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August 27, 2013

Cooler iPhone photos, in a snap

(Continued)

Okay, time to commit. Down it goes again — 10 seconds. No problem, still dry. Now it's time to shoot some images. The case is totally plastic, with the front (which goes over the screen of the iPhone) a bit pliable so that you can use the touchscreen. Framing was a bit difficult, and actually shooting an image required quite a bit of pushing. But I'd rather have a secure phone than flimsy seams.

The resulting fountain images from underwater were so-so, but with a bit of practice and patience, I think you could take some cool underwater photos. You're not just shooting through plastic, as with other waterproof cases, and the lens does lend the final image a higher quality. The case is definitely easy to use and solidly waterproof through and through. It'd be great to have at the pool or the beach for safety near the water, to keep sand out of your phone and for taking some interesting photos to boot.

— Anne Farrar

Holga Special Lens & Filter Turret $30

A nostalgic add-on to an iPhone, this case provides nine color and special-effect lenses, from a 60mm macro lens to a rosy-red filter with a clear, heart-shaped center. The idea is to mimic the famous Holga camera — a well-loved toy camera with a cult following among those who enjoy its lack of precision.

Unfortunately, if you're looking to shoot in a digital aesthetic similar to that of the Holga, with its distortions, blurring, etc., you'll probably be disappointed. Despite the filters' skewing and adding of colors, the iPhone lens is far too powerful to be tricked into working like the plastic Holga's. The results aren't undesirable, but they're different from what you may expect. A quadruple-image lens will split your subject into four sections, creating often confusing but visually interesting results. The strongest option by far, though, is the 60mm macro lens, which will have you shoving your iPhone as close as possible to any number of objects.

— Nathaniel Grann

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