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Blog

Beware of color correcting binoculars!

Erin Lodi

Have you noticed turquoise skies or funky tints to your images when shooting with Snapzoom?

The problem could be a pair of color correcting binoculars. While useful in other scenarios, these can lead to distracting color tones when used for digiscoping.

See our list of recommended optics to pair with Snapzoom here: http://snapzooms.com/compatible-optics-accessories/

Concert photography with Snapzoom

Erin Lodi

We love when we still find ourselves impressed with the power of Snapzoom! Our favorite new way to get close is at an outdoor concert, as we discovered at a recent live performance by the band Other Lives, part of a free outdoor music series in Seattle sponsored by KEXP.

Even when sitting quite close to front and center, the 29mm equivalent wide angle lens of our iPhone 6 Plus can only get us so close to the action, as seen above.

Snapzoom let us quickly add on our Bushnell binoculars and zoom in tight to the stage, below, without every leaving our prime position in the grass at the Seattle Center, and without having to lose image quality by resorting to digital zoom.

Music lovers: See what you can do with Snapzoom at a show and tag us with #Snapzoom to share your best shots on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Bonus: Check out a video from the show we shot using Snapzoom on our Instagram.

Music lovers: See what you can do with Snapzoom at a show and tag us with #Snapzoom to share your best shots on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Zooming in at the zoo

Erin Lodi

The zoo is a perfect place to practice your Snapzoom photography!

We captured these amimal shots at the Honolulu Zoo. Try timing your visit in the cool of the morning or late afternoon as the animals will be more active and the light is better.

This black crowned crane was spectacular. 

This black crowned crane was spectacular. 

We rather liked the black vignetting around this sleeping tiger, but you can zoom in slightly on when using Snapzoom to avoid it, like in the other photos here.

We rather liked the black vignetting around this sleeping tiger, but you can zoom in slightly on when using Snapzoom to avoid it, like in the other photos here.

The Iwa bird.

The Iwa bird.

Show us what you're doing with Snapzoom by tagging us with #Snapzoom to share your best shots on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Macro photography with Snapzoom

Erin Lodi

Rainier cherry captured with Snapzoom, a 10X plastic loupe and the iPhone 6 plus.

Rainier cherry captured with Snapzoom, a 10X plastic loupe and the iPhone 6 plus.

We love sharing how versatile Snapzoom is!

It's ideal for attaching a scope or binoculars as a telephoto attachment to your smartphone, letting you zoom in close for great nature photography and exciting surfing videos.

But you can also attach a loupe to capture amazing macro photography shots right from your smartphone! We used a very inexpensive 10X plastic loupe, Snapzoom and the iPhone 6 plus to take these images of some tasty Rainier cherries in Seattle recently.

Here's where we started ...

Here's where we started ...

We attached a 10x plastic loupe to our Snapzoom ...

We attached a 10x plastic loupe to our Snapzoom ...

And ended up with some fun macro shots of one of our favorite summer snacks!

And ended up with some fun macro shots of one of our favorite summer snacks!

June contest: Win a Snapzoom or new binoculars!

Erin Lodi

Enter our June giveaway by sharing your favorite Snapzoom photos of summer fun! Just tag your photo #Snapzoomcontest to win a pair of Bushnell binoculars or a Snapzoom Universal Digiscoping Adapter.

Every photo you post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #Snapzoomcontest is worth two entries.

Increase your chances by also liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram and Twitter, each worth an entry into our contest.

The contest ends June 30, 2015.

We’ll choose two winners at random at the end of the contest and notify the winners via social media.

Snapzoom and the Apple Watch

Erin Lodi

We are amazed with how well Snapzoom works with the new Apple Watch!

Using the Apple Watch Camera Remote app, you can take photos from up to 30 feet away and review them instantly right on your wrist. The burst mode even allows for 11 shots to be snapped at once.

We've created a simple video to show how anyone can attach most any optic to most any smartphone using Snapzoom, and then capture images remotely using the Apple Watch.

But don't just take our word for it, watch the Apple Watch and Snapzoom in action:

Using a tripod with Snapzoom

Erin Lodi

A tripod adds stability to your photography, no matter which camera you’re using. Digiscoping allows for extreme magnification and closer access to your subjects, but also magnifies any vibration impact.

A simple velcro strap can help secure your Snapzoom set up to a tripod. We like this one from Bushnell. 

We recommend using a tripod with Snapzoom to improve your image quality and sharpness. If you’ve never mounted binoculars to a tripod, this video demonstrates how using a special mount, while this video demonstrates how to DIY it.

Amongst the benefits of phonescoping with Snapzoom is the convenience of shooting on the go, with the camera that’s always with you. You don’t need a full-sized tripod to support Snapzoom and a good pair of binoculars, either: micro tripods like the Gorillapod might be just the ticket if you need to keep your kit especially light on a hike.

To get the most out of your tripod, no matter its size, keep it lower to the ground and wide set for more stability.

