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For serious iPhoneographers

The IZZI Orbit Pro iPhone 5/5s case has been out for a little while but I got my first glance at it recently. It shows how serious iPhoneographers can take their photos with the hand-held device.

While smartphones don't really produce the image quality of a standalone camera, even of the point-n-shoot category, your phone is always handy with its camera functions and instant access.

Structurally, the case is an incredibly strong outer shell of aircraft-grade aluminum. Built into the case is a stabilizing grip on the bottom with three tripod mounts to attach your tripod on both sides and the bottom. Your phone goes into a rubber shell, which then goes into the stronger outer shell.

What makes this device unique for photography is the four-lens pro-grade system mounted directly on the camera with the company's peripheral motion lock technology.

The rotating lens includes a telephoto, fisheye and macro. A wide-angle lens gives you a fourth option by screwing a small attachment onto the macro, if that view is needed.

Specifically, you get a 180-degree fisheye view, a 67X wide-wide angle lens, a 2X optical telephoto lens and the macro for close-ups.

The case is bulky and you probably can't store it in your pocket, so I wouldn't use it as my everyday case. But if you're on a vacation or a day of sightseeing, a switch to the Orbit Pro would be easy,

The little brother IZZI Slim is on the way and available for pre-order for $99.99. The slim has the lens attachments but without the metal case construction and the tripod attachments.

Instead it has a polycarbonate case (black or white choices) with the rotating lens attachments.

Details: $229.99 available in black, red and silver. A lanyard and lens cleaning cloth are included; www.izzigadgets.com

Help for hardcore Blackberry users

The TYPO keyboard case for the iPhone 5/5s is first physical keyboard for an iPhone, according to the company.

At a first glance, the keyboard is a spitting image of a standard BlackBerry keyboard, which is a great device for hardcore BlackBerry users to get into the iPhone world.

It's a common problem to get used to the touch-screen keyboard and even do it with speed -- assuming you're not a teenager. The TYPO is the perfect solution and works really well.

The keyboard looks like the iconic BlackBerry (I admit, I was a user for a long time) and had keys, which your fingers can easily adjust to -- much easier than the virtual keyboard.

It brought back memories of how I used to type and it took a little while to adjust, but after a few typos I was there.

The backlit keyboard is built into a hard shell case, which has two pieces that slide together. When it's attached it extends your phone by about a half-inch. But all-in-all that's a good thing since it gives you a 40 per cent larger screen since you don't have the virtual keyboard on your LCD.

Details: $99; note they are currently on back order, but are taking orders, which are expected to be available in mid-March; www.typokeyboards.com

Making a strong case

The Evutec Karbon SP series is a sharp looking and shockproof case built with a slim two-mm layered body in a black and gray weave, scratch-resistant pattern.

It's built with DuPont Kevlar fibre, which is promoted to be 5X stronger than steel at the same weight. If anyone wants to challenge that statement, go for it.

Details: $39.95 available in multiple patterns and colors; http://www.evutec.com

Addition to iPhone arsenal

ZAGGs new Arsenal case for the iPhone 5/5s sounds like a rugged case just from the name and it is just that.

It's made to be durable for impact, small drops and splash resistant with its military grade construction outer shell. A soft cushioned interior holds your phone in place.

An invisible SHIELD EXTREME screen protector is included to keep your valuable LCD shock-resistant, break-protected and touchscreen sensitive.

Details: $49.99; www.zagg.com

Clean as you go

The NUEVUE pouch case is a pretty simple design, but is great for the cold season since it fights germs. You keep your phone naked (or with minimal decal-type protection) and it simply slides into the pouch.

The cool thing is the interior of the pouch is antimicrobial-protected and lined with a microfibre-like cloth that cleans your phone from fingerprints, dust and dirt as it slides in and out.

The exterior case is made with cotton twill, canvas and leather.

Details: $45 for the iPhone 5/5s model; http://nuevue.com

Twitter.com/greggellman

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2014 ??65521

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