We’re delighted to publish our exclusive interview with Stefania Vercesi, Marketing Manager Accessories for New Photo Devices at Manfrotto. We’ve been impressed with their new mobile photography kit, comprising of KLYP super-case, 24 LED Flash gun, PIXI tripod and app.
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Joanne – The KLYP super-case for the iPhone 5 is a stunning addition to Manfrotto’s range of camera support products. Can you tell us more about your advent into mobile photography?
Stefania – Entering the mobile accessories world seemed to be the right evolution for Manfrotto, given the maturity of the compact camera market, and the fact that smartphones now come with the innovative technology to put them on par with compact cameras. It’s obviously a big challenge: being Manfrotto, known as worldwide leader for professionals because of our appreciated quality, resistance and reliability, with KLYP we are targeting a completely different target group, paving the way for Manfrotto to also attract the beginner photographer, for whom social media represents what really matters.
Joanne – We have tested this case in our labs here at TAW and have found it offers superb handling facilities to the iPhone 5. Can you tell us more about the technical design that has gone into this product?
Stefania – When we designed the KLYP5 case, we wanted to give users an extra grip to their phone so that they feel as comfortable as possible when taking pictures. Thus the 2 bumps (on the top-left and bottom-right) are useful both to attach the 2 clip-on connectors to accessorize the phone as a real camera, and to provide a proper safe grip when handling the phone.
Joanne – We appreciate how the case comes apart in two sections this makes it easy to add the Olloclip lens and still use either the tripod support adaptor or the LED flash, was this an additional intentional usage or can you tell us more about why you split the case into two?
Stefania – Given the concept of the product and its accessories, we needed to have a strong case able to support extra weight (LED) and hard enough to avoid any wobbling when connected to a support. The 2 halves structure was the ideal solution to meet those needs.
Joanne – The 24 LED flash is a welcome addition to both mobile still photography and video. What has your feedback been from purchasers to date? (the AAA battery system is very welcome).
Stefania – The problem that many people encountered when taking photos and video with their iPhones was the lack of extra light to improve their images. Manfrotto 24 LED light directly addresses this issue, providing great quality videos and pictures in low light situations. We are getting great feedback, especially from people who work in the media, using KLYP with LED to record interviews, shooting videos and capturing images. Users have reported that the KLYP is the ideal accessory to avoid having to carry around big and super professional equipment.
Joanne – Can you tell us more about why you chose specifically to add an LED light panel to this mobile range (we love them btw), they’re a great idea and offer superb natural and even skin tones.
Stefania – Most people know about professional conventional flashes and their use for capturing still images. With the LED, “You see what you get!” With LED light you already see the light output before shooting the picture, thus it becomes much easier to shoot better images and videos. Thanks to LED technology, users will be able to capture soft fill-light for better portrait in low light situation; no red eye; warm colors, natural skin tones and fewer shadows; effective video enhanced by continuous light.
Joanne – When combined with the sturdy new PIXI tripod this kit is quite formidable, can you tell us more about the design and thought process behind this new tripod, we have a very early previous version in our labs.
The PIXI tripod is a solution to the problems posed by existing mini tripods. When we looked at the market, it seemed that a lot of companies were making their mini tripods as cheaply as possible, without consideration given to design, innovation, usability or quality, which are the hallmarks of a Manfrotto product. We realised that Manfrotto could really make an impact on this market and provide users with a product that met all those needs and more. In our opinion the PIXI is really everything that the average user needs from a mini tripod. It is a breeze to use, with just one button instead of many complicated settings. It’s high quality, does its job perfectly and it’s just the right size. And to top it all off it is the best looking mini tripod out there!
Joanne – The KLYP case is designed to work with much of your hardware support products due to the ¼ thread, a monopod seems like an excellent addition to this kit and one that we will be testing is this a product accessory match you would recommend?
Stefania – Yes, it is. Obviously PIXI is the perfect match, but also the monopod can be a great combination to capture videos with your iPhone in any environment.
Joanne – We’re impressed with the KLYPapp too, not only is it a free resource but it offers the great self timing facilities with the hands-free photo capture feature. It’s a great idea to offer an app with your hardware products, can you tell us more about this thought and development process behind this app.
Stefania – We wanted to bring the KLYP and its accessories to a new audience: people who just start to get passionate about photography. The KLYPapp adds an extra photography feature to your iPhone: making it easier to be part of your own pictures! KLYP itself already strengthens the camera feature on your iPhone, by pairing the iPhone with a tripod. With the KLYPapp, you simply clap your hands to shoot your photos or video. KLYP app is the best complement to support the user as he or she gets started with mobile photography.
Joanne – Mobile photography is popular within the Android and Windows platform, will Manfrotto produce kits such as this for those systems too? We appreciate that it’s quite difficult with the various handset designs.
Stefania – Mobile photography is a rapidly growing sector in the imaging world and the iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones around. However, we’re totally aware that Android and Windows platforms are gaining increasing market share and developing great photo enhancing smartphones (i.e. HTC, Lumia, etc.). We may come up with some surprises also from our side…
Joanne – Mobile photography is growing up, people are taking their kit out in a small system bags, we certainly do, has this been your experience?
Stefania – I agree with you. That’s why we want to offer a compact and portable solution, allowing people bring their iPhone with the KLYP in a small bag as a normal camera. Together with the LED and the universal connector, you can have a perfect photographic experience with your own smartphone!