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Hands-On With Anker's Apple-Certified iPhone Camera Flash Accessory

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Anker in December debuted a new LED flash accessory that's unique because it's the first iPhone flash option that's Apple certified with Made for iPhone approval.

Anker started accepting pre-orders for the flash earlier this month ahead of a launch in late January, and we were able to get our hands on the LED flash to try it out.


Priced at $50, the LED flash from Anker is designed to work with Apple's newest iPhones, which means it is compatible with the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.

There have been other flash accessories on the market in the past, but these have all worked over Bluetooth. Anker's LED flash has a Lightning cable that plugs right into the Lightning port on the iPhone, so it's perfectly synced with the rear cameras and goes off at just the right time.


Design wise, the flash is a little cube with an LED bulb at the front, a Lightning cable at the bottom, and a power button at the side. It comes equipped with a storage pouch and a little diffuser accessory to make the lighting less harsh for when you want a softer look. At the side opposite the power button, there's a tripod mount so you can mount it if desired, but holding it is an option too.

Anker's flash is equipped with a 700mAh battery, which is good for approximately 10,000 shots in flash mode or 50 minutes of light during video capture. Using the flash for video requires putting it into a flashlight mode, which can be done by pressing on the power button.


Once the battery has been exhausted, it will need to be recharged, which can be done with a 5W charger and a USB to Lightning cable. Recharging takes about 75 minutes.

Using the flash with the iPhone requires no setup because of the Lightning cable. Once it's plugged in, it works with the built-in Camera app of the iPhone when the flash is turned on, and it can also work in third-party apps.


According to Anker, the flash accessory is meant to offer 4x more light than the standard built-in flash of the iPhone, which has always been weak and often of very little use for most images.


Anker's flash provides more even lighting throughout the image, and it provides a cooler color temperature. You can see the difference between no flash, the built-in flash, night mode, and the Anker flash accessory in the images below.


The LED flash from Anker puts out quite a bit of light, which is useful for photos and videos alike in low lighting conditions. The diffuser is a useful tool too, as seen in these comparison images.


For those who are into iPhone photography, Anker's little cube flash is a tool that will give you more options when capturing images and videos, and it's certainly more useful than Apple's built-in flash.

Those interested in the Anker flash can pre-order it from Amazon for $50, with orders set to ship out on January 25.

Article Link: Hands-On With Anker's Apple-Certified iPhone Camera Flash Accessory
 

kissmo

Cancelled
Jun 29, 2011
1,062
1,053
Budapest, Hungary
Not convinced.
Off camera flash should have a longer cable since you want to light your subject from and angle which complements their features.
The cable looks so short and both flashes fire.... good concept but flawed.
I don’t like direct flash on subject on full frontal. Makes horrible 1990’ type of disposable camera shoots.
[automerge]1579641369[/automerge]
Shame that you need to plug it in, would be better if it sensed camera flash and went off using that or WiFi signal. And also be good if you could use a few of them instead of just one ?
WiFi fails. The flash needs to sync with the shutter. You need different interface to do that: radio or infrared.
 
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jarule

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2014
107
166
South, South Texas
I’ll wait till my flea market has it. Apparently they’ve gotten many Anker return products. Got a 20000mAh Anker portable charger for $15. Works well.
 
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DanteHicks79

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2019
12
8
Silicon Valley
Somehow I managed to get my pre-order last Friday, before the official launch this Sat.

Pros: The cable is coiled, and has a fair bit of play to it. Light is really bright, diffuser works well. There's no app required; just plug in, turn flash on in camera, shoot photos.

Cons: Both the Anker *and* the iPhone flash simultaneously light up when you take a shot. I was hoping that since it was MFI, it would disable the iPhone flash in favor of the remote flash, but nope. This of course can be rectified by putting something over the iPhone flash to prevent it from affecting photos, but that's not a great customer experience. It doesn't come with a charging cable - you have to get a separate USB-C cable to give it some juice. For the price point, I'm surprised they wouldn't include a cable.
[automerge]1579648033[/automerge]
Shame that you need to plug it in, would be better if it sensed camera flash and went off using that or WiFi signal. And also be good if you could use a few of them instead of just one ?

I'm genuinely curious now if you used a lightning splitter if you could actually use multiple units...
 
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thedarkhalf

macrumors member
May 15, 2008
67
98
I'm not sold as I don't see any real difference bwteen the iphone flash and using both. As DanteHicks79 said, it would be much more beneficial if you could disable the iphone flash in lieu of using the Anker one.
 
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Rocko99991

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2017
1,165
1,401
Why not just use a wide beamed led light to illuminate the subject and save $40?
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Those aren't Anker returns, they’re knockoffs. Not worth much, and possibly dangerous, who knows. Buy them if you want, but just realize they’re counterfeit.
There are Anker counterfeits now?
 
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jarule

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2014
107
166
South, South Texas
Those aren't Anker returns, they’re knockoffs. Not worth much, and possibly dangerous, who knows. Buy them if you want, but just realize they’re counterfeit.
They’re Walmart and other store returns. They have the stickers on them. I buy all my Apple dongles and adapters there. Not paying full price. Most of them are just broken box.
 
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BornAgainApple

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2009
574
110
Massachusetts
Somehow I managed to get my pre-order last Friday, before the official launch this Sat.

Pros: The cable is coiled, and has a fair bit of play to it. Light is really bright, diffuser works well. There's no app required; just plug in, turn flash on in camera, shoot photos.

Cons: Both the Anker *and* the iPhone flash simultaneously light up when you take a shot. I was hoping that since it was MFI, it would disable the iPhone flash in favor of the remote flash, but nope. This of course can be rectified by putting something over the iPhone flash to prevent it from affecting photos, but that's not a great customer experience.

Can you turn flash mode off in the camera app and still use the Anker flash?
 
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mellofello

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2011
1,249
524
Can you use this without the built in flash?

It is often better to bouce a flash off of a ceiling or at a different angle then directly next to the lens.
 
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Aston441

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
1,604
2,300
12 or so years ago i had a Motorola ZN5 phone with Xenon flash and Kodak Camera built in.

Many of the pictures that thing took in the dark look better than any modern phone to this day. I still have all the pics from that thing. I miss it.
 
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nylonsteel

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2010
1,313
283
have some good anker bluetooth audio products. surprisingly good and reliable. have no interest in this flash though
 
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melgross

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2004
357
226
New York City
There’s more detail in night mode. Look at the chair. In night mode the color is much better, and we can easily see the shape of the bolsters on the back. The flash washes all if that out, and puts an unnatural cyanish blue color to it. The most natural color is with the built in flash, with night mode being next in pleasing balance.
 
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tkukoc

Cancelled
Sep 16, 2014
1,533
1,914
Used this a little bit last weekend, have to say there are serious audio feedback issues when setting the iphone to video mode and having both lights on at the same time. Would not recommend using this for video purposes unless you just have running without plugging it into the phone.
 
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