I dream of a day when my iPhone will be able to replace my DSLR. Yes, that day is probably many, many years off, but until then I’ve got some fun accessories I can play around with for better iPhone pics. One such item is the Ztylus iPhone camera case and accompanying revolver lens attachment ($99.95 for the combo). This case/lens duo puts four real lenses at your phone’s disposal.
4 iPhone lenses in 1
What originally struck me about the Ztylus was the unique lens system and the way they integrated with the iPhone. Rather than clipping on or fitting over the corner of the phone nearest the rear-facing camera as some iPhone lens kits do, the Ztylus takes a different approach. It makes use of an iPhone case (that can work as a standalone when you aren’t taking pictures) that lets a circular lens kit to screw on.
The lens kit is unique to say the least. It rotates and contains three arms, each with a lens on the end, that when extended, fit just over the iPhone’s rear camera. The included lenses are: a circular polarizer, a wide angle, a super macro (underneath the wide angle) and an extreme fisheye. The lenses are multi-coated, high-quality ground glass and can be cleaned using the included cloth. The revolver can be stored in the accompanying bag.
Once you get the hang of it (it actually took me a few attempts as there were no included instructions… just head to the website for a demo video), the lens system is pretty intuitive. The lenses are labeled as initials. For example, FL stands for Fisheye Lens.
Each lens I tried seemed to work pretty well (see sample images shot using the Ztylus system in the photo gallery above). As with most smartphone lens kits, you’re not going to get anywhere near the results you would with professional-grade DSLR equipment. Still, if you’re looking for a way to take more interested iPhone photos, this kit might be a good start.
The case is mostly plastic and features a few moveable parts. To get your phone inside you’ve got to unscrew the bottom, insert your phone and then fit the two pieces back together. As mentioned previously, the case can be used without the lens attachment. When not shooting pictures, there’s a circular plastic piece with a kickstand that screws into place.
Unless you’re really into photos or something, I doubt you’d want to use this case for it’s looks alone. It’s not the most stylish iPhone protector I’ve ever seen, but it would get the job done if you don’t want your phone to get scratched. In any case (get it), the reason to use this case is so you can use the lenses.
The case’s kickstand is pretty decent (but perhaps a bit cheap feeling) and places your phone at a useful viewing angle for watching movies.
The bottom of the case has a snap-shut cover that will keep your ports covered but allow access if you need to recharge.
If you’re looking for a premium case this isn’t your best bet. But if you’re looking for a way to add some flair to your iPhone photography without adding too much bulk to phone (and without having to carry any additional pieces in your pocket), the Ztylus case/lens kit combo might be right up your alley.