Modern smartphones have pretty decent cameras, but their Achilles' heels continue to be low-light environments. Their tiny built-in LEDs tend to wash out subjects and add horrific red-eye.
Kickstarter project iBlazr adds a synchronized four-LED flash to Android phones and iPhones, meaning your nighttime selfies, heavily backlit group shots, and other close-up photos should look a lot better. And if you like to snap photos with your iPad, you've finally got a light to go with it.
The iBlazr resembles an oversize Square reader in that it's, well, square and plugs into your device's headphone jack. Its four LEDs deliver a 60-degree beam angle, meaning the light is diffused and therefore less likely to look harsh on subjects' faces.
The unit also features its own rechargeable battery (good for over 1,000 flashes, according to the developers), so it won't have any impact on your phone or tablet battery. All early-backer pledges that include the iBlazr also comes with a flexible USB charger.
A bundled Android/iOS app will let you snap photos (and video) using the iBlazr and adjust various settings, including the intensity of the light. But developers wishing to add iBlazr support can do so, and a handful of app-makers have already lined up.
The iBlazr is available in black, white, and a premium aluminum version. Although the project has already surpassed its funding goal of $58,000, you can still get it for as low as $39 for a black or white model with charger. The anodized-aluminum version will run you $59, or you can get one of each for $80.
I just spent a few days in Chicago surrounded by countless photo ops, and frequently found myself cursing the crummy LED on my iPhone 4S. I seriously wish I'd had an iBlazr in my pocket for all those low-light occasions. The prices do seem a little steep, but maybe the extra funding will help the developers make the gizmo a little more affordable.
What do you think? Is this just the smartphone-photography accessory you've been dreaming of? If so, think you'll become a funder?