PhotoProX Waterproof Case With Interchangeable Lenses [Review]


PhotoProX byOptrix
Category: Cases/photography
Works With: iPhone 5/S
Price: $150

A waterproof case for your iPhone is more fun than you might think – especially one that is designed to fit onto any of a zillion different action mounts. And a waterproof case for your iPhone that also comes with a box of interchangeable lenses is even better.

Last summer I used a Griffin case to take photos in the pool, kayaking at the lake and in many other places I would never usually take a phone, let alone a camera. That case broke (thankfully not when it was submerged), and also took bad pictures thanks to the cheap plastic window over the iPhone lens.

The Optrix PhotoProX has no such problem, thanks to the proper, screw-on lenses. And its no slouch as a case, either. In fact, I’d say that not only is it the best waterproof iPhone case I’ve tested, it’s the best rugged iPhone case I’ve tried, too.

What It Is

Taking the toilet-paper test.

The PhotoProX kit consists of three parts. There’s case itself, which has a hinged lid at one end, flipping up to let you slide in the iPhone and then clamping shut to keep water and dirt out. Then there’s the sled, which is a little shell case that attaches permanently to your iPhone and adds some little click-stop channels to hold the iPhone firm inside the main case.

And finally there’re the lenses, which come in their own case, and screw onto a hole in the back of the PhotoProX. They each have an o-ring to make a good seal, and you get a macro, a telephoto, a fisheye and a plain straight-through lens.

The Good

The sled is better than many $30+ cases I’ve tried.

The case is super easy to use. There’s a lever-operated clamp to close the lid, and as the lid is the very top of the case, opening along a diagonal slash near the end, it has a small and easy-to-seal opening. Compare this to the cases where the whole back comes off, and therefore requires careful seating of a long seal all around the perimeter.

The internal sled is also neat, with cutouts for all the buttons and ports as well as a clever flipper arrangement over the volume buttons which lets the larger PhotoProX case activate the buttons to fire the shutter.

You also get home button and sleep button access via dedicated pass-through switches, and another clip-open hatch at the bottom to access the charger and headphone jack.

In uses, the case is great. I haven’t tested it with any accessories, and while it is a little bulky for a jeans pocket it’s not heavy. I love being able to take pictures anywhere, and I look forward to being able to take underwater shots in the summer (it works fine in the shower though).

Bluetooth beams through just fine, and I also have a feeling that I’ll be able to use the Olloclip polarizer on these lenses. That will have to wait though, as I seem to have misplaced my Olloclip polarizer and telephoto.

The best part though is that you can use proper lenses. They’re not perfect (see below) but they’re a lot better than a plastic sheet, and even when you’re not underwater, a fisheye on a rugged case is useful for so much.

I also love the door. It’s quick and easy to pop the iPhone in and out, unlike the Griffin I have tried. The seal is tight and easy to check, and if you “burp” the case so that excess air is expelled, the flexible screen lays nicely on the iPhone’s screen making touch control possible.

The Bad

I have two small complaints, and one of those is pretty bogus. Let’s start with that one. If you never plan to use this case with mounting accessories, then the little mounting turret on the back is gonna annoy you and get ion your way. It sticks out only about 8–9mm, but that’s enough to ruin any pocket friendliness.

The other is that the lenses cause vignetting, a darkening at the edges. This is most likely becasue they are the same lenses you get in most iPhone lens kits, and are designed to be used closer to the iPhone than they can get when screwed into the case. Still, I like the effect, and it’s almost unnoticeable if you use the straight-through lens. It’s something to be aware of though.

The Verdict

Remember, you need at least one lens on the case at all times. The rest live in here.

Like I said, this is the best rugged/photo case I’ve used. It looks cool, has countless neat design touches, and is dead easy to use correctly. And when your iPhone is at stake, that’s important. As far as I know, the PhotoProX is unique in its use of quality optics in a waterproof iPhone case, and this makes the $150 price tag seem all the better in terms of value.

To sum up: I would actually buy this case if I wanted a waterproof iPhone case. I think it’s pretty great.

optrixProduct Name: : PhotoProXThe Good: The easiest-to-use rugged case I’ve tested, with the addition of proper lenses and even a bonus iPhone shell case.

The Bad: Lens vignetting.

The Verdict Worth the high price. You get a lot for your money.

Buy from: Optrix



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