Foldio – My First Kickstarter Backing

One of the dilemmas I face when taking photos is deciding whether to use my smart phone to quickly snap a photo or taking out my DSLR set up. When I want photos quickly, such as taking photos of products I wish to sell online, a smartphone camera gives me quick result, ready to be posted online. The downside to this is the poor lighting on the product, making it less appealing to potential customers.

Foldio seeks to solve this problem by providing a mobile studio set up tailored for smart phone cameras. The Kickstarter project was started some time last year and when I came across it, it didn’t take me long to decide to back this project. On Kickstarter, visitors could choose to donate any amount of money to help the guys behind the project take their idea into reality. Higher amounts of donation entitle backers to some rewards, including a Foldio mailed to their homes. I decided on the full Foldio package with a few background sheets. The backing process was quite seamless, but at times filled with some uncertainty whether the project is progressing. Nevertheless, the Foldio team regularly posts updates on the project and how close they are to delivering the final products.

To cut the story short, a few days ago I received a notice to collect my Foldio delivery from the post office. So after collecting it today, I quickly unwrapped it to find my own Foldio set, complete with colorful background sheets.

Foldio - in folded state

Foldio – in folded state

Colourful background sheets

Colourful background sheets

Foldio is made of a piece of flexible plastic, with magnets attached at specific spots to hold its structure when it’s folded into shape.

Foldio - fully assembled

Foldio – fully assembled

The job to light up the mini studio is done by a strip of LED lights powered by a single 9V battery. The numerous white LEDs along the strip did well in providing even lighting across.

LED lights

LED lights

Here are some test shots of a Munchkin bobblehead and a toy car using Foldio. Both shots had the LED strip turned on. The only difference is that the second shot was taken with the iPhone flash turned on.

Test shot without iPhone flash

Test shot without iPhone flash

Test shot with iPhone flash

Test shot with iPhone flash

As you can see, the LED lights are positioned above the object nearest to the phone. The high lighting creates shadows in some parts of the Munchkin and soft fill light is needed to lighten up the shadows. The iPhone flash is way too strong, creating harsh shadow behind the objects. Perhaps I should consider placing another LED strip at the bottom of the box for fill, and maybe rig up a simple voltage divider to control the brightness.

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