Gadget watch: Camping, cycling, cars and cameras

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FULLSCREEN

May 30 2014

Shoulderpod

Take a smartphone stand that clamps onto your iPhone like a pair of jaws. Now add a tripod hole and a wrist strap. Now you've got the Shoulderpod, a device that has nothing to do with your shoulders. It can be used as a stand or as a grip, giving one-handed access to any app by placing your thumb over the on-screen shutter. It also works with a range of optional accessories. $35

BlastMatch Firestarter

This is a firestarter, a camping firestarter. It’s the self-igniting, cooking instigator. A tungsten-carbide striker, a campfire detonator. Rotating wear-avoiding, one-handed operating, works when saturated, makes matches antiquated. $19

Duo valve speaker

Using a valve amp and high-end speaker to amplify your iPhone’s Bluetooth stream might be a little like shaving canned mushrooms onto your homemade “truffle” ravioli, but who cares when “just” $640 can bring you a beautiful wooden box with two glowing valves at its core? The Class A amp can also be hooked up with cables, connected to an external subwoofer and even has an on-board 24-bit DAC. $649

Just Mobile AluCable Flat

The name really says it all. This ribbonlike Lightning cable rolls up into a tidy reel and lays flat when charging. It also has tough, color-coded plugs, and costs the same as Apple’s own white plastic cable. Available in gray, gold or … blue? $20

Kenu Airframe

The new white Airframe from Kenu turns the slats of your car’s ventilation system into a smartphone holder. The expanding jaws clamp your iPhone (or Android phone) in place, and the little prongs on the other side jam between the louvres of any car vent and hold fast. It’s the perfect way to add yet another dangerous distraction to your dashboard. $25

Lezyne iPhone wallet

This neat package gathers your in-ride essentials together into one jersey-pocket-friendly place, and as it comes from Lezyne you know it can be relied on. The seam-welded zip-up wallet has a plastic window so you can use your iPhone while it’s inside, and slots for cash and cards (although no change pocket). Available in gray or black. Weighs 120 grams (4.2 ounces). $20

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Lomo Instant Camera

At last, a Lomo that’s as convenient as digital – the Lomo Instant has a built-in printer so it can pop out photos on the spot. The plastic-bodied camera can make multiple exposures on one frame, has a bulb setting for long exposures, a flash and interchangeable lenses. I can’t tell you how much I want one of these. From $79

Meriwether tent

I love my two-man Hubba Hubba tent from MSR, but if I was in the market for a huge tent that could fit a) me and a bunch of other campers or b) me, in a real bed, as if I were camped in 1920 Egypt to investigate an Agatha Christie-style crime, I’d take the teepee-shaped Meriwether. At 16 feet wide and 9.5 feet high, who cares if it weighs in at 65 pounds (almost 30kg)? That's what servants are for.$1,250

Olloclip for iPad

It’s here! The iPad-friendly Olloclip adds four great lenses to your iPad Air or Mini retina (they’re both equally thin, you know). The new Olloclip slips onto the corner of your iPad to cover the lens with any of four accessory lenses, all on the same mount. You get a fisheye and a wide-angle lens, and if you unscrew them you have 10x and 15x macros. The epoch of looking dorky while you take iPad photos is finally over. $70

Film or digital? Campfire or BBQ? Car or bike? Cable or wireless?

No matter which way you swing, this week’s gadgets have you covered. iPhoneographers can enjoy the Shoulderpod hand grip or slip the new iPad Olloclip onto their Mini or Air, and film nuts can get instant satisfaction with the new Lomo Instant Camera.

Camping? Take it easy in the giant Meriwether tent or go survivalist with the Blastmatch fire-starter. You can even choose how to arrive at the site, with accessories for your car or your bike. Happy traveling!

