Quick, what's the one thing the iPhone camera lacks that just about every other cell phone's camera has? A built-in flash, that's what. This means, of course, that low/no-light photography ranges from extremely difficult (requiring clever tricks like Night Camera's image stabilization hack) to damn near impossible.
Enter Snapture Labs, with the logical solution: SnaptureFlash, an external Xenon flash unit that snaps onto your iPhone and is designed to be used with the same company's Snapture picture-taking software. Here's a before-and-after shot to demonstrate the difference:
Looks nifty, right? Well, before you throw away that expensive Canon Digital Rebel, a couple of caveats:
- SnapFlash is not yet officially available. From Snapture's FAQ: "Snapture Flash is still
a prototype, and Snapture Labs is actively seeking manufacturing
partners to bring it to market. We are taking pre-orders now, you can
sign up today and we will reserve one for you."
- To compound matters, Snapture itself is not officially sanctioned by the App Store (the company blithely states it's for "jailbroken phones"), so you can bet your fisheye lens that the House of Jobs would take an even (no pun intended!) dimmer view of rogue hardware such as the SnapFlash.
- Early testers have observed inconsistent exposure levels and/or color balance in SnapFlash photos, with other light sources in the frame being the suspected culprits. Keep in mind, again, this is a work in progress.