The best camera is the one you always have with you, and if that camera happens to be a recent iPhone, ShiftCam 2.0 unlocks a ton of new shooting options.
ShiftCam 2.0 comprises a wide-ranging ecosystem of lenses, but they’re all designed to work with a custom iPhone case that holds them in place over your phone’s camera(s) when you want them, and lets you slide them out of the way when you don’t.
By default, you get what ShiftCam calls the Travel Set, which is an array of six lenses for the iPhone X and iPhone 7/8+, or four for the standard iPhone 7 or 8. Depending on which lenses you snap in front of your camera, you’ll be able to get fisheye, wide angle, macro, and even telephoto shots. The effect is similar to what you’d get from affordable snap-on lenses that have been around forever, but I found SnapLens’s quality to be higher, and the sliding mechanism is much easier to use than fiddly clips.
The Travel Set definitely adds a bit of bulk to your phone, but I’d have no reservations about using it during a vacation or any other time where I expect to take lots of photos. SnapLens’s Pro lenses though, are another story.
These optional add-ons slide into the same case as the Travel Set (which you have to remove and store...somewhere?), and are significantly larger and heavier. They offer slightly clearer photos with less distortion than the tiny Travel Set lenses, but you definitely won’t be sliding your phone into your pocket while one is attached, which sort of defeats what’s so great about smartphone photography to begin with.
I was most excited to try the Pro telephoto lens, but it’s inexplicably designed to sit over the iPhone X’s 1x camera, meaning it basically just replicates the 2x camera already built into the phone. The macro and wide angle lenses produced nice shots, but the quality difference compared to the Travel Set wasn’t noticeable enough to justify the added expense and bulk.
That said, for iPhone photography obsessives, the ShiftCam 2's case and travel lenses are very slick, and well worth the current $49 preorder price on Kickstarter.