Smartphone flash too harsh? The iBlazr 2 lets you adjust color temperature

While nearly all smartphones these days have built-in flashes, it’s often not as effective at lighting what you’re shooting, particularly dark scenes. Which is why you should try using a constant light, like the new iBlazr 2, which easily attaches onto your smartphone and tablet to give you additional, more natural illumination.

Now in its second generation, the iblazr 2 follows the same design and concept as its predecessor, but it’s now wireless and comes with new features. It launched as a Kickstarter campaign recently, and the product has already exceeded its funding goal, but there are still early-bird specials ($45) available (as of this writing), as well as other pledge amounts.

The iBlazr 2 is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It connects to and synchronizes with a device via low-energy Bluetooth, and runs off its own battery (300 flashes on one charge, or three hours of continuous lighting). (The previous iBlazr attached via a smart device’s headphone jack, although it could also be used independently.) You can use the compact four-LED-based flash with any native camera app, and simply tapping twice on it activates the flash and triggers the shutter simultaneously. For constant lighting, users can adjust the color temperature to create cold or warm lighting scenes, thanks to a new touch sensor. There’s even red-eye removal. Because it’s no longer tethered to a smart device, you can use the flash remotely.

If you want greater control, iBlazr 2 has a new companion app that lets you adjust white balance, ISO, focus, and exposure compensation, called Shotlight. These manual functions, common in digital cameras, aren’t new to smartphones, but Shotlight supports video recording, and users can adjust settings in real-time. The app also automatically syncs with the flash when you open it, and you can fine-tune the flash’s settings, naturally.

Examples of photos taken with and without a flash show the iBlazr 2 producing photos with more detail and more realistic skin tones. The flash gives off 300 Lux on 1m when in flash mode, and 150 Lux in constant light mode

Before_after_iblazr

One iBlazr 2 will illuminate something from one direction, but if you need more intensity or you want a more even lighting around an object or subject, Shotlight can control up to 10 flashes at once. Shotlight also supports the first-generation iBlazr. The apps for iOS and Android will launch in June and August, respectively, well before the iBlazr 2’s scheduled shipping date; you can download and try it out.

Because the iBlazr 2 works independently, photographers can also use it as a constant light source with any camera with a hot shoe. The iBlazr 2 comes with a Cold Shoe Mount (cold means there’s no electrical connection between the flash and the camera; you’ll need to control the flash via the Shotlight app on a smartphone or tablet), so you can attach it to a DSLR, mirrorless, or premium point-and-shoot camera. The iBlazr 2 is useful especially if you’re filming a video with a high-end camera. In addition, the flash comes with a silicon diffuser for a soft-light effect.

Besides the Cold Shoe Mount and diffuser, the iBlazr 2 comes with a mount that clips onto a smartphone or tablet (0.24-0.37-inches wide), a USB-to-Micro USB cable for charging, and a key clasp to hook onto a keychain or belt loop. The flash itself is available in black, gray, and white. The Kickstarter campaign ends on July 17.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Packed with features, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired makes home security a breeze

With an integrated spotlight, crystal-clear video, and color night vision, this device makes home security a cinch. Here's why we like the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired as a great choice for outdoor home security.
Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.
Mobile

Love Playmoji pack adds animated Valentine’s stickers to your Pixel photos

Valentine's Day is here, and to celebrate, Google has added the "Love Playmoji" pack to the Playground feature on its Google Pixel camera. The new feature will add cute AR-driven extras to your Pixel photos.
Photography

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.
Photography

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Photography

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.
Computing

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.
Photography

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.
Photography

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.
Photography

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.
Photography

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.
Photography

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.