Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

MAGcro is another smartphone macro lens ready for extreme close-ups

It’s amazing how the world of photography has opened up to anyone who owns a smartphone or tablet these days. In fact, even macro photography is an option because of products such as MAGcro. This item was created by a couple of ophthalmologists and works with a smartphone or tablet, offering up to 10 times of magnification. The aspheric lens is fire-polished and made of high quality crown glass. The micro suction base makes it universal, compatible with most smartphones and tablets.

One of MAGcro’s best features is that it’s easy to transport since it is small enough to attach to a key ring. Though one might want to consider the possibility of a scratched lens before carrying it around that way. This campaign seeks to raise $5,000 NZD (~$4,000 USD) by December 13, 2014. For $25 NZD (~$20 USD), early bird backers get one lens with an expected delivery of February 2015.


Intrepid large format camera ditches digital, embraces gorgeous photos

Many new digital cameras use filters and special techniques to make the photos they take look vintage. There’s something about old photographs that evokes a sense of nostalgia and old world charm into our minds. The Intrepid 4X5 Camera is a redesigned version of an old camera model, updating technology that is over 100 years old. Made out of wood, the camera is lightweight and can be folded up easily for maximum portability. Intrepid is a film camera and uses the 4×5 format because of its depth and clarity of image. In digital format, 4×5 would be considered HDR to give digital lovers a sense of its sharpness. It’s able to capture both portrait and landscape photographs. While this British camera looks very cool and the campaign shows the magnificent images it can produce, many may opt for the convenience of digital with some old-time filters instead. Lenses and film are sold separately which also may act as a deterrent for backers. Still, camera enthusiasts will surely appreciate the mix of old and new technology to make a cool final product. Another bonus: the bellows come in different colors! One Intrepid will cost backers £129 (~$203) for delivery in March 2015 (not a bad price at all). Intrepid is looking to raise £27,000 (~$42,500) on Kickstarter.

Accents Imaging

The Back-Off: Modular frames come down to a photo finish

What. The photo frame industry continues to survive, even in the digital era, by providing a physical home for digital memories. However, the proliferation of digital images from smartphones have overwhelmed the ability to keep up with framing. Two Kickstarter projects – Fotobit and Republic Frames – each have a similar take on this problem.

Why. Both Fotobit and Republic Frames have the same idea: modular frames that can be clipped together to create unique “storyboards” to tell a tale through photographs. Fotobit’s uniform squares — optimized for Instagram — look ultra-modern, like a kind of photograph Tetris that can be installed with a single nail and include a clip for a bubble level to make sure they’re straight. Republic Frames uses stainless steel and clear magnetic clips to hold photos in place and arrange them in any 3D paneling scheme. A 3-pack of 4”x4” Fotobit frames costs $30, while a 2-pack of 4”x6” Republic Frames is $79.

When. Both of these California companies launched their Kickstarters within a day of each other, and are both running 30-day campaigns. Republic Frames was first to post, but Fotobit expects its product to ship in May 2014 compared to Republic Frames’ June.

Winner. The number of options the Republic Frames setup offers is more convenient, with frames for two different sizes of photos and a host of configuration schemes that do more than rest on walls as the Fotobits must.

However, there’s something to be said about the uniformity of Fotobit when you can get roughly four times the frames for the same cost. Plus, there’s something about the way the Fotobits can still be creatively deployed, but that boils down to a matter of personal taste. In terms of price and shipping date, Fotobit looks like the winner here, but Republic Frames is a close, close second.