Smartphones can pack substantial optical power, at least for their slight forms, so it's no wonder they're a favored way of capturing life's images. While many photography-enhancing iPhone accessories already exist, the latest is designed to offer a pro-level experience. The Helium Core case allows users to customize iPhones with industry standard 1/4-inch-20 mountable accessories and 37 mm threaded lenses.

The Helium Core is designed to convert the iPhone 6s/Plus or 6/Plus into inclusive camera systems without compromising smartphone functionality. The chassis is constructed out of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, offering drop protection, ergonomic grip, and access to the display, ports, jacks, and buttons. Curved cutouts in the aluminum help keep the weight down (though bulk is another matter, as you can see below) while adding a bit of visual aesthetic.

What gives the Helium Core so much potential is the array of quarter-inch mounting threads on all sides of the case. Users can expand shooting creativity by connecting iPhones to tripods, jibs, rigs, handles, shoulder mounts, micro dollies and more. Since there are a total of 16 mounting points for the Helium Core – or 17 for the Core+ – smartphones can be further augmented with flashes, lights, microphones, or straps without need of additional adapters.

The back of the Helium Core has an integrated lens mount, centered right above the iPhone's camera. Users can enhance camera capabilities by attaching and swapping any 37 mm threaded lens (or other lenses with adapters) and compatible filters. This opens up photo shooting and video recording possibilities, given the choice of a macro, wide-angle, prime, and zoom lenses available.

The team behind the Helium Core is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, having raised 55 percent of their requested US$30,000 in three days, with another 27 left to go. Pledges for one Helium Core case start at $108, with additional tiers offering bundled accessories.

The compay says the final product design has been tested and locked-in. So if tooling and production go according to schedule, backers can expect shipments to start as soon as this August.

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