Device convergence is nothing new but to really decrease the need to lug a digital and video camera beyond your phone you need an optical zooming lens to attach to your smartphone. Cue Photojojo, the company selling an 8x optical zoom lens which takes your iPhone to the next level. You slide a slim case onto the iPhone – either a 3, 4 or 4S and then you screw on the lens and you are done.
An iPhone 4S photo with no zoom
An iPhone 4S photo with the Photojojo 8x optical zoom
As you can see from the photos above the results are dramatic and the iPhone 4S does a great job keeping the photo focused. Most of my shots came out focused and I shot about fifteen of them. Even with a dedicated digital camera, getting clear photos when you use large amounts of zoom can be tough unless you hold your hands very steady. This solution was surprisingly good perhaps because of the superior 4S camera and associated focusing technology.
The price is $35 and for that amount you also get a tripod, screen cleaner, velvety pouch and dual lens caps. The only complaint is the caps are a bit tough to get on and off and when you screw the lens on to the case it isn’t always easy – it may take a little while to get it perfectly lined up. Also, when in place you have an awkward gadget which you can’t put in your pocket. The case is something you could keep on your camera all the time but it is a bit clunky because you have a minor protrusion where the lens screws in.
The lightweight lens easily fits in your pants pocket allowing you to instantly transform your smartphone. This single and cost-effective lens could help really kill the amateur camera market.
The only room for improvement is the lens is an exact 8x zoom – there is a focus dial but the zoom is always the same magnification meaning if you need a 4x zoom you have to walk forward about 20-30 feet.
To me this sort of add-on to smartphones just shows how a single device can kill numerous industries at once. With the advent of serious speech recognition, the administrative assistant market seems to be next.