Mobile photography seems to be everywhere and is only getting more popular.
This year over 2.5 billion photos will be shared online and it’s estimated that over 90% of those were taken with a smartphone. There’s no doubt that capturing and sharing moments with a smartphone is part of everyday life for many folks… myself included.
The tiny cameras built into smartphones are progressively getting more powerful. But they still lag behind the power and versatility of costly digital SLR and professional-grade mirrorless cameras.
So how do you push the limits of photography without breaking the bank?
Pixter has the answer.
I just did WHAT to my phone?!
Samsung spent millions of dollars painstakingly crafting the technology to squeeze an amazing array of powerful components in my Galaxy S7, culminating in a smooth, sleek, sexy device that feels like it was placed into my hand by Zeus himself.
And then I clipped on a big ol’ external camera lens.
My creativity knows no bounds. I yearn to make the impossible possible. So, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to push my photography to the next level. And Pixter shares my passion. Why be limited by albeit nice camera lenses gracing the back and front of my smartphone?
Pixter says things can be better. So, I put them to the test.
Say hello to Pixter
Pixter offer a range of clip-on lenses which fit almost any kind of smartphone – iPhone, Android and Windows. These are easy to use, only take a few seconds to attach and are surprisingly sturdy.
The lens range suits both serious mobile photographers and casual shooters.
I tried the Pixter super fisheye lens (RRP: €49.90) which offers an astonishing 235° angle of view (equivalent of 8mm, or 0.63x magnification).
This isn’t just some cheap plastic gimmick. This lens is made from 6 multilayer lenses, finished with scratch-resistant anti-reflective coatings, and surrounded by an anodised steel case.
Here are a few other important specs:
- Focal length: 11.2mm
- Resolution (Lines per mm): 300
- Chromatic aberration:
- Weight: 34 g
- Package includes: fisheye lens, Pixter clip, carry pouch, lens cover, and cleaning wipe.
In the wild
Ok, I hear you. You want to see what this lens can do?
Firstly, lets’ compare the difference in range of view without and with the super fisheye lens.
Here’s several shots taken near Melbourne, Australia.
For a little more visual inspiration, check out Pixter on Instagram.
Tip: If your smartphone supports RAW image capture (not just JPEG) I highly recommend making use of that and processing the images in Lightroom to make them pop.
What I like
If this is the first time you’ve used a clip-on lens for your phone, then you probably don’t know how good this is. I’ve tried a couple external camera lenses for my phone in the past and wasn’t impressed. But Pixter takes things to a new level:
- All Pixter lenses work with pretty much any kind of smartphone. Tip: I use a Rhinoshield protective bumper and I found its elevated edges caused a slight gap between the lens and the phone, so I removed it and received better results.
- The Pixter clip is easy to attach and detach, but stays firmly in place. Rubber feet ensures it doesn’t scratch the phone.
- Protective lens cover and bag are included (I’m a stickler for my keeping my camera lenses clean).
- These lenses don’t break the bank. Considering a mid-range DSLR camera (with a lens) will set you back at least US$1,200, you can pick up a Pixter lens for just €29.90.
What I don’t like
That’s a tough question, because there’s very few drawbacks with Pixter’s lenses. If I have to be picky I’ll say:
- Aligning the camera lens takes a few seconds but gets easier once you get the hang of it. So, try to keep it attached when you’re out and about otherwise you might miss your perfect impromptu shot.
- The recent incarnations of the iPhone have a relatively small sized camera lens which makes aligning the Pixter lens pretty easy. I found the Samsung Galaxy S7 lens is a bit larger so the edge of the photos at times can come off a little blurry if the Pixter lens is not aligned perfectly.
But wait… there’s more!
Pixter offer a whole range of lenses: wide angle, wide angle pro, polarizer, tele-photo, macro, and ultra macro. Their lenses fall into 2 categories: “regular” (at a cheaper price point) and “pro” (which cost more but offer better performance).
Pixter go beyond lenses and offer accessories like a mini tripod, Bluetooth remote control, and more. And if you can’t decide between different lenses, then don’t! Save a few bucks with bundled packs.
The bottom line
Whether you are simply looking for a way to stand out amongst your friends on Instagram, want to push the boundaries of mobile photography, or take a little step towards digital SLR photography, an external clip-on camera lens from Pixter is a clever solution.
And don’t worry… I’m sure Samsung and Apple will forgive you.
Price: from €29.90
Where to buy: https://pixter.fr/en