There is also an app, which will be available for free. The app corrects for the mirroring of the image (caused by the prism) and improves image quality with some smart processing. The app provides an optional shutter delay, so you can get self/group portraits when using HiLO Lens as a tripod.
Why complex optics instead of a mirror ? Because to cover the iPhone camera’s field of view a mirror would be large and ugly. HiLO Lens is small, elegant and maintains the camera’s full field of view. Be aware that products using only a mirror may only be useful for video.
Image quality with HiLO Lens
The optics in HiLO Lens are more sophisticated than any other lens available for the iPhone. Optics are always a compromise and we want to keep HiLO Lens affordable. To give you an idea, the aluminium container housing the optics is machined to tolerances of 0.01mm – that’s 1/10th the thickness of a strand of hair!
The images below are taken with the HiLO Lens pre-production sample.HiLO Lens in a vertical angleHip Level photography (also great for portraits!)Low level photography
There are more details on our blog.
Who created HiLO?
HiLO Lens is developed by an optical engineer (Alexander), mechanical designer (Onur), app developer (Nyugen) and led by Mark Hampton. The project began in mid 2011.
Mark invented HiLO Lens with Kickstarter in mind because crowdfunding is seriously cool. Mark’s previous projects include a startup that created a new category of microelectronics design software (Certess Inc.) and an e-commerce for French expats.
Where are we at?
We’ve minimized the technical risks, getting HiLO Lens from idea to final prototype. We’re just about ready to hit the production button. Currently we have:
- validated the optics design with pre-production samples
- a fully functional app
- working prototypes being used by iPhoneographers
- production partners on board and ready to build
To make HiLO Lens affordable we need to make at least 1000 units and this is where Kickstarter comes in. The setup costs for manufacturing can be funded with the first 1000 units.
We are also making some minor improvements to the design so HiLO Lens will work perfectly with the iPhone5. The current design does work with the iPhone5 but we can improve it so we will improve it!
When will we be shipping ?
HiLO Lens uses custom designed optical components, not off the shelf parts. Therefore it will take a couple of months to grind, polish and treat the lenses with anti-reflective coatings. In parallel another production partner will be machining the precision aluminium containers. Yet another partner will be tooling for producing the plastic cap.
While the initial production run is being completed our app developer, Nyugen, will be finalizing the app, making it faster, more beautiful and even more fun.
We expect to have the first product ready approximately 12 weeks after successful funding.
We set our funding goal as low as possible given our resources. We would love to see HiLO Lens become a product. With Kickstarter it is all or nothing – no funding if we don’t reach our target.
If we exceed our funding goal there is a long list of features we would love to include. Starting with more of your suggestions in the app.
Every product has compromises. Our priority is to provide good quality images and a practical device. We use digital image processing in the app to correct for geometrical distortion in the optics. This innovation allows us to minimize the size of HiLO Lens. If you use HiLO Lens with another camera app then you will see severe vignetting in the corners of the raw photo. You can either consider this a feature or post-process the image in the HiLO Lens app. During post-processing the image will be “unfolded” to correct for geometric distortion and the vignetting is far less noticeable.
Any lens added to the iPhone camera will reduce the optical quality of the final image. This is because the lens is always added to the existing stack of lenses in the iPhone itself. This is most noticeable in low light conditions.
Grease and dirt should be removed from the tacky pad using a lint free, damp cloth, with a little bit of soap to help get rid of oil. Let the pad air dry and it will return to it’s tacky state. You should not submerse the lens in water!
We believe HiLO Lens offers great value by allowing you to get creative camera angles more easily. But you can always add a straight-on wide angle lens or simply use the native camera and lie on the ground, buy a tripod and carry a ladder
Your support makes a huge difference !
HiLO Lens is the first right angle lens for the iPhone4/4S/5 & iPad2/3. With this simple device you’ll create more memorable photos.
Low angle – great for photographing young children and pets
High angle – like a periscope for photographing over a crowd
Wide angle – choose wide or standard, for video and photos
Any surface becomes a tripod – just lay the iPhone down
Self portraits & group shots – with an adjustable shutter delay