and perform much more like a point-and-shoot camera. It has interchangeable lenses like a DSLR camera. SNAP! PRO is an expensive accessory, given that you are still using an iPhone camera. It’s a lot of fun, and it could replace your point-and-shoot camera, but it’s unlikely to replace your DSLR camera.
You can purchase the complete SNAP! PRO kit with everything described in this article on Amazon for $259.00 in black or white. You can buy the case and grip alone for $53.10. Stand-alone lenses start at $21.30. The SNAP! Pro app is free on the App Store.