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The Canopy Kapok Makes Any Amateur Photographer with an iPhone Look Professional (Review)

Photo: Canopy

The iPhone has become more than just a phone. Since its inception in 2007 it has been a device that has displaced other devices from different categories, for example point and shoot cameras. The iPhone, although with 5 megapixels, a spec that some people find disturbing, obviously because of the lack of knowledge, takes great pictures and excellent video.

Not only that, there are tons of apps that take full advantage of the iPhone bringing some great editing tools. The iPhone, with its camera, will naturally displace point and shoots, which are on the decline. Everybody carries a phone these days, so the market for third-party apps and accessories is wide open.

One such accessory is the Kapok, from Canopy. It is an accessory made for those that really want to take photography and videography on the iPhone to a whole new level. The case addresses stability issues when taking photos and video. Essentially it is a case with a built-in tripod mounting screw, and built-in buttons.

The Kapok's packaging is a stand that has a metallic insert that screws in the case and allows the user to record in landscape as well as in portrait orientation. Important to note that the packaging of the Kapok comes already set up. The case in mounted to the stand, just take the top part of the case out, slide the iPhone and done.

This case works in conjunction with the Canopy Camera Tools app, that is available for free in the App Store [iTunes Link]. The app allows the use of the built-in buttons in the case to take still and video images. The right button takes pictures so you don't have to press the screen for nothing. It can also set the focus when pressed halfway down, just like a regular camera.

The left button allows you to lock exposure and white balance but can also capture a still image while shooting video. The app also allows to take High-speed burst photos by holding down on the shooting button and you can make time lapse captures at different frame rates.

The beauty of this is that Canopy has an SDK available for developers to build apps that take advantage of the Kapok.

But who said it had to be used only for photos and videos, what about video calling, with apps like FaceTime or Skype? Yes you can use it for that too. With the stand that comes with the Kapok you can use it for it too, no more holding it with your hands.

The Kapok also serves as protection but with minimum thickness. It has a longer profile at the bottom where the tripod mounting screw resides. Also at the bottom it has some spaces for the microphone and speaker and a Mini-USB output for charging the iPhone if needed, Mini-USB cable included.

Canopy offers a range of accessories made to take the most of your iPhone and the Kapok. These go from table top tripods to a camera truck, etc. To take a look at these accessories go to this link. But the Kapok, with its tripod mounting screw, can also be used with other tripods and accessories, and proof of this is the photo below where I hooked it up with my Sony VCT-R100 which is a small tripod, a little over a foot in height, and is inexpensive. So watch me out at events recording with it over everybody's head.

If you want to use your iPhone for serious photography and video, or just want to get good results, the Kapok is for you. At $69.95 most people would think is expensive but the added value is in the apps that can be built for it and that you can hooked it up with anything that has a screw in it. Added value is also found when you no longer have to hold your iPhone for video calls in FaceTime, Skype, Tango or whatever app you use. With a great built quality the Kapok is a top choice.

The Kapok is available through Canopy and only for the iPhone 4. You can visit their website for this and other accessories. To see more here are more photos in the gallery below and below is a video from Canopy.

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