Olloclip started a photographic revolution when it came out with interchangeable lenses that clipped onto an iPhone. The company is still at the forefront of clip-on lens kits for iPhones and its latest product -- Olloclip Studio (US$89.99) -- is designed to take iPhone photography one step further by providing photographers with a way to use tripods and other accessories alongside their Olloclip lenses. Olloclip Studio is available for pre-order for iPhone 6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus, shipping in February.
Olloclip Studio consists of the new Studio Case and six other pieces. First, there is a two-finger grip that attaches to the case, giving photographers a more stable way to hold onto the iPhone and accessories. Next, there are two 1/4-20 clips for mounting the Studio Case onto a tripod, grip or handle either in landscape or portrait orientation. There are also two cold shoe adapters for mounting external LED lights or microphones in seconds. Finally, the Studio includes the Kickstand, a way to prop up the iPhone and case for hands-free reading or video viewing.
You notice that I didn't mention anything about lenses. That's because the Studio is meant to work with Olloclip's 4-in-1, Active, or new Macro Pro Lens Kits (not included). Any of those lens kits works with the protective Studio Case and the other accessories.
Compared to the Ollocase, the Studio Case seems to be quite a bit more sturdy and able to withstand the occasional drop. The Studio Case has a mounting area for the lenses, passthrough switches for the power and volume toggles on the iPhone 6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus, and openings for the mute switch, speaker, headphone and Lightning connector.
The back of the black Studio Case is dominated by what looks like — but isn’t — a flip-out kickstand of some sort. Instead, that’s center of a “track” that all of the accessories are clipped onto. One part of the track is slightly wider than the rest, and that’s where you place accessories to install or remove them. Once the accessories are slid into the skinnier part of the track, they’re held into place by the track and by the outside of the case.
The Studio Case is rather underwhelming in terms of looks, but does a pretty good job of protecting the iPhone. However, it’s a good thing that the Studio kit includes the two-finger grip, because the case isn’t very “grippy” and would otherwise be easy to drop.
The case is fairly easy to install, but like many stiff cases like this, it can be a bear to remove. Fortunately for many Olloclip lens kit owners, you probably won’t want to remove the Studio Case after installation.
The two-finger grip works very well. As you’d assume, it gets its name from the fact that you put two fingers of one hand through the “loop” of the grip. I found that it was quite simple to do one-handed iPhone photography with the grip installed by using my thumb to press the shutter button.
The two 1/4-20 tripod mounts are set up slightly differently so that one works for taking pictures in landscape orientation and the other for portrait mode shots. In portrait orientation, the tripod mount ends up on the lower right side of the iPhone as seen from the front, while the landscape mount can be moved just about anywhere you wish on either side of the iPhone.
Videographers are going to love the cold shoe mounts. Slide one or two onto your Studio Case, and you’ll be able to add accessories like microphones and LED lights with ease. The Kickstand works pretty well as long as you don’t have some of the other accessories attached.
The Studio also includes a wrist strap for your device. You look the “string” end of it through a pair of holes on one side of the case, loop the “strap” end through that, then pull tight. It makes it quite easy to just dangle the phone, lenses, and clip-on accessories from one wrist.
If I have one complaint, it’s that with all of the little parts that are part of this kit, Olloclip really should have considered throwing in a little carrying bag of some sort. What I ended up doing was threading the accessories I’m not using onto the strap of one of the Olloclip lens kits. Those lens kits, of course, work just fine with the Olloclip Studio.
For anyone who owns the current Olloclip lens kits, the Olloclip Studio is a nice set of accessories that can help an iPhone photographer or videographer go the extra step toward capturing better images. Whether it’s using the two-finger grip for better handheld work, mounting the iPhone on a tripod for more stability, or adding self-powered LED lights or mics, the Studio is a relatively inexpensive add-on that protects your iPhone while providing a rail-based clip-on system for accessories.