iPhone camera accessory review

In the previous review, we examine a 360-degree panoramic optic called Dot; this time we’re going to examine a similar accessory called GoPano micro. And we just have to compare the two accessories with each other.

Why ?

GoPano micro is a funnel-shaped lens attachment that’s used with a custom-designed case for your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S. It works like the high-end GoPano Plus, with an equiangular mirror reflecting everything around you and a lens capturing the images. The lens attachment is 47 mm in diameter and 82 mm in height, and like the case, it weighs 28 grams.

What we love

GoPano micro allows you to preview videos as you shoot them, giving you more control over what gets recorded. No unwanted footage of items in the way or of you flipping your phone to tap the record button (something that’s almost a certainty with Dot).

Unlike Dot, GoPano micro leaves its lens and mirror uncovered. The mirror directly reflects your surroundings, and the lens captures what you want it to capture, not the glare or distortion caused by a sheet of plastic. To a certain extent, GoPano micro is more vulnerable to dust and dirt, but since nothing’s covered, it can produce clearer videos.

Field of view is also better with GoPano micro. The videos are smaller than regular videos shot with an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, but they’re respectable considering they’re 360-degree videos shot with a fairly cheap accessory: 1280 x 304 with the iPhone 4 and 1920 x 456 with the iPhone 4S.

What we don’t love

Aside from the ability to preview videos, the uncovered lens and mirror, and the better field of view, there’s nothing else—or maybe only a few other things—to like about GoPano micro.

When it comes to design, GoPano micro attracts much more attention than Dot does. You could bring a GoPano micro to a Halloween party and look like a genuine Ghostbuster. The antenna-like lens attachment can look silly on your iPhone, but the worst part about it is it easily detaches from the case. Gravity alone can cause it to fall off.

Now about video quality: you certainly can’t expect professional results, but GoPano micro videos are very blurry. Resolution and focus are a bit better with Dot, which has its lens closer to the iPhone camera. Watch this video taken with GoPano micro, and compare it with this video taken with Dot.

The end game

GoPano micro and Dot could have been equals, but Dot wins because of better video quality. And that’s really the most important thing here. With some ingenuity and shop skills, it’s easier to remedy the problems with Dot than to remedy the nauseating focus problem with GoPano micro. As for now, Dot is better.