On-camera flash is usually a terrible idea (with just two – maybe three – exceptions I can think of). It lights up your subject, sure, but it totally kills the mood that made you want to take a photo in the dark in the first place.
But if you’re a fan of shiny, overexposed faces, red eyes and disappearing backgrounds then why not grab an iblazr, the world’s first all-lower-case iPhone flash. Kidding. It is all lower cae, but that’s not really its tagline. It’s real tagline is “is the first universal LED flash for smartphones and tablets.”
Currently the iblazr is vaporware aka a CGI rendering of a cool product. I’d avoid using it on the iPhone for the above reasons, but there are a few times you might want an on-axis lamp. Scanning is a good example: what if you want to snap a picture of a business card or a menu with your iPad but the light is bad? The iblazr will help, slipping into the iDevice’s hack hole and lighting up the scene before you.
There’s a free app promised, too, which will match the intensity of the lamp to the needs of the current scene you’re photographing. That might help.
And the those times when on-camera flash is OK?
- When you’re using it to trigger an external flash (preferably with the on-camera light turned all the way down.
- Ring flash.
- On-axis fill. This is a Stobist discovery where you use an off-camera flash as your main – or key – lightand use the camera’s own flash dialed down as a fill light to even out any shadows on your subject.
Will the iblazr ever ship? Who knows? Are the renderings purty? Sure! Could you do most of this just by holding a flashlight? Yes. Yes you could.