iphone 5

Ember looks to light up iPhone photos

In December last year we featured a Kickstarter project called Lightstrap, which aimed to bring better lighting to smartphone photos. About a week into the campaign, Brick and Pixel, the team behind Lightstrap, pulled the plug on it citing that a better offer had come along. While quite a few people were disappointed by this decision, it has proved to be something of a small mercy for Ember, a new night photography tool that is looking for Kickstarter backing. Ember slides over your smartphone like a case. It comprises 56 LEDs and a diffuser, with the ability to adjust its brightness using a slider and a range of filters to control for light temperature. This should make for more evenly lit photos that don't wash-out people's skintones or give them evil red eyes.

Ember onthe iPhone 5

By removing the top of the Ember case, it's possible to continue to use add-on lenses, for example Olloclip or Moment. It's charged through a micro-USB port, making it independent of your phone's battery, and capable of providing light for about four hours of shooting.

Compatible with additional lenses

Embers are only iPhone 5 and 5S compatible, which is a shame for any other type of smartphoneographer; it's not as if we don't take photos or would appreciate some better lighting options. If, however, you're an iPhone 5 or 5S owner and interested, you can help make the Ember happen with an early-bird Kickstarter pledge of $59. Should you miss out on that level, it's $79 for one Ember.

Adjustable brightness and filters for colour temperature control

Ember needs to raise $30,000 to make it a reality; with 25 days to go, it's raised just over $4,000. At this rate, it's touch-and-go if it makes it.

Getting up close with your iPhone and Olloclip's 3-in-1 macro lens

Last week Olloclip unveiled its 4-in-1 lens in Holidays-special gold and space grey options to match iPhone 5s models. This week it has announced a brand new 3-in-1 macro lens attachment for iPhone 5 and 5s phones. One reversible attachment and one adapter brings 7×, 14×, and 21× magnification to your iPhone photos. Two magnification factors one side, and one on the other

Just like other Olloclip attachments, it works by slotting over your iPhone camera. The 7× and 14× factor magnification options are on one side of the attachment—you switch from 14× to 7× by removing the adapter—the 21× lens on the other. You get two diffuser heads to help soften the light, too.

Light-diffusing hoods included

The 3-in-1 macro lens is available from Olloclip for $70. This one doesn't come in spangly colours, just black. But it does look rather smart.

(Headsup to Engadget)