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Why iPhoneography accessories are sort of a waste of time

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Quick-connect iPhone lenses are certainly less bulky than typical camera gear, but there's a price to be paid for convenience. Photos: Charlie Sorrell/Cult of Mac
Quick-connect iPhone lenses are certainly less bulky than typical camera gear, but there's a price to be paid for convenience. Photos: Charlie Sorrell/Cult of Mac

One December years ago, in London’s Piccadilly Circus, a Santa Claus sat in a pavement cafe eating lunch with an elf. Santa had a pint of beer in from of him. I raised my old film SLR, which was prefocused and had the exposure already dialed in, and took a couple of shots.

I hoped they’d turn out well.

“Who are those pictures for?” said a guy, shouting as he jogged toward me. He’d come from somewhere nearby because it was too cold for just a shirt on a December afternoon in London, and he wasn’t wearing a jacket. I ignored him — there are a lot of nutters in Piccadilly any time of the year.

“Are you taking pictures of me?” he said.

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The Best Products At Macworld/iWorld 2014

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(image credit: IDG)

Macworld 2014SAN FRANCISCO — Moscone North has been packed with exhibitors for the last three days as they peddle their latest wares to the Apple faithful. We combed through all the booths, and while there were a ton of underwhelming products, Macworld 2014 did feature some really cool stuff and a couple surprises.

After some fierce debate among the Cult of Mac editors, we’ve settled on seven things that are truly deserving of a “Best of Macworld 2014″ title. So without further adieu, here they are:

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This Week in Cult of Mac Magazine: No Fail iPhone Photography

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Cover Design: Rob LeFebvre
Cover Design: Rob LeFebvre

This week in Cult of Mac Magazine – No Fail iPhone Photography, the best tips, tricks, and practical advice on using that amazing camera you carry around in your pocket.

We’re celebrating Apple’s astonishingly great iPhone camera with a whole issue dedicated to all things iPhoneography. Cult of Mac’s own photography guru, Charlie Sorrel, weighs in with some choice technical advice on photography that applies across all cameras, iPhone or not, while Buster Heine gives you the lowdown on all the greatest peripherals you’ll want to gear up with before the big shoot.

Olloclip’s Michele Baker drops some wisdom on how to best capture “silver” with your iPhone, in honor of the winners of this week’s Photography contest, and our very own Nicole Martinelli interviews one of the best street iPhonographers around.

We’ll take some time out to showcase the top ten entries in our #CoMSilver photo contest, with the top three winners and some fantastic runner ups.

Of course, we’ll start off with the usual Best Apps, Books, Movies and Music from the past week and then end with our famous “Ask A Genius” column, so be sure to subscribe and download the issue.

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Olloclip Macro Lens Is Ready For Its Close-Up [Review]

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ollomacrokit

3-In-1 Macro Lens by Olloclip
Category: iPhoneography
Works With: iPhone 5/S, iPod Touch 5g
Price: $70

Olloclip’s 3-In–1 Macro lens is extremely limited, but that’s by design: It’s a set of close-up lenses for the iPhone 5/S and fifth-gen iPod Touch (using the included adapter) which let you magnify the tiny world around us and put these wonders where God intended: on Instagram.

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Olloclip Agonized Over Bringing Out An iPad Lens, But Here It Is [CES 2014]

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Yes, that's an Olloclip lens on an iPad Air. Photo: Eli Milchman

CES 2014 bug

LAS VEGAS — For years now, Olloclip has been making stellar lenses that slip over the iPhone’s camera lens and enhance iPhoneography with the ability to take fisheye, telephoto and macro photos. But there has apparently been a struggle within Olloclip about whether or not to offer an iPad lens. Now the struggle is over, and iPad-loving photographers have won: The first Olloclip lens for iPad will be available soon.

Chong Pak, the company’s design director, told us there were only a few hurdles to clear before Olloclip went iPad — but those hurdles were tall.

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Olloclip In Limited Edition Gold And Space Gray Colorways

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thanksgiving_body_image

I love my Olloclip, but I wince every time I use it and see its anodized red body next to my white iPhone. Kidding. Who cares if it matches? After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts and beauty is only skiZzzzzzz.

Kidding again. Somebody at Olloclip cares, which is why you can now snap up a limited edition gold or space gray Olloclip, along with a neat Cyber Monday cyber discount of 10%.

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