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Innovative, must-have gadgets for photographers: 2014

Photography is no longer limited to the darkroom -- and there are many innovative, eccentric and downright genius products out there which can vastly improve your photos.

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Topic: Innovation
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1 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Panono

The Panono, a former crowdfunding campaign, is one of the more exciting photography-based gadgets i've seen this year. Equipped with multiple cameras able to shoot at 108 megapixels, you throw the ball in the air and it simultaneously captures and stitches panoramic views of your surroundings.

The device is currently available for pre-order, and is expected to ship by Christmas at the earliest.

Price: $549

Via: Panono

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2 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Bitemyapple Nova pocket flash

While smartphone cameras have evolved dramatically in the past several years, often becoming more capable than ever to capture stunning images, sometimes, in poor lighting conditions, you simply need a little more exposure. Bitemyapple's Nova pocket flash is a device which offers you this as a iPhone photographer, and rather than sticking it on the handset itself, you can manually move the light source to take real control of your photo, especially useful for portraits.

Price: $59.99

Via: Bitemyapple

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3 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Photojojo smartphone lenses

Photojojo's smartphone lenses are always tucked away in my bag if I don't have my standard camera kit with me and a photo opportunity appears. A small magnetic ring fits around your smartphone's camera, and then each individual lens can be snapped on and off at your leisure. The lenses feel sturdy and look great, and for the price bracket, the quality of images is vastly improved. My favorite option is the Super Fisheye. 

Price: $20 - $99

Via: Photojojo

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4 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Orangemonkie Foldio

Orangemonkie's Foldio takes smartphone photography lighting a step further. The Foldio is a collapsable, mobile lighting backdrop -- complete with magnets to seal its shape and an internal, embedded LED lighting strip. If a standard white backdrop doesn't take your fancy, you can switch sheets to various colors, and the premium version is equipped with two LED strips.

Price: $49 - $59

Via: Orangemonkie

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5 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

USBFever lens kit

Available on Amazon, USBFevers' smartphone lens kit comes complete with a fisheye, wide angle & macro lens, as well as telephoto lenses of varying zooms. The lenses can be attached via an iPhone 5 cover.  

Price: $91.99

Via: Amazon

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6 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Joby GorillaPod

Although I don't often use tripods, I always have one or two stowed away for special occasions -- including one suitable for my handset. Joby's GorillaPod tripods are a cute, bendy option -- light to carry and bendable. Coupled with a remote shooting app, you could hook your smartphone in any variety of positions. The GorillaPod range supports everything from mobile devices to full-sized DSLRs. 

Price: $19.95 - $99.95

Via: Joby

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7 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Lensbaby Sweet Spot Lens

Springing up from a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, the Lensbaby LM-10 lens works in conjunction with an application that focuses your images -- keeping only the 'Sweet Spot' in the frame and focusing your photos further with minimal effort. 

Price: $TBD

Via: Lensbaby

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8 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Western Digital 1TB My Passport

Digital photography takes up a lot of space, especially if you're saving your images in a RAW format. As a result, we need more gigabytes of storage than ever -- and so a portable, external storage facility is becoming a key tool for photographers these days. 

Price: $99

Via: WDC

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9 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Newswear accessory belt

It might say Newswear, but for any photographer with different lenses and filters, this belt could be a worthwhile investment. The belt is equipped with a number of pouches that have ample room to hold a number of lenses -- Canon L-series telephotos notwithstanding --  and can save you a mad kit-bag scrabble in time to catch a spontaneous photo.

Price: $18.95

Via: BH photo and video

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10 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

mCAMLITE iPhone camera case and lens kit

For photographers who want to use their smartphone but prefer the look and feel of a traditional camera, the mCAMLITE iPhone camera case and lens kit transforms your handset into a nice-looking compact, complete with interchangable glass lenses. The kit includes a solid aluminium frame case, 37mm wide angle/macro lens, an external microphone and accessory pouch. 

Price: $129.95

Via: Action life media

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11 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The Selfie

If you're jumping on to the selfie trend, Gabbagood's remote shutter release can help you take the perfect self portrait. Currently available for iOS devices, you plug the cable into the headphone jack, open up the camera app and take a shot, simple as that. 

Price: $16.86

Via: Amazon

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12 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

iblazr

The iblazr is a small but powerful flashgun for your smartphone. LED based, the product plugs into the audio jack and connects up to an accompanying application which controls lighting settings. With a 60-degree beam angle, iblazr can take over 1000 flashes before needing a charge thanks to a built-in battery. 

The flash kit is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone and both Android smartphones and tablets.  

Price: $49.99, premium $69.99

Via: iblazr

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13 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

izzie Orbit Pro

If you like the idea of smartphone camera lenses but do not want the hassle of changing them around -- and have some cash to burn -- the izzie Orbit Pro is likely to appeal to you. The case not only protects your iPhone, but is equipped with four pro-grade lenses -- a telephoto, macro, fisheye and wide angle -- which can be switched simply by turning the dial. You can also purchase tripod mounts compatible with the cover. 

Price: $229.99

Via: izzi gadgets

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14 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Bird Photo Booth

This product reminded me of the hours my grandfather spent crouching outside bird boxes with his DSLR, waiting to capture the moment a chick emerged for food. The Bird photo booth takes the hassle out of capturing these moments without frightening wildlife by acting not only as a bird feeder, but as an enclosure to put your iPhone, iPod Touch or GoPro camera in. You can then either watch a live feed of the wildlife in your garden, or use motion detection apps such as Videography or Motion camera to automatically take photos for you. 

Price: $99.99

Via: Bird photo booth

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15 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Weye Feye

The Weye Feye is a universal -- and universally useful -- remote control which allows you to control your photography equipment remotely. The device allows you to control your DSLRs via a number of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. The creators pitch this product as a perfect way to instantly share content via the Weye Feye application, and the Weye Feye S also supports new, mirrorless cameras as well as Canon and Nikon DSLRs. 

Price: $249.99

Via: Weye Feye

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16 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Fuse 10W Solar charger

There's little worse than your camera or smartphone running out of juice while you're on the road, so why not add a solar panel or two to your backpack?

The Fuse 10W Solar charger panel attaches to your backpack via buckle and strap attachments, while the solar panel absorbes energy in order to power a V72 battery. This, in turn, can be used to charge up your smartphones, DSLRs, laptops and tablets. 

Price: $339

Via: Voltaic Systems

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17 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Smartphone Printer

In a hat tip to old Polariod cameras which were able to give you a physical photo immediately, Fujifilm's Instax Share SP-1 Smartphone Printer is a small, mobile printer based on the same principles. Once you've taken a photo with your smartphone, you can use theInstax application to send the image directly to the printer, where you can print single or multiple copies in one go. The app is available on both iOS and Android. 

Price: $157.95

Via: Fujifilm

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