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Monday, 5 May 2014

Foldio

So I got myself one of this recently...

People who know me know that I tend to do a fair amount of painting. Not because I like painting much or anything, but because I play miniature war games and have a habit of painting most of my models by myself. And I've usually posted photos online once I've finished a model. 
Ultimately I've never really had a place to take proper photos of my miniatures and usually just took a photo of them next to my work/painting space. Which explains why a lot of my photos are pretty messy. So anyway, I decided to change that which was why I was looking at small compact light studios. I've looked into making my own via a cardboard box and some shower curtains and eventually I decided to get a foldio.

It comes in a flat pack so shipping's pretty cheap. And it's pretty easy to set up. 
At the sides are several magnets that basically stick togethr so that it forms the sides of the folder. This makes the box pretty lightweight. At the top are the LED strips that provide the illumination for whatever you're photographing. You use 9V batteries to light up the strips and they attach to the cables at the side. 

Now there's an option between 1 LED strip and 2 LED strips. The picture on the left was taken with 1 LED strip on while the other was taken with 2 LED strips. 

Here are some more sample photos taken using 2 LED strips. Note that these were taken using a Nexus 5 phone, on HDR+ mode. 

Overall, it's a pretty nifty gadget. It certain helps clear up the clutter as well as provide some nice lighting for your shots. However, it is still a pretty expensive toy for those who didn't get in on the KS since it's basically a bunch of plastic with magnets and some LED strips. It really depends on how you want your photos to look like and whether you take a lot of them. Also, the design COULD use some tweaks as I've found there were two minor issues with the design. 
  1. The Foldio sags. It's somewhat obvious in the picture where I show the whole Foldio. You might say it's because of the 9V batteries I've put on top of the Foldio but even without them, there is still a noticeable inwards bending of the Foldio walls. Otoh, this is easily rectified if they would only make the side wall a full solid piece instead of a triangle. They could make the bottom and top triangles smaller in response. This would provide more support at the sides. And seriously, this shouldn't even warrant a price increase considering it's plastic and they're selling the products at 49 USD. 
  2. There is no on/off switch for the lights. This is something I would dearly love. Because I'm Lazy. With a capital L. Instead of having to plug the batteries in and out every single time I wanted to take a photo and then take them out again when I finish, an on-off switch would really really save me a fair bit of hassle.