Gadgets gizmon-clip-on-lenses

Published on July 22nd, 2012 | by Greg


Gizmon: Cheap And Easy Is Not Always Good

We’re huge fans of smartphone photography- between the many excellent apps for helping you take images quickly, and even more that allow you to edit on the fly, smartphones have proven to be a boon for both artistic and journalism. Everyone has a camera in their pocket now, which is not a bad thing, and they are improving every year as better processing technologies and even new methods of capturing imagery begin to take off.

The default iPhone and iPad lenses are pretty good- sharp, clear, and with a decent field of view. The imaging sensors aren’t very large, which means that no one will mistake your images for those from a DSLR, but they can still pull off some nifty tricks. And thanks to their small size, you can even clip-on interesting effect lenses, thanks to the new Gizmon trio. Offering three different effects- a circular polarizer, fish eye, and ‘mirage’- these slide on over the lens.

Some cases don’t work well with them, though, and we generally weren’t too impressed with the image quality. The mirage effect, especially, seems pointless. The fisheye sounds fun in theory, but results were just too poor to really be useful, thanks to aberrations and exposure issues along with just generally mediocre optics. And the polarizer is only helpful in a small number of situations, when you might be better off finding another way to achieving the same effect without having to carry around an extra thing to lose. We often use a polarizing filter in professional outdoor settings, but the iPhone does a decent job of adjusting for exposure, especially with the HDR option.

Of course, you get what you pay for- there is a reason that we love Lensbabies but that they are pretty expensive. These are still $35 each , and a cute idea even if the execution left something to be desired.

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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 Appleā€™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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