Is It Practical, Or Just Hype….
© 2017 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The SmartPhone has perhaps become the most practical camera that you own. With every model release we see vast improvements in megapixel picture quality, better lens quality, dual lenses and built-in extended zoom ranges, not to mention that it’s usually with you when that photo op presents itself. This has opened the door to many options designed to enhance your digital photographic experience. Such options include snap on lenses for wide angle and close up photography. These adapters used self-stick magnetic rings affixed to your smartphone that easily grabbed the metal lens housing. They work well, but do come with their shortcomings too.
Zoom+, a marketing company, is offering the HD360x, an 8x zoom measuring less than 3˝ long, and weighs fewer than two ounces. Designed by a German Technologist, the lens easily attaches to your smartphone by means of what looks like a clothespin. By using your smartphone’s zoom control you can quickly adjust the desired range. Removing it from the clothespin mount it can double as a monocular. There is no zoom capability in this application, you simply see a close-up of the scene. In either case the lenses’ focus ring must be utilized. Two rubber lens caps are included, but no instruction sheet, warranty or return policy.
My tests concluded that the mounting process on to the smartphone, while unique, is quite clumsy. It takes some fiddling to get a position that properly fills the screen. The smartphone’s zoom control does indeed work. Like any wide range zoom a tripod is desirable as the slightest shake blurs the image. Even a steady hand has its limits when adjusting the zoom. I would suggest the Arkon Tripod Adapter for adapting the smartphone to the tripod. http://bit.ly/2du9Jh4 When used as a monocular you may wish to lean on something to avoid the shakes. A rubber eyepiece would make this much more user friendly.
While the ads tout the HD360x as a replacement for expensive DSLR cameras, don’t throw them away. This lens is at best, perhaps, a quick substitute in a pinch, but certainly not a replacement. The ads can be deceiving! The MSRP price point is high so as to make the special offers look tempting. What’s the old saying, “you can only expect to get what you pay for”. That certainly applies here.
GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★
HD360x: MSRP: $224.45 (Significantly discounted deals available on line)
Arkon Tripod Adapter: MSRP: $14.95
For more information & compatibility go to: http://bit.ly/2kx2MMa
Graphic credits: Manufacturer
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.