The highs and lows of photography – HiLO Lens
One of the most celebrated features of the much feted Apple products is the camera and equally appreciated are the photo editing software that the firm bundles into the hardware. Photos have been playing a pivotal role in communication as it is becoming easier than ever to send photographs back and forth over the messaging services and social networks.
Speaking of photography itself, almost everybody has turned photographer today with the capabilities that mobile devices put into their palms. As today’s average individual is almost always on the move, encountering new people, environments and experiences, the urge to capture all those breathtaking moments has been increasing and finds expression through the cameras in the tablets and smartphones. There has been an exponential growth in the number of apps and peripheral camera accessories owing to this photographic boom. The latest in this line of products is the HiLO lens.
Currently featured as a project on Kickstarter open for backers, the HiLO lens, brainchild of Mark Hampton, is a unique camera accessory for the iPad and iPhone. Being a right angle lens, it is the first of its kind and will be compatible with the iPhone 4/4S/5 and the iPad 3.
What does it exactly do?
Not all subjects are located at a convenient angle for us to point and shoot. While outdoors, you might want to capture a colourful bug sitting on a blade of grass. You will definitely want to record the moment when your baby crawls for the first time. There will surely be a lot of back breaking squatting involved if you want to get a decent shot of your bouncy canine. With the HiLO lens accessorising your gadget, there is no need to stoop down to such levels (only literally). The right angle lens captures the scene which is at right angles to the direction that your device’s camera is pointing towards. So, if you want to take a horizontal ground shot, you can do so comfortably by holding your iPhone or iPad at waist level, the camera pointing vertically downwards and see the viewfinder generating a horizontal view. Same goes when you take a horizontal shot over your head. Hold your phone/tablet up, camera pointing skyward and see horizontally over your eye-level just like a periscope.
That is not all. The HiLO rises to the occasion while group shots or self-portraits are in order. Place your device on the edge of a flat surface like a table or countertop and it morphs into a tripod. Shots can be time programmed with an adjustable shutter delay. A tripod that fits into your pocket. Handy right? This seems to be the popular opinion as the HiLO project has already reached over 60% of the backing goal, with most almost a third of the backers choosing the iPad compatible reward on Kickstarter.
The Inside Story
Though the physics sounds pretty simple at face value, the optics that are at play in creating this simple yet sophisticated camera add-on are quite complex. Constructed with three lenses and a prism, the arrangement helps rein in the size of the lens so as to not become too conspicuous on the gadget while retaining the field of view of the original iPhone/iPad camera.
And of course, there is an app that works in conjecture with the lens. Offered free, this app corrects the mirroring errors brought in due to the prism and also spruces up the image with some smart processing.
The HiLO lens will no doubt prove to be an extremely useful accessory if you are big on photography. Designed to simplify the process and reduce the physical effort involved in taking some difficult shots, this product would score well with the GenNext that seems to be perpetually in the photo-bug’s grasp. If the HiLO speaks to you, go ahead and show your interest and support here.
Nikhila is a gadget lover and passionate writer. She likes to keep up with social media and Internet culture in particular while staying updated about all latest gizmos. Nikhila is a mechanical engineer-turning-into-technical-writer. Bibliophile, Grammar Nazi, dog lover, foodie, casual artist.
2 November, 2012