With very few exceptions the LED-flashes of smartphones produce pretty dismal results. Their output power is low and the cameras have to push the ISO up to achieve a decent exposure. This results in noisy images with little fine detail. In addition the typical flash location right next to the camera lens usually produces an unpleasant washed-out lighting and harsh contrasts, not exactly a flattering look for the subjects of your portraits.
However, frequent smartphone flash users can now improve their images with a newly available iPhone accessory. Nova is a wireless off-camera flash that started its life as a Kickstarter project. It comes with 40 light points that are diffused by a white panel, creating a much softer light than the built-in flash. Nova connects to the iPhone via bluetooth and with the dedicated app you can choose from three light settings or control color temperature and light output manually in advanced mode.
Thanks to its small dimensions and low weight, the Nova is very portable and even fits in the credit card slot of a wallet. If you like the idea of a flash that is more powerful than the built-in unit, generates a softer light and gives you control over lighting angles and temperature the Nova is definitely worth a closer look. It can be ordered now from BiteMyApple.co, a site specializing in successful Kickstarter projects, for US $59.99.
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