XShot iPhone 4 Case Review With A Hike And Lamborghinis

Almost two years ago, I brought you a review of a great little device called XShot that lets you put your camera out past arm’s length for better photos. Not wanting to leave out iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users, XShot sent me a case that is compatible with these latest iPhones and lets you mount your phone to not only the XShot, but also to an included mini tripod. Check it out.

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In The Box

Inside the box is a hard iPhone 4/4S case that snaps onto your phone in two pieces. Your phone slides into the bottom piece and the top piece then slides onto your phone and snaps in place with the bottom. The case has all the expected gaps and holes in it that allow for the continued use of your phone’s buttons and connectors and, of course, a hole for the camera lens. In addition, there are two grooves on this case to slide in a special XShot adapter for a tripod mount. These are placed on the bottom and side of the case to allow for mounting both horizontally and vertically.

The box also includes the adapter mentioned above (as well as a spare) and a mini flexible tripod to use it with. The adapter slides into either of the grooves on the iPhone case as mentioned above and has a standard tripod mount screw hole on the bottom to mount to a tripod. To make it easier to get on and off the case, the adapter includes a quick-release. The mini tripod does well to hold the phone up for videos and photos as well as propping your phone up to watch video. The tripod did exhibit one flaw after a few uses that surprised me. Two of the legs became detached. They’re glued in, so this obviously should not happen and may be unique to the one I got.

XShot Usage Examples

I really wanted to get the best use from this case, so I borrowed an XShot from Wes Novack and headed out for a Saturday with XShot. The photo below is an example of getting a picture of yourself with the XShot case on an iPhone 4. In fact, this is a capture from video taken.

Lamborghini and Joe XShot

My Saturday included casual hiking and some time drooling over Ferraris and Lamborghinis at a local car show. While hiking, the XShot case allowed me to get into the video I shot showing all of the scenery. The mini tripod came in handy when I wanted to set the phone on the ground to capture some of the wild life. At the car show, I snapped the phone back onto the XShot to get above the crowd for a bird’s eye view.

Conclusions

This case sells on the XShot site for $34.95, which falls in line with other quality iPhone cases, but the price includes the mini tripod and it would be nice if this was an option rather than included. Barring the easily solvable tripod problem, I felt like I got a lot out of this case in just one day and I’m sure I’ll use it over and over again. Tripod or not, this is a great accessory to your iPhone 4.

Take Better Photos And Video With An XShot

With over 9,000 photos on Flickr alone, I think it’s safe to say that I like to take a lot of pictures. Like just about everyone these days, I have a digital point-and-shoot camera for documenting parties, nights out with friends, road trips, fun in the snow, and the list goes on. I also have a couple video cameras and a DSLR. I’ve heard about the Xshot! camera extender and saw one in action, but didn’t have my own… until now, thanks to a kind gift from an BC Blogger, Heather.

XShot

What Does It Do?

Those who have never seen an XShot usually have one of two reactions when they finally encounter someone using one. One reaction is to ask what it is, but more often than not people just comment on how cool it is. For those wondering what it does, the answer is easy. It extends the reach of your own arm by way of a telescoping pole that has an attachment at one end to connect your camera and a rubber grip at the other end to hold it. The result is a better shot in self-photos, making photos with the length of your arm in them a thing of the past.

How To Use An XShot

It’s too easy, really. Just screw the tripod mount into the adapter (found on the bottom of most cameras) and adjust the tilt to your liking (usually 90 to 110 degrees is good). Next, set the timer on your camera, extend, and smile. Now you know how to use it, but what about all the different ways you can make use of an XShot? There’s the obvious self-photo, but here’s a few more ideas:

– Photos with a friend
– Artsy photos from all angles
– Photos well above the crowd like at a concert
– Photos in hard to reach places (inside a wall, under the couch)
– Self-shot videos
– Unique perspective shots like from outside a moving car

You can see these last two in the following video:

Conclusions

Obviously, I love my Xshot! and Heather rocks for sending it to me. I’ve used it several times already and I’m sure it will get used a ton more at upcoming events. For about $30, it’s cheap enough to make up its purchase price before long and it’s compact enough for travel. It’s a great little accessory for anyone with a camera and if I hadn’t gotten one in the mail, I had already planned to buy one. You should too.

Poke Some Fun At Yourself With The Spoonjuice Fun Booth iPhone App

I got my hands on another iPhone application to help me waste away a long Labor Day weekend. It’s called Fun Booth and it’s from a company called Spoonjuice. The idea is that it’s like a fun photo booth where you can add props to your photo like those funny glasses with a mustache and bushy eye brows.

funbooth

What I liked
Well, there’s the obvious time wasting fun to be had. It’s another thing you can load up when you’re with a bunch of friends and want to take turns laughing at yourselves and each other. It’s pretty amusing by yourself, too, but I think it’s better for group fun. There’s a bunch of different props to choose from and you can resize them as needed to fit the subject’s face. I uploaded a bunch of my Fun Booth photos to my Flickr account here.

Fun BoothI also liked the integration with Twitter and Flickr. Sure, I could save the photo and use another app to upload it, but this just saves me a step. The image to the right is one that I simply uploaded to Flickr right from the Fun Booth app. I sent the same image to Twitter as a test, too. If you’re not interested in either of those, you can also email the image to yourself or someone else or save it as a contact. They covered several bases in regards to the ability to share your creations.

What I didn’t like
Unfortunately, I found some things that I think could use some improvement, as well. While it’s good to have the Twitter, Flickr, email and contacts integration, they forgot one key option, and that is the ability to just save your photo unless you want to create a new one. This means that if I had to search through the hundreds of photos in my album or worse, line up and take the perfect head shot, I have to do that again every time I want to save a photo. Another thing I thought was missing was the ability to select a specific prop. The app has a button to randomize the prop, but not a list to select one, so if you want to get to a specific prop, you have to keep randomizing until it comes up.

Conclusions
I do have a couple gripes that make the app a little less easy to use. I would also like to see the ability to add more than one prop at the same time. Currently, you can accomplish this by saving the photo and using it as your next photo, though. The bottom line is the price. There’s a lot of junk apps in the app store for $0.99 but this isn’t one of them. At the 99 cent price, this is a unique application that is worth its price tag if you get even just an hour of fun out of it, though I hope to see at least a prop selection list in the next update.