Shrink your travel camera kit with Snapzoom

Erin Lodi

We encourage you to try traveling light this season by ditching your heavy DSLR and zoom lenses in favor of the ultimate in on-the-go photography with big reach: Your smartphone, Snapzoom and binoculars.

We recently put Snapzoom to the travel test by shooting our Paris vacation with just Snapzoom, an iPhone 6 plus and a pair of Bushnell binoculars.

Our results show just how powerful this simple, lightweight set up can be: we were able to get closer than even a standard telephoto lens could to major tourist attractions like the Arc de Triomphe and the Sacré-Coeur.

We also brought along a 10X plastic loupe for some fun macro photography shots of one of our favorite Parisian treats: macarons!

The proof is in the pictures: because Snapzoom harnesses optical zoom, not digital (which results in lower picture quality and grainier images), our Paris snapshots show high-quality telephoto and macro images from our trip.

Snapzoom is available for $75 through Amazon. Unlike other smartphone accessories that may require constant upgrades, Snapzoom is built to fit a wide range of optics and devices. Snapzoom is compatible with any smartphone up to 3.67in. (93mm) wide, and nearly 1in. (23mm) thick — with or without a case. It works with all your favorite apps that use the rear camera.

Meet one of our favorite apps: Manual

Erin Lodi

We've been enjoying the simple but complete control allowed with the Manual camera app for iPhone. It's a good fit when using Snapzoom as it allows for independent control of your iPhone's shutter, ISO, focus, white balance and exposure compensation.

A little intro video from the app maker:

Let us know if Manual by Little Pixeles helps you get the most out of your Snapzoom experience, and if you're finding other apps that work too.

Snapzoom gives you powerful optical zoom

Erin Lodi

In these images of Seattle's Space Needle we captured today using Snapzoom, an iPhone 6 Plus and Bushnell binoculars, you can see how optical zoom (upper left and right) offers far better picture quality over digital zoom (bottom right).

Smartphones can produce amazing wide angle images, but they struggle with long distance subjects. Their tiny fixed lenses can only zoom digitally, and the images end up lacking clarity and detail.

Snapzoom gives you the ability to use binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes and microscopes as accessory lenses. These devices use high quality glass lenses to increase the power of the smartphone's camera, and produce rich, tack-sharp macro and telephoto images.

The top two images were captured using Snapzoom, an iPhone 6 Plus and Bushnell binoculars. In the upper left, you can see how the image first appears with just the binocular attached to the iPhone using Snapzoom. By slightly zooming in with digital zoom, in the upper right image you can see what Snapzoom can do for your smartphone photographay: The image retains clarity and detail.

For perspective, the bottom left image shows the image using just the wide angle lens of the iPhone. At bottom right, the digital zoom of the iPhone can't get nearly as close to the subject, and picture quality is compromised.

Snap and zoom into nature

Erin Lodi

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This is about as close as we'd want to get to an alligator! Our Snapzoom, a Swarovski Optik 65 STX spotting scope and an iPhone 6 Plus let us get up close and personal with some alligators in Florida recently, from a safe distance.

Show us what you’re using Snapzoom to get closer to (or the subjects you’d like to get close to with Snapzoom if you had one) by tagging your photo with #Snapzoomcloseupcontest. At the end of the month, we’ll award one contestant with a free Snapzoom.

Taking better birding photos through … dance?

Erin Lodi

We were excited to meet with some of the world’s top digiscopers at the World Digiscoper Meeting in Florida recently, and also had a chance to show off what Snapzoom can do. We captured these images during our trip using Snapzoom, a Swarovski Optik 65 STX spotting scope and an iPhone 6 plus.

Being around such amazing photographers was inspiring, and we picked up a few tips we thought we’d pass on too.

Tara Tanaka, named the Swarovski Digiscoper of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, was wonderful to watch in action. She noted that it takes a lot of practice and knowledge of birds and their environment to capture video like this, but we also found it fascinating to observe her stance behind the camera. She stands low, with her knees bent, and remains very fluid, almost dancing behind the camera. She told us it’s important fall into a rhythm with her subjects.

We’re not sure our dance moves could keep up, but we loved seeing this strategy executed so flawlessly. What moves make you a better digiscoper?

First Snapzoom leaves the nest!

Doc ROCK

We are super stoked to be sending out one of our very own prototypes to our highest level backer! Mac did such a super job on the carved base, that I wanted to show it off before it got put it in the mail. 

Thank you, 

Daniel and Mac

 

Just a quick update

Doc ROCK

Hope you're all well, we’ve been busy working on all the last minute refinements for the stretch goal accessories before the order is placed. Here’s a picture of a prototype tripod adapter, we had to adapt our jaw to accommodate the insert for the larger ¼-20 screw.

I’m on the Big Island for the weekend with my family and if you’ve never been here you need to visit. We’re staying up in Volcano, near the Kilauea crater, and the weather has been a little wet, but I was able to get a shot of an ‘Apapane, a native finch, with an iPhone 5, Snapzoom and Canon 18x50IS.

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