The iPhone 3G / 3GS built in camera does a pretty decent job taking pictures. I especially like the macro capability. There’s one feature missing from the camera that we’re seeing added more and more to mobile phone cameras. An LED flash. Sure, you can upgrade to the new iPhone 4 which does have one. But if an upgrade isn’t an option or a desire for you, you can add this feature to your 3G or 3GS with the new Beamer LED iPhone Case from Quirky.
The Beamer case is available in Purple or Black. I was sent the Purple version for this review.
At first glance the case looks like so many other protective iPhone cases already on the market. It’s made of a hard plastic, with a soft rubberized coating that gives it good gripping qualities.
The case is comprised of two parts. The bottom section pulls off to allow you to insert the iPhone.
Built into the case is a battery compartment for a CR2025 coin cell lithium battery which powers the LED flash.
With the iPhone installed, there is access to the screen…
Power and earphone jack…
As well as the mute and volume button.
On the Right side of the case is a button that activates the LED flash on the back of the case. This button has good tactile feedback, so you’ll know when it has been pressed.
The picture above also illustrates one of my complaints with this product. You might notice the seam where the two halves of the case come together. The overhang from the upper part of the case is slightly raised and quite sharp on my review sample. I’m not sure all of the Beamer cases are this way, but it’s something I wanted to point out.
The LED flash is built into the back of the Beamer case as you can see above.
The flash isn’t integrated with the iPhone’s camera software. It’s manually operated. Pressing the button will cause the LED to shine for 4 seconds before it turns off automatically. So you’ll need click the flash button, compose your image and capture it before the light goes off in 4 seconds.
Let’s see some before and after photos with and without using the Beamer LED flash.
Click the images for a larger view… Left without the Beamer. Right with the Beamer.
Left without the Beamer. Right with the Beamer.
As you can see, the Beamer can help illuminate your subject when it is in a dimly lit area. It really only works well when your subject matter is really close (within 2-4 feet max) though. It’s not going to be any help if you’re trying to snap a picture of someone across to room in a dark club / bar.
The Quirky Beamer LED iPhone Case can be useful in some photographic situations, but for the most part, I don’t think it will help all that much. That said, if you’re already looking for a case for your iPhone, this might be one to consider since it has the flash as an additional feature.