Even though I have several cameras that are twice the resolution of my iPhone 4, I still find that I really enjoy shooting photos on my iPhone- even when I can’t immediately share those photos with the world. Because I’ve spent so much time in Algonquin Park this year I upgraded from my usual Ziploc back to a SeaLine E-Case for added protection. It’s a great case, but I’m certainly not about to submerge it intentionally for very long. That’s where the Joy Factory RainBallet comes in to play.
Even before I go into the features of this underwater case for the iPhone 4 you’re probably already thinking about price. Aftermarket underwater cases are well-known for being outrageously expensive sometimes exceeding the cost of the device they house. This certainly isn’t true for the RainBallet, this IPX7 (protected against full submersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter) spec case only costs about 50 bucks. Considering your phone costs upwards of 500 bucks, that’s not a bad price.
Overall the Joy Factory RainBallet looks well made, the rubberized front and textured back give a comfortable grip even when wet. It’s bulky, but lightweight and a snug fit for the phone. There are three latches along the top that you have to fully engage before it’s ready for submersion. The handy line around the outside serves as a visual reminder. The touch screen works well through the case, though it does need slightly more pressure. The home button is the only mechanical button that can be depressed once the case is on, though I have been able to depress the power button once or twice I haven’t been able to do it consistently enough to say it works. You’ll also be happy to know that the camera functions are fully supported and you can shoot photos and videos through the Sharpvue™ lens protecting both the front and back camera. The Intelli-filter™ design allows sound to travel both ways through the case, so you’ll be able to capture audio in all your videos, listen to your ipod, or even conduct a business meeting underwater.
Back when we first got our hands on a GoPro camera we mentioned a pretty serious flaw with it. The camera takes awesome vivid images and video when it is not in its underwater case, but when it is, there is a very noticeable loss of focus and blur on the edges while under the water. Being fisherman, and wanting the camera to be used almost solely for underwater footage, this was pretty heart breaking. While there are some great workarounds thanks to some very creative people, we’ve gone with the BlurFix adapter from a company called Snake River Prototyping operating out of Idaho, USA. Not only does it solve the focus issue, but the BlurFix is the best looking solution I’ve seen so far.
I finally had the chance to sit down and play with some of my GoPro Hero HD footage, it was also the first time I took Final Cut Pro X for a spin. While many people have complained about the downsides of the new Final Cut, and the bizarre iMovie like interface that throws all your years of NLE (non-linear editing) out the window for a new “magnetic timeline”. I found that FCPX did a fantastic job of editing the 1080p source footage. In fact I edited and exported this video in the time it would have taken Final Cut Pro 7 to render it for playback!
There’s no fancy editing techniques in this video, I simply chopped out the boring stuff and used a built-in transition in between each of the clips. Feel free to crank it up to 1080p and fullscreen it for full effect.