This years CES brought a plethora of innovative and spectacular technologies into the spotlight. From the myriad of 3D printers to the incredible new displays from LG and Sony. Needless to say there is a heavy photographic presence. There were major displays from Nikon, Canon, GoPro, Polaroid, and Contour (yes they're back!) The halls of the Las Vegas convention center were a jungle of consumer electronics. All of this was, needless to say, really cool.
While checking out some of the smaller displays and start-ups, I stumbled across the Nova booth. This very cool credit card-sized device is, in it's most limited description, an off-camera flash for your smartphone. Now, there are other devices that accomplish some of what the Nova can do but none with the same versatility.
Here's how it works - The Nova uses x20 "warm" and x20 "cool" LED's which are adjustable via the iOS app. There is an Android app as well with, at the moment, comparatively limited functionality. The device uses Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) technology to sync with your smartphone and trigger the flash. Keep in mind that the unit produces 65 lumens per flash, which is more than enough to add some beautiful illumination to your subject but you wont be drowning out the sun. You can adjust the output temperature and intensity. They even have some presets which work quite well. The LED's are behind an opaque white diffuser which also serves as protection.
The company also says the Nova can produce a few hundred flashes per charge, depending on brightness.
For this photographer the Nova presents a innovative solution for controlling light while shooting with your smartphone. Due to its size, versatility, and battery life, I will be adding one to my personal kit.
In fact, I've gone ahead and ordered myself one from Amazon.
- Compatible with iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S on iOS 7+, plus Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) on Android 4.3+
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy)
- iOS app can control up to 10 units at once
- 40 points of light behind a diffusing filter
- 65 Lumen LEDs
- Units can be up to 20 feet away from the phone
- 3 color temperature-adjusted light settings: gentle, warm, or bright
- Batteries: Built-in lithium-ion polymer (~150 flashes, up to 4 weeks on standby)
- Dimensions: 3.4" x 2.1" x .25"
- Weight: 5.3 oz.
- Includes Nova unit and charging cable
- SDK is available