Gadgets OptrixXD5iPhone5

Published on September 4th, 2013 | by Greg


Optrix XD5: Take Underwater Photos With Your iPhone 5!

It’s almost time for the next iPhone- but if the rumors are correct, the new iPhone 5S will share the basic body shape and size with the current model. Apple typically keeps the dimensions similar between non-numercial generation leaps, which means that you are likely to be able to continue using most of the same accessories. Today’s item is exactly the sort of thing that anyone who loves outdoor photography should look into, whether they have a current iPhone or are considering the next upgrade.

The Optrix XD5 is one of the best waterproof cases we’ve seen for the iPhone 5. Offering full IPX8 certification, the highest possible, they list it as being waterproof to 33 feet. As with many waterproof options, it can also serve as a durable action-camera case for taking your Apple device out in harsh conditions- snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding. It’s also as shockproof as we’ve seen, able to withstand drops of up to 30 feet, and definitely feels durable. Also, unlike the Lifeproof case we tested out a while ago, this one won’t float- but it’s meant for underwater use where the constant buoyancy would be a negative. We didn’t have a chance to take it snorkeling, but a few dives in a pool sufficed to make us believers.

The primary advantage to the polycarbonate Optrix is, as you might guess from the name, a focus on photography. The optics of the case have been modified specifically to enhance your shots under the oceans, seas, ponds, or pools- a 175-degree fisheye lens adds that “action adventure” look, with an expanded range of view but somewhat problematic focusing. Of course, this isn’t unusual underwater; we suggest making use of a manual-focus photo application. Optrix offers a couple of apps, including the decent and freely available VideoSport application.

As with most cases like this, it can take a bit of setup to make sure that you’re ready to go. Also, it’s a bit hefty and awkward for regular use- you’ll only want to slip it on your smartphone specifically for your voyages. They included buttons for full control of your device underwater and the ability to use the touchscreen as well, which is nice, though you’ll have to break the seal to use headphones (so it won’t work well for swimmers who want to listen to music while doing laps). The XD5 comes with a basic mount, and others are available, from wrist leashes to chest straps and helmet attachments. It’s a well thought-out and designed piece of equipment, perfect for the photographer trying to catch shots surfing or biking, anywhere challenging for your iPhone to travel. The Optrix XD5 is available now, online and in stores, for around $120 or from the official site.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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