Bruno Rousseau, founder of PocketDEMO, says that with all the applications readily available for smartphone users, handling a smartphone like the iPhone and a DSLR at the same time still proves to be the main challenge. The solution: Flash Dock. It is an accessory which allows people to attach an iPhone to a DSLR. With the right applications installed, the capacity of the iPhone–DSLR’s combination is limitless.
Flash Docks are retailed at $39.99. It physically connects your iPhone to your DSLR by using the “hotshoe” or cobra flash socket. The result: no more holding two gadgets at the same time. This also reduces the chances of you dropping either one since PocketDEMO guarantees that the Flash Dock holds your phone as firmly as possible.
As with all new innovative products, questions about the Flash Docks usefulness are being questioned. The makers of Flash Dock said that their aim is to make the photographer realize that when they mount it on top of their camera, they generally free up a hand which can be used to give instructions to the subject or to hold the camera steady before snapping away.
Skeptics point out that all the Flash Dock offers is hands-free smartphone proximity. Some claim that they cannot see what they will miss if they do not use smartphones together with their cameras. Other think that linking the two devices via Bluetooth is the best solution because at the end of the shoot, a camera’s case does not have a place for the Flash Dock.
Why combine a smartphone with a DSLR?
Here are some benefits of combining the power of the two:
1. Geotagging – Smartphones are equipped with GPS while DSLRs are not. When docked with a smartphone, photographs and videos captured via the camera merges with the geographical data captured by the phone. The result: you will never have the difficulty in remembering where the shot was taken.
2. Geotagging with Bluetooth – Add on devices like the BlueSLR are plugged into the DSLR GPS connector. This device utilizes the smartphone’s bluetooth connection and sends in real-time location information to the camera, which results in geo-tagged pictures. It works the same way as a GPS receiver, only more cost efficient.
3. Depth of Field Calculator - This application can be installed into your smartphone. It allows the DSLR user to assess the precise camera setting to achieve the desired level of sharpness. These calculators take into account the camera type, selected aperture, lens focal length and focus distance. The calculated results are very accurate.
4. Microphone – Most of the newer DSLR models have audio and video capabilities. To the meticulous user, the sound quality is often not at par with the video quality. Smartphones have better sound quality. Some are even equipped with noise cancellation and remote recording.
5. Vibration Monitoring – A DSLR’s shutter causes vibration when it opens and closes to take the shot. Seismometer apps help photographers see, record and correct the vibration.
6. Photo-sharing – Once the smartphone is attached on top of the camera, using an Eye-Fi SD card allows you to share your photos instantly.
While there are those who prefer to still use a standalone camera, their flash guns and high powered lenses, a number of people are still amazed at how a Flash Dock works, and think that this is the next big thing.
The question being raised by some is: “Is it really worth it’s price tag?” The answer is still up to the user. If the benefits outweigh the concern and vice versa, the decision is still up to the one who will or will not use it.