Business / Gadgets

Professional photography on your phone: camera lens review

By Zhang Jiawei ( Updated: 2014-03-28 16:03

I have to admit I am personally a great fan of every device from Google, including all the known products such as the Nexus smart phones and the unknowns like the Nexus Q, which was a media streaming entertainment device that ended its life quite soon after release.

Although none of the Nexus devices was officially released in the Chinese mainland market, fans like me still have plenty of ways to get what are seen by many as devices with the highest performance-to-price ratio.

I managed to own two Nexus smart phones, the Galaxy Nexus produced by Samsung and the latest Nexus 5 produced by LG, and I intend to stick with the Nexus line and get more of them.

Getting a device is only the start of a new life for many tech fans. You will change the stock system to a customized Rom on the software side; you will also try to find as many accessories as possible, especially those innovative ones I am going to talk about.

For the Nexus 5, the giant rear camera is impressive. As fans were wondering why Google and LG created such a design for a normal 8-megapixel camera, media reported that it was designed for external camera lenses.

That's what we are going to review today.

To start with, the Nexus 5 admittedly has a fairly good rear camera for daily use. If you need better pictures for special occasions, enabling the HDR option would be a good choice.

But what if you still want more? Say, to shoot the details of a flower, to take a birds-eye view of a beautiful site, or to view something that's too far away.

A lot of people may say that this can only be achieved by a professional camera. But with the small gadgets we are introducing here, which cost less than $10 each, you would definitely change your mind.

We were using the Nexus 5 and the Galaxy Nexus to do the review, but technically the lens can be used on any phone that has a flat camera. All you have to do is attach a small metal circle to your phone, and the magnet on the external lens will connect it to your phone securely.

Wide Angle + Micro Lens in One

It's tiny, but it can do a lot of things. When put together, it's a wide angle lens that can fit more view into your phone's sensor and allow you to take a broader picture without distorting the image too much.

If you detach the larger lens and keep only the smaller one, it becomes a macro lens camera that allows you to shoot details, at a very close distance of 2 mm.

Wide Angle + Micro Lens on the Nexus 5

Professional photography on your phone: camera lens review

The author is founder of Chinese tech blog He can be reached at

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