Nova Bluetooth Off-Camera Flash for iOS Is a Bright Idea!

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.

Nova Bluetooth Off-Camera Flash for iOS
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.

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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.

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Here are a few pictures taken with and without the Nova Off-Camera Flash.

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As you can see the Nova Bluetooth Off-Camera Flash makes a fairly impressive impact on the quality of pictures. This is especially the case in low light. And since it doesn’t need to be attached to the phone itself – the way that the flash dollars – you can hold the nova/wherever you want the additional light to hit the subject being photographed.The only thing I found at all problematic is that using the Nova requires you to hold the phone in one hand and the flash in the other. It would be great if this had a tripod mount somewhere on it. But I’ve found very useful is using one of smartphone mounts I have for the flash so that I don’t have to hold it directly.

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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.

 

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In addition, if you tap on the settings, you can make some adjustments so you get things just the way you want them.

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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

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.