If you shoot street photography or take pictures of your kids, you’ll know that as soon as your subject sees you taking their photo, they instantly stiffen up or alter their behavior. To take natural and candid photos of people, you have to remain discreet… which is difficult when you’re pointing your iPhone’s lens directly at them. Luckily, the COVR Photo Lens Case offers an ingenious solution to this problem. In this article you’ll discover how the unique lens prism system of the COVR case allows you to take great candid photos without being noticed.
What Is COVR Photo?
You may already be aware of the original COVR Photo case due to its highly anticipated Kickstarter campaign almost two years ago.
Until recently, the COVR Photo case was only available for the iPhone 5 and 5s models, but it’s now available for iPhone 6 and 6s, and will soon be available in a larger size for the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus.
If you’re not already familiar with COVR Photo, here’s a brief history… The case was developed by award-winning photojournalist Thomas Hurst as a means to photograph his children with his iPhone using only one hand.
Most parents will know how difficult it can be to have even one free hand when you have children, let alone two free hands!
COVR Photo allows you take photos and videos while holding your phone horizontally flat – just like you do for checking emails, texting, etc.
It works by using a built-in prism to redirect the image into the lens of your iPhone. Simply hold the phone down by your waist and point it at your subject.
The flat position makes it far less obvious that you’re taking pictures. This is great for photographing your kids without alerting them to the fact that you’re taking their photo, preserving the spontaneity of the moment.
It’s also a fantastic tool for street photography. It allows you to be much more discreet when taking pictures so that you can capture really great candid shots.
Solid Build Quality & Intuitive Functionality
The new COVR Photo Lens Case for iPhone and 6s features the same solid and dependable build quality as the original version.
Built from durable, high-grade plastic, the case is comprised of two parts:
A soft, flexible inner shell that wraps snugly around your iPhone, and a hard outer case that features the unique sliding lens prism that defines the COVR Photo.
Simply place your iPhone in the flexible inner shell, then pop it into the outer case… and you’re good to go!
This two-piece system is necessary to preserve the rigidity needed for the sliding prism system to work, while still allowing for a snug fit around your iPhone.
It also affords a significant degree of drop protection due to the extra cushioning that the inner shell provides.
The unique COVR Photo prism can be quickly slid into place over your iPhone’s built-in lens using only one finger, making for rapid use when necessary.
If you want to just use your iPhone’s built-in lens, simply slide the prism down and away from the lens so that you can use your iPhone camera as normal.
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The COVR App
The COVR Photo case works by capturing images through the sliding prism mechanism. It simply reflects the incoming light at an angle so that it can be captured by your iPhone’s camera lens.
However, this causes the image to be upside down and reversed. While you can certainly shoot this way using any camera app, you might find it a bit distracting and hard to properly compose your images.
The free COVR Photo app perfectly complements the COVR case by automatically correcting for this issue. It flips the image so that you can compose your picture through the COVR Photo lens without it appearing upside down.
Like most camera apps, the COVR app lets you set your focus/exposure point by simply tapping on the screen. You can also switch to the front camera (which obviously won’t make use of the COVR prism).
Furthermore, you’re able to continue using the COVR app even if you disengage the sliding prism.
Just tap the circular arrow icon in the top toolbar and toggle between a normally oriented image (for use without the prism) and a corrected image (flipped/ reversed for use with the prism engaged).
You can also access your camera roll directly from within the COVR app, shoot in regular or square crop format, and even make use of the built in self-timer when necessary.
The COVR camera app may not be as full-featured as some other advanced camera apps, but it works really well and is essential if you don’t want to have to re-orientate your images in post-processing.
I found it to be very responsive and easy to use, especially with street photography, which is one genre that the COVR Photo really excels at.
Best Use Of COVR Case
Speaking of street photography, this genre just might be one of the best uses for the COVR Photo due to the ability to be somewhat covert in your photo-taking.
The ability to blend in and not be seen as a “photographer” can be a huge asset in street photography as it eliminates the chance that your subject will feel self-conscious.
If your subject knows you’re photographing them, they’ll react by stiffening up or otherwise changing their behavior. Once this happens, the spontaneity of the situation is lost and so is the photo.
Another great use of COVR Photo is the purpose that it was originally designed for – taking photos of children.
Just like with street photography, if children know you’re taking their photo, they won’t be as natural and spontaneous as they tend to be otherwise, or they may simply act up for the sake of having their photo taken.
With COVR Photo, you can easily capture great photos of children in their natural state of play.
Photojournalists and documentary photographers that recognize the power of the iPhone as a professional photography tool will also find great use for COVR Photo.
As you might imagine, COVR Photo is really only limited in its uses by your own imagination. You can use it to take just about any type of photos that you normally would without it.
However, with COVR Photo you can take most of these photos using only one hand and without being noticed.
Overall, COVR Photo is extremely easy to use, especially with the corresponding COVR camera app. And it fits my iPhone 6s without a problem.
Even with the attached sliding prism, I could quite easily fit the COVR Photo case in my pocket when not using my iPhone. Therefore, this case is definitely suitable as an everyday carry case.
That could prove particularly useful if you’re into street photography, and spend much of your time each day in the city or in other situations that are great for that type of photography.
I hate to admit that I’ve ever dropped my iPhone (it pains me to do so), but I did have one such “incident” while testing the COVR Photo case, and both phone and case made it through without a scratch.
I can’t say the same for some of the other “protective” cases that I’ve owned in the past.
COVR Photo really does make good on its promise of a one-handed photography experience. When I first received it, the sliding prism was slightly stiff and required a bit more than one finger to slide it into place.
But after only a few uses, it loosened up just enough to work as promised, and it’s worked flawlessly ever since.
I’ve tested many different iPhone photography accessories over the past few years, and many of them have their own unique merits, but the COVR Photo is, without a doubt, in my top three accessories of all time.
If you have an iPhone 6 or 6s, or even a slightly older 5 or 5s model, you can pick up a COVR Photo lens case right now.
If you have one of the larger 6 Plus or 6s Plus models, don’t fret as the developer is currently working on a suitable case for you as well.
The COVR Photo app is available for FREE from the App Store.