Back in July 2011, there was a Kickstarter Project for ‘Red Pop’. Named after the red headed photographer father of one of the designers, the project successfully funded at over double the requested funds. The hardware was pretty nifty. It snapped over the connector end of an iPhone 4 body, providing a large shutter button when using the specialized photography app. Recently, I visited the site that was selling/shipping the Red Pop, Beep Industries. Interesting, the site says the company has shut down. Yet, the rest of the products the group offered, iPhone/iPad stands, is now available called Everything Beep, near same logo, but no Red Pop.
What brought Red Pop to mind was when I found another iPhone camera grip on Kickstarter. Snappgrip is less about cute fun and more about mimicking the look and feel of a camera. The project is already successfully funded but wont end till January 28th so at the time of this writing there is still time to get in at the pre-order lower pricing. Though, the project is out of the UK so funding is not in US Dollars and the system requires a credit card rather than payment through Amazon like the US Kickstarter projects.
The Snappgrip doesn’t snap onto the raw iPhone to use the sync connector. Instead, the handle attaches to a case for either the iPhone 4 or 5 communicating via Bluetooth. It also carries a rechargeable battery charged through a micro USB connector on the bottom next to the stand by switch and tripod mount. The controls on the handle allow for half press focus, full press shutter, flash on/off and zoom. The Snappgrip seems like a nice add on device for the serious iPhone photographer. I’ll do a follow up review when I have one in hand to use around town.
Last year there was a project on Kickstarter (this post is not about a Kickstarter project) for a device that connected to a iPhone to make the photo taking experience more like a digital camera. A large grip with a shutter button and a related app that accepts the shutter button push to result in a photo being taken. I didn’t jump on board since the grip was larger for a firm group, cool, but I didn’t need anything that large.
Just released from Belkin is a similar device for the iPhone 4. It is far leaner in bulk, has two shutter buttons and wraps around the iPhone further up the body. It too has an app that must be open to do the actual photographing. If you do most of your iPhone photography through an app other than the built-in camera app, this solution may not fit your needs. If you take photos with the built-in camera, then enhance and tune from there, the Belkin LiveAction Camera Grip may add to your photography enjoyment. Rather than holding the iPhone by the outer edges, you can grip like a single purpose camera. There is something to be said about the feeling involved with taking a photo that adds to the feeling in the resulting image.
The free Belkin app that must be open to accept the physical shutter presses of the LiveAction Camera Grip allows for jumping between shooting images and recording video with a push of the shutter buttons. In fact, as your recording video, you can snap individual photos. There are comments that the sound on the iPhone has to be turned off when doing this action, otherwise the shutter sound is heard in the video.