We've seen smartphones cameras quickly improve in all kinds of ways in recent years, from their capacity to take wide angle shots to the optical zoom levels they offer, but the camera flash hasn't seen the same sort of significant upgrades. A new add-on called the LIT Flash could change that.
The device, currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, provides a powerful Xenon flash more akin to what you would get with a proper DSLR than with a smartphone in your pocket – that in turn means more versatility when it comes to taking photos.
You can use the LIT Flash to illuminate scenes from any angle, with a strong 40 W power output and enough battery life for 200 full-power flashes between charges. You might want to light up objects from above, for example, or add dramatic shadow effects to much bigger scenes (like the front of a house).
Because everything works via Bluetooth, the LIT Flash promises compatibility with most modern smartphones launched in the last couple of years, and the accompanying app lets you sync up the flash with the camera shutter button on your phone. Shutter speeds as fast as 1/10,000th of a second are supported.
What's more, you can use the flash to trigger your phone camera if you need to, and set up as many as four flashes for each shot. Again, that gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to framing a scene and getting the lighting just right.
While it might not interest the casual point-and-shoot smartphone photographer, for those looking to do a bit more with their mobile photography, it definitely has appeal – with smartphone makers unable or unwilling to upgrade the on-board flash to any large degree, the LIT Flash could bridge the gap.
Having said that, the LIT Flash team is keen to emphasize that the device is easy enough for anyone to use – even those with no professional photography experience can quickly learn the ropes just by playing around with it. "We will empower people with no previous flash photography experience just as much as more proficient photographers," Head of Product Marko Pirc says.
The flash has a 0.25 inch tripod thread and a bayonet accessories mount, as well as a USB-C charging port, so you can use it with a wide range of other accessories too.
As with any Kickstarter, it's worth bearing in mind that there's no guarantee the product will make it to market, even if it's fully funded. Some of the team behind it have previously manufactured light meters for smartphones however, so they do have a track record.
If you want to help support the development of the LIT Flash, pledges on Kickstarter start at US$179. If all goes to plan, shipping is slated for January 2020, with a full retail price of $329 once the flash goes on general sale.
You can check out the LIT Flash promo video below.
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