Daylight Viewfinder: a hardware/software combo for taking photos in bright light

Daylight Viewfinder

Have you ever tried to take a photo with your iPhone on a bright and sunny day and were not even able to see what’s on your screen because of high glare? If like me you live in a sunny area, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Comes the Daylight Viewfinder, an eyepiece and app combo for taking iPhone pictures in bright or high glare areas. I had heard about it a week or so ago, but I got to go hands-on with the hardware/software combo during a preview at MacWorld today in San Francisco…

Let’s get some things out of the way. If you’re a casual photographers and want to keep things simple, the Daylight Viewfinder is not for you. However, if you consider yourself an amateur iPhoneographers, this little kit might come in handy.

Through a suction system, the Daylight Viewfinder eyepiece attaches to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen without much effort. Then launch the companion app and you’re ready to go:

The Daylight Viewfinder app shrinks the live camera image down to a size that fits under the eyepiece, and the eyepiece blocks out the surrounding light. The eyepiece also magnifies and focuses the image. Even though the resolution of the live image you see is reduced, Apple’s Retina display enables you to still get a great view of what you are taking a picture of.

I love the concept, and the hardware seems right on par with what you would expect, but the iOS app still leaves a lot to desire. While you can access the camera controls relatively easily, the app is slow and bare bone. For example, it doesn’t let you tweak the focus and exposure at all, which I’ve come used to with camera apps like Camera+.

I was told the app is being worked on to make it faster, so this is definitely a plus. Still, I’d imagine that iPhone photography enthusiasts would probably expect more from the camera app. And as I am writing this, I am thinking that there may be an opportunity for the maker of Daylight Viewfinder to partner up with some camera apps developers to bring support for the hardware to already existing apps.

At any rates, that’s something I’d still like to use when taking photos of my daughter on the beach. At $30, I think it’s still a good investment for those of you who are really into iPhoneography – you should check out our iPhone photography series by the way. The Daylight Viewfinder comes with the eyepiece and a cloth carry pouch. It works with all iOS devices and the free universal app has even been updated for the iPhone 5. Best of all, they offer free shipping in the US and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Is that something you’d see yourself using?