Review: iBlazr Flash

iBlazr: Flash Solution for Mobile Photographers

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iBlazr

Phone cameras have come a long way, baby!

From the grainy, pixelated, super noisy photos that we would take on our flip phones to the photos that grace the Annual Mobile Photo Awards exhibition, these phones have exceeded our greatest imaginations.

One can argue the only aspect of the smart phone camera technology that is and has always lacked is the cameras flash unit. There have been a few companies that have attempted to remedy this.

 For this review, I chose iBlazr.  I noticed that on the interwebs, it had pretty good ratings and personal reviews from customers that ranged from beginner to professional photographers.  So I thought I'd, test it out myself.

And in this Corner, iBlazr

First of all, the folks over at iBlazr are very responsive and their customer service is great.  It could be because I was reviewing but I really found no blemishes on their record as far as other customer reviews from credible places.

I recieved my iBlazr and was impressed with the contents: a silicon diffuser, a cold shoe mount, a USB charger, a small pouch for travel, and of course the iBlazr unit.

The iBlazr is made up of 4 high power LED lights that can be used not just as a flash unit for your phone or tablet but also as a constant light source or hot light.

Follow the Light

I don't use my flash as much as I should especially when I'm out on the town with the wife or out and about with the boys.

 A lot of it is because in low light situations, mobile photography is limited. Very limited actually. If you have taken a photo in a low light situation with your smart phone, you know the results you get. As a mobile photographer, I've just had to tell myself, "Oh well it'll have to do."

So, I didn't have high expectations for iBlazr.

The iBlazr can be used without your phone.  It has three levels of that you can adjust with the button on the top. You can use it as a light source or simply as a flashlight.  The battery life on a single light is pretty good (<3 hours) and at full (<30 min).  The diffuser is helpful also if the light is too harsh on your subject.  Lighting is always key in photography so I found myself using the diffuser quite a bit.

I used the iBlazr on both my iPhone 5s and my Nokia Lumia 1020.  Both native flashes are weak in my opinion and it was refreshing to use the iBlazr.  The iBlazr uses the universal 3.5mm jack which is helpful to use across all mobile devices.

In order to use the unit as a flash, you must use the iBlazr app (iOS, Android). 

Show Me the Specs, Man

Dimensions:

Height: 27 mm (1 inch)
Width: 32 mm (1.25 inch)Depth: 9 mm (0.35 inch)
Weight: 10 grams*

Power Output:

Off-smartphone Constant Light Modes:

  • 1st Power mode – 16 Lux at 1 m (similar to
    smartphone flashlight)
  • 2nd Power mode – 60 Lux at 1 m
  • 3rd Power mode – 120 Lux at 1 m

Smartphone usage:

Flash mode – up to 270 Lux at 1 m
Constant light mode- Dimmable 0% to 100%

Light

70 Degree beam
5600 K Color temperature
>80 CRI

Battery

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter

  • Capacity – 110 mAh
  • Up to - 500 flashes

Constant light mode:

  • 1st Power mode – up to 3 hours
  • 2nd Power mode - up to 50 minutes
  • 3rd Power mode - up to 25 minutes

Word Up! My Final Word

I like the iBlazr a lot actually. Again I didn't have high expectations and so it definitely exceeded any of my expectations.  It's a small light source so really in low light situations you can only use it in close proximity. Be easy when you use it really close though as it can cause some harsh shadows. Using the diffuser will help alleviate this.

Overall its great.  The iBlazr comes with all the accessories you need.  It's great because it doesn't train your phone's battery since it has it's own internal charge.

 I like that I can use it separate from the smart phone; as a flash light or a small light source for other situations.

It's definitely better than the native flash unit on your smart phone or tablet.  The universal aspects of iBlazr is great because it goes across any and all devices with a 3.5mm jack.

The one con I did have with it is that it didn't work with my case with the iPhone other than that; all is good!

For those mobile photographers who like to shoot in low light, then this an accessory that you should add to your camera bag.

Price: $49.99

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