4-in-1_thumb2dMade by: Olloclip
Price: $69.99 for iPhone 5/5s or iPhone 4/4s

Hardware Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
Usability Rating: ★★★½☆
Reuse Value Rating: ★★★★½
Build Quality Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Bottom Line: The Olloclip is a great extension to the already great camera in the iPhone. It extends what the camera can do with a few caveats. Recommended.

I’m a big fan of the camera in the iPhone 5s, but while it does an amazing job it’s not that flexible. There are no lens systems like those found in pro cameras. Olloclip has been making a slide-on lens system for the iPhone for a few years now, but the 4-in-1 set is new so we took it for a spin.

iPhone_4-in-1_lens-3bThe double-sided lens system slides onto the corner of the iPhone that holds the camera, giving the camera a new front lens. The 4-in-1 comes with two levels of macro (10x and 15x), a fisheye, and a wide angle lens. In tests, the fisheye gives the expected creative distortion of the scene, leaving the picture looking like it was painted on the inside of a sphere. The wide angle does a good job of extending the field of view of the camera. Both of those lenses gave great results.

Though I was slightly disappointed with the fringing of the macro lenses. Both the 10x and 15x lacked focus in all but the center; and much more pronounced in the 15x macro. See the photo below for an example (click for full size).

2013-10-31 12.52.49While this doesn’t mean they are unusable, it limits the usability of the macro lens as the out-of-focus section will need to be cropped out. Olloclip also produces an app that helps straighten out some of the issues with the images taken with the lens, but it can’t fix everything.

The other issue with the Olloclip is that it only works for a phone without a case or if using the Olloclip-created case (review coming soon). Very few people seem to carry their iPhone without a case of some sort, so this might be an issue. I know I have in multiple cases, when I would have liked to use the Olloclip, decided against it because I didn’t want to remove my current case.

For creative uses, the Olloclip is a great way to augment the camera on the iPhone and can be a lot of fun when shooting the right subjects. There are other extension lenses for the iPhone, but none work as well as the Olloclip.


Posted in: Hardware Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , ,