The SNAP! Pro is the newest iPhone photography case from Chinese company bitplay Inc. Their previous cases include the SNAP! 6 and SNAP! 5, and there are numerous concept projects to view on their website. I took the Pro case on a trip with me to Napa and Sonoma, California.
The Pro case was successfully funded on Kickstarter on September 29th of this year with shipments for early supporters being sent out on Halloween. Physical specs and email sign-up for the release date can be found here. The case is tripod-compatible, comes in both black and white, and works in conjunction with the free app by bitplay available on the App Store. Product photos indicate that the SNAP! Pro additional lens options will include an Fx Fisheye, 3x Telephoto, and Ultra Wide Angle.
WHAT YOU GET
The Pro set (Extra Grip, Black) includes:
- 1 Case
- 1 Slim Grip
- 1 Ergonomic Grip
- 1 Walnut Wood Grip
- 1 Thumb Rest
- 1 Screw Driver
- 6 Screws
- 1 User Manual
- 1 Wide Angle and Macro Lens
- 1 Lens Bag
- 1 Leather Strap
- 1 Wrist Strap
What this really breaks down to is one case, only one lens and lens cap (the other lenses must be purchased separately), two straps, a thumb rest that (no screws necessary) slides into the case, and some different grips. The product is made and designed in Taiwan.
The case itself is great. It snaps on easily and seems to provide a significant amount of protection. The case itself does some bulk, but doesn’t impede use of the phone and actually makes it fit more ergonomically in hand. The texture is nice and the brushed texture inset on the upper half looks luxurious. There is a button on the case where a camera capture button would normally go that triggers the volume down button.
The lens screws easily on to the case and could be done reasonably quickly and on the go. The connection between case and lens is solid and I wasn’t worried at all about the lens falling off. The lens itself does add significant bulk to the phone, meaning I couldn’t slip it into a back-pocket easily. The lens cap is simply a silicon cover for the lens and doesn’t attach to the case/lens. This makes it easy to lose. Being such a small item, I typically left it in my pocket leaving the lens susceptible to smudges or scratches.
The leather strap has a slider to adjust the size for smaller wrists, but the simple strap does not. Tying a knot in the strap allowed me to utilize it even with small wrists, but the circumference is huge without doing so. The thumb rest slips easily into a slot on the case and makes it much easier to take pictures. The rest isn’t secured so despite the snug fit, there is a possibility of this falling off. The slim grip that comes on the case was enough for me. It has a nice velvety-feel and I did not switch it out for the other bulkier grips.
Without using the two additional grips and leather strap, I found myself only using about 60% of what came in the package.
BEAUTIFUL, BIG PICTURES
The pictures taken with the included Wide Angle and Macro lens are stunning. The wide lens meant I didn’t have to worry about getting everything in the picture (as I often do when taking pictures on my iPhone). It also made taking group pictures or group selfies much easier- no one was cut out of any pictures. The thumb rest and convenient capture button made it incredibly simple to capture photos. I could take photos quickly, all the horizon lines were straight, and pictures weren’t shaky. I didn’t have to explain how to take a picture on my phone when we asked other people for a group photo. The wide lens really came in handy when we wanted to include some tall red wood trees.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY
- Beautiful pictures
- Easy to take pictures
- Protective, attractive phone case
- Bulky case (when lens is on)
- Lens cap easy to lose
- Unused accessories instead of additional lenses
The lenses being a separate individual accessory for purchase does mean that the base package is cheaper and allows the buyer to only pick the lenses they want. I was happy with the lens that was included, but others may be frustrated by the lack of options. This package is marketed as a professional camera case. It doesn’t compete with a separate professional camera, but it does create exceptional photos in comparison to the often mediocre ones captured by iPhones at a low cost and using an already handy device.
RECOMMENDED FOR: iPhone owners who regularly take photos, but aren’t going to carry a camera.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alexis Mitsuhashi (@lexmits) likes to draw with tiny pens.