In the last few years, Olloclip has become the GoPro of clip-on lenses for your phone. You can find the company's products in so many places — even in Apple stores — that it's hard to remember that Olloclip got its start on Kickstarter. Now, four years later, Olloclip is going back to Kickstarter to launch a whole new product. It's called Olloclip Studio, and it's a modular iPhone case system meant to enhance your mobile photography experience.
The Studio system starts with a more ruggedized version of the "Ollocase," the company's case for iPhones 6 and 6 Plus that allows you to quickly attach lenses. But on the back of the new case you'll find a rather ingenious rail system. The carefully molded plastic lets you quickly attach and position all the things that come with the Studio's accessory kit, and it does that without adding any bulk to the case.
Olloclip Studio looks like a great option under $100 for mobile photos and videos
Included in the accessory kit is a "finger grip," two different tripod mounts (for portrait or landscape), two "cold-shoe" adapters for attaching a shotgun microphone or a light, and a kickstand. The finger grip is the most interesting feature, and it works whether you're holding your phone in portrait or landscape. It consists of two curved strips of plastic that arch out from the back of the case, and it snaps right onto the rail on the Studio case. If you're holding your phone in landscape mode, you can slide your fingers underneath the plastic. If you're holding it upright, there's a groove created by the plastic that you can rest your index finger in.
It looks a little goofy, but I tried the same 3D-printed model featured in Olloclip's new Kickstarter when I met with them in New York City last week. Not only is the finger grip surprisingly comfortable, but it eliminates the inherent worry that usually comes with grabbing a slippery iPhone at its edges. The Studio's finger grip affords you more security at arm's length than just about anything, save for a selfie stick.
On Olloclip's Kickstarter, which went live this morning, you can get the Studio case with just a kickstand for a pledge of $35. A pledge of $60 will get you the case and the whole accessory kit. Commit to pledge levels higher than that, and Olloclip will throw in some of its various lens clips.
The rise of the selfie is real, and selfie sticks have grown so popular that they're being banned at places like Disney World. As that popularity escalates, more and more people — independent journalists, kids, dads — are using their phones to capture unique content. The Olloclip Studio is an attempt at creating an all-in-one solution for these kinds of people, all for well under $100. Is there enough demand for such a particular idea? We'll find out when the crowdfunding campaign ends next month.