Monday, April 7, 2014

Portable Light Box

Late last year one of the guys at work came across a project on Kickstarter called the Foldio - The 1st foldable studio. For a start, who knew that Kickstarter was for anything except Tabletop and Computer games??? Anyway, the concept behind Foldio was that it was allowed anybody with a smartphone to easily take high quality pictures by providing a small light box. The light box itself was compact and (thanks to some magnets) able to be folded up when not in use, or easily packed away and carried around.

I am at best a barely competent photographer but I do like playing around a little. I've also been cleaning out the cupboards of excess miniatures so I figured that a small investment was worth it if it would mean that I could start taking some photos at home more easily. My primary use would be for work in progress shots etc because I could use the white table at work for anything more serious, or for taking shots for ebay.

The Foldio turned up on time, which must be a record for any Kickstarter product! Packed nicely, with a functional but pretty boring little carry bag. It was a little bigger than expected at around 28cm-ish square, meaning I could easily fit a Colossal in there. My version came with two little LED light strips and after watching the assembly video (which was not really necessary) I was up and running.
Foldio on the bookcase by the computer.
Picture, straight out of the camera, with no Photoshop wizardry (other than re-sizing etc).
Same photo with a little bit of Photoshop work (as you can tell, barely competent with Photoshop either!)
Same figures on the bookshelf, where the Foldio now sits.
So, thoughts? In life you can have things fast, cheap, or good - pick two. 
  • Foldio is in my opinion quite cheap given that it was around $40 (delivered, with different coloured background sheets, with an extra LED light strip).
  • It is fast - lets substitute quick and easy to use.
  • As for the last one lets say that it is definitely okay, and it is definitely much much better than what I had (which was nothing). The one thing I do not like about it is that it does not provide particularly great source lighting, but what was I expecting for the price. Also I've spent all of 20 minutes playing around with so probably a ways to go yet. I do have a second LED light strip so I thought I would play around with the placement of that to see if I could introduce a little more light.
Closing thoughts - definitely a well design lead project that looks cool and is easy to use. It was never going to be as good as a "proper" (read more expensive) light box solution, but it sits on my shelf out of the way and with a little practice will become a nice addition to the blog toolbox.

As for buying one, in the short term you cannot as they are still shipping out orders from their Kickstarter campaign but you can always jump on their website to find out more about when they will begin production and distribution through conventional channels.

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