New Belkin devices add camera-like functionality to iPhones
By Ben Coxworth
March 19, 2012
Although it’s been suggested that point-and-shoot digital cameras could be made obsolete by smartphones, there’s at least one thing that’s still better about stand-alone cameras – they have an ergonomic grip (or at least, some of them do), and a good ol’ fuss-free shutter release button. Belkin’s LiveAction Camera Grip device, however, is designed to add these features to the iPhone. The company has also released the LiveAction Camera Remote, which brings the same push-button functionality to a remote-control device.
The Camera Grip slides onto the end of the iPhone, connecting to the phone’s charging slot – it can even be installed over top of an existing outer case. Users are then able to get a more camera-like hold on their phone while snapping pictures, plus they can take those shots by pressing a button, located right where the shutter release would be on a camera. Not only should this appeal to retro grouches, but it reportedly also results in less blurring in low-light shots, as the phone itself doesn’t have to be tapped (and thus jarred) right as the shutter is being released.
The device also has a video record button, located beside the shutter release. Additionally, it can be mounted on a tripod via a threaded hole in the bottom.
For people who want to get into their own shots, or who want to take long exposures where touching anything attached to the phone would cause blurring, Belkin has also recently released the LiveAction Camera Remote – it’s kind of like the Camera Grip, but divided into two parts.
The receiver attaches to the user’s iPhone, and includes an adjustable rear-pointing arm for propping the unmanned phone at just the right angle. The handheld remote has the same photo and video buttons as the Camera Grip, and communicates with the receiver via Bluetooth from a distance of up to 30 feet (9 meters).
The LiveAction Camera Grip and LiveAction Camera Remote both work with Belkin’s free LiveAction app, and are available through the company website for US$49.99 each (although Photojojo is selling them for $10 less – the Grip should be available there by next month).