Published on September 10th, 2014 | by Greg

Picture A Sharper iPhone 5/5S With Ztylus

It’s official: the next iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be bigger than ever, with more powerful cameras and an impressive set of new features. But the iPhone 5 and 5S will remain popular for a long time to come, and run the same operating system, iOS 8, with the same apps available for shutterbugs and everyone else too. If you’ll be waiting to upgrade, then you might want to check out today’s cool accessory, a case that instantly and massively upgrades the optics in your smartphone.

The Ztylus ZIP-5s Case and the RV-2 Lens attachment is a package designed for anyone who relies on their iPhone 5 or 5S for photography (S4 and Note versions are also available). The setup includes four different lenses: CPL (circular polarizer filter), wide angle, super micro, and last but not least an extreme fish eye. Each of them has their uses, and it’s simple to switch between most of them- just rotate, spin, or revolve. Only the macro/wide-angle lens is more complicated; you’ll need to screw off one to reveal the other. The case is required to use the lens, as it supports the unit, but also includes a nice kickstand. As usual with similar systems, the case probably isn’t what you’d choose for everyday use, but it’s nicer and easier to use than many- though there are some compromises.

The Ztylus for 5/5S comes in black or white models, the case also has some nice grippy texture on the back and sides, and there is an interesting cover flap for the bottom which can help redirect sound and also keeps your ports accessible. Of course, some docks might not work well with any case and it does add a fair bit of bulk. And there isn’t much front protection for your screen. But it does look cool, and feel solid in the hand- at first glance it makes your phone look a bit like a Leica. It’s simple to get your phone in and out of the case as well.

We loved the macro lens especially, perfect for nature shots and grabbing details- images came out crisp and clear. The polarizing filter was a bit less helpful, and it’s important to note that you’ll need to make sure your iPhone’s lens is itself clean, as these lenses cover it, adding additional layers. You might not use every lens, and panorama lovers might prefer the Kogeto Dot, while more serious optics can be found on the Schneider system we checked out before. But for anyone who wants a reasonably priced multi-lens system with a case that is cool and useful rather than a drag, the Ztylus ZIP and RV-2 is cute, clever, and offers some fun new tools for Instagram, Snapchat, or any photo app your heart desires. Runs around $100, online and in stores.

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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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