iPhone gets Hong Kong eye transplant
If you're an iPhone owner who's disappointed with that oh-so-popular device's oh-so-limited camera, there's good news from Hong Kong gadgeteer USBfever: stick-on lenses.
Thanks to the sharped-eyed trend-spotters at MacNN, we learned today of this trio of magnetically mountable lenses for the myopic iPhone. Three are available to improve your iPhone's eyesight: Wide Angle ($16.99), 2X Telephoto ($16.99), and Fish-Eye ($19.99).
Each lens attaches magnetically to any tiny-lensed device. If the device has a ferrous-metal body, the lens will simply stick on its own. If, like the iPhone, the body is plastic, the good people at USBfever provide a self-adhesive metal ring to encircle your device's lens and to which to attach the magnetic USBfever lens.
Double your iPhone camera's reach with a 2X telephoto lens
Each lens, according to USBfever, is made of "high-class glass." The Wide Angle lens provides a "Super Marco" 0.67X effect, while the 2X Telephoto provides - you guessed it - 2X magnification and the Fish-Eye achieves a 170-degree field of vision with a 0.28X magnification. A plastic lens cover and keychain strap are included.
You've got to admire the USBfever folks for their aggressive marketing. For example, they're currently offering their Universal Slim USB Car Charger at the low, low price of $0.01 because, as they say, "We want to fight against the so-called Financial Tsunami with you."
And please don't take offense at our pointing out their webmaster's occasionally fractured English. We hasten to admit that it's infinitely better than our Cantonese. In fact, we stand in complete solidarity with him when he says "Our system is not so smart still."
We know how that is, pang yau. ®
Megapixels aren't everything
Megapixels are not everything by a long stretch. My old FujiFilm Finepix 2800 Zoom, a 2 megapixel camera having the benefit of an excellent sensor and lens, used to take better pictures than most 4 mpx cameras of the day. I've blown them up to nearly A4 size (240x180, I think) and you can't see any evidence of pixels, nor that awful banding phenomenon where the sky seems to be made of about six distinct shades of blue (I'm sure there is a proper name for this).
The mm² of the sensor would be a most revealing statistic, if anyone actually bothered to disclose it; since a physically large sensor can hold more charge in the first place, and so accept more light before saturating -- and therefore will give better contrast between light and dark, and less noise (since not every photon striking the sensor successfully liberates an electron, and not every liberated electron was actually due to a photon of light; the more actual light entering the sensor, the less noticeable these random effects will be) than a smaller sensor.
mp is not everything
what makes a good camera on a phone is will it work in poor and varied light, something they have missed for years, my w900 sony has been with me since its uk launch, i have just this month replaced it (with i8510) as its taken that long to get a new phone that works in low light well.
even sony went backwards, the 3,2mp in phones after mine do not perform nearly as well.
I did not need the new phones 8mp, in fact for web shots my old and now battered olympus with its 800*600 camera is still a winner on contrast and colour balance.
horses for courses etc.
Yes, cameras on phones are rubbish
But as an iPhone user myself I can safely say that the quality of the iPhone is so poor as to be unuseable (doubley so if you move it fractionally whilst taking a photo).
I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but there are some phone cameras that can achieve very respectable results from, what is in theory, a very restricted design. My 5Mpixel N95 has actually rendered my little compact digital camera obsolete (so I gave it to my father). The phone is always in my pocket and it's always charged. The only thing that lets it down is the weak flash.
Having said all that, there will never be a substitute for a "real" dedicated camera, which is why I have a couple of grands worth of Nikon gear in my rucksack whenever I go anywhere interesting :-)
Anon cos I don't want to get mugged at the airport!
"And please don't take offense at our pointing out their webmaster's occasionally fractured English. We hasten to admit that it's infinitely better than our Cantonese."
When did this start becoming common-place as an argument? I've seen it loads of times this year.
It misses the point that I'm not the one attempting to speak Cantonese (in this example).