Every now and then a smartphone accessory comes along that breaks the mold and surprises you in exciting and useful ways. That’s what happened when the Nova Bluetooth Off-Camera Flash for iOS arrived for review. This Bluetooth enabled flash lets you wirelessly take better pictures. Here’s a quick look at a phenomenal smartphone accessory concept that is also well-executed.
The Nova Flash is a thin wafer of an accessory that has a translucent white side housing the LEDs and a black back. It is thick enough to have a micro USB port for charging but thin enough to put in your wallet or toss into your gadget bag and forget it. Then, when you need to brighten things up, simply pull it out and get shooting.
Surprisingly, there’s no on/off switch on the device. In fact, only the micro USB charging breaks the otherwise unmarried plastic of the flash. So how do you turn on the flash? It’s all done using low energy Bluetooth 4.0 and a free iOS application.
Here are a few pictures taken with and without the Nova Off-Camera Flash.
Here’s what the flash looks like when it is on. As you can see there are four rows of serious LEDs in the small unit.
Using the flash is simple.The first step is to download the Nova app. Once it’s loaded on your phone, tablet or iPod touch it connects to the Nova Bluetooth Flash. (So long as it is in range of course.) from there it is as easy as using the Nova application to take pictures. The app firing the shutter on the phone also triggers the flash going off. It is a simple and refined approach to having an external flash for your iPhone.
In addition, if you tap on the settings, you can make some adjustments so you get things just the way you want them.
I’m really impressed with this little iPhone camera accessory. It is simple in its design, powerful in its flash prowess and impactful in its ability to bring light with it is needed. I highly recommend this $59 camera accessory.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Nova Bluetooth Off-Camera Flash for iOS
What I Like: Works amazingly well; Pairs and turns on when the app is launched; App offers a wide range of settings you can control; Thin enough to take everywhere
What Needs Improvement: No protective bag included; No threaded mount on the flash