Review: Phocus Camera Mount for iPhone 4/4S

Rating: 4.5/5

Posted in iPhone, Reviews on 15/08/2012 by J. Glenn Künzler

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The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S make excellent all-around point and shoot cameras, and are capable of capturing some fairly impressive photos and video – but how much better could it be if you were able to add your own lenses? The Phocus camera mount for iPhone seeks to answer that question.

Overview

Those of you that have been following MacTrast for a while might remember a review I did a little over a year ago for a product called the OWLE Bubo – an impressive billet aluminum iPhone camera mount. The Phocus takes the role of the OWLE Bubo’s newer, lighter, and more affordable descendent (though every bit as functional).

The Phocus aims to be the ultimate video and photography mount for your iPhone, and adds a heap of extra functionality, including three separate tripod mounts, a “cold shoe” mount for attaching camera accessories, and a couple of excellent lenses to take your iPhone photos and video to the next level.

Design

The Phocus departs from the design of its aluminum counterpart in a number ways. First, it no longer comes in the shape of an owl. It’s also much, much lighter (in fact it weighs less that an iPhone), and due to its more natural, more compact shape, is far easier to hold and operate.

As with its predecessor, the Phocus maintains access to all of your iPhone’s ports, buttons, and switches when it is in the case,  as well as a cutout in the front near the audio hack that can be used to attach a small microphone.

Overall, the Phocus makes a number of changes in the previous design – and all of those changes serve to make it a better fit for the average iPhone user.

Performance

The best aspect of the Phocus is its included high-quality lenses. Included in the package are two lenses that screw together. If you leave them together, you have an excellent wide-angle lens for your iPhone, capable of capturing beautiful landscapes.

If you remove the top section of the lens assembly, the bottom portion functions as a macro lens for close-up shots, like the above photo I took of an apple seedling I germinated a few weeks ago. The results are very impressive.

I also found that the built-in lenses significantly improved the overall quality of my iPhone photography. Compare the below pictures taken from my back yard to get an idea of what I mean (click to expand). The picture on the left was taken without the Phocus, whereas the photo on the right was taken using the included wide-angle lens.

 

To be straight to the point, the lenses included with the Phocus are of excellent quality – not like the cheap or distorted lenses you often find with inexpensive third-party lenses.

Verdict[rating:4.5]

The Phocus is the perfect accessory for anyone looking to get a bit more out of their iPhone photographs or videos. It’s packed with useful features, making it a versatile camera stabilizing and mounting solution. It protects and nestles your iPhone,  while significantly augmenting its image capturing abilities.

Best of all, the Phocus performs all of its functions at a very affordable price of just $99.99. You can add a telephoto lens to the setup for just $40 more. For those that are really looking to get serious, you can even get an adapter for the Phocus that allows you to attach regular DSLR lenses ($220)!

I highly recommend the Phocus, and found it difficult to find fault with, especially for $99! For more information, or to purchase, head on over to the official Phocus website!

 Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight, compact, and easy to carry.
  • Included lenses are high quality and easy to install and remove.
  • Well-built and durable.

Cons

  • Wide angle lens can cause some barrel distortion.
  • Separating the Macro lens from the wide angle lens can take some effort.

 


Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.