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January 24, 2013

Can't Afford a GoPro? You Already Own One. Just Add G-Form's G90 Indestructible iPhone Case

The iLeatherman* for filmmakers is very real. Case in point: let's say you can't afford the $400 GoPro HERO3 (or justify the purchase for whatever reason), but you still need a tiny HD rig that laughs in the face of danger, damage, and almost certain death -- and you do own a smartphone. Meet G-Form's waterproof/impact-resistant technology -- your freefalling iPhone will survive a 100,000+ foot drop from space with it. The thing about that of course is, that same smartphone also has an HD video-capable camera built into it... you can see where this is going. Say 'hello' to G-Form's G90 'Action Sports Camera' cellphone cases -- including variants for Android models.

While there's not a lot of material demonstrating what you can achieve with such a case, here's some videos that demonstrate G-Form's futuristic molecular concussion-insulation technology -- because science is cool (and fun, even if it's a little marketing-heavy):

Followed by the obligatory -- and kind of awe-inspiring, to be honest -- demonstration of the type of technology G-Form is implementing here (Impact Protection, Revolutionized), and moreover it's effectiveness:

And here's the unveiling video, which mostly displays the look (and snug fit) of the case, plus the kind of FOV we're talking about achieving here -- if you're a reader, you're likely already aware of your phone's video capabilities, but from the looks of things you may have to adjust the way you point to shoot:

From G-Form's homepage for the G90:

After a year of research and feedback from extreme hard core athletes, we have created the world’s first case that truly turns any smartphone or iPod touch into a sports action camera. The G90 case integrates unique, multiple proprietary and patent pending technologies allowing smartphones and iPods to be flat mounted as extremely low profile, aerodynamic and sleek as sports action cameras, rivaling and exceeding the other well known sports cameras on the market. [Wink wink]

The G90 Action Sports Camera case will be available beginning June 2013 for a variety of devices including Samsung S4, iPhone 5, iPod touch gen. 5, and more.

More, from the press release:

G-form’s technology allows smartphones or iPods to take images at a 90° angle while mounted flat. The same technology also allows the lens of the device to simultaneously increase the field of view to capture all the action in a 140º wide angle format. The G90 case attaches to almost any surface and offers both a full waterproof enclosure and skeletal back. The case can aerodynamically adhere to a helmet, skateboard, surfboard, bike handlebar and more making it far less intrusive than any sports action camera on the market. The G90 is even capable of taking video from the underside of a skateboard where no other sports action camera can go.

Getting the entire 140º field of view will depend on your camera's native look-width, but I think the major news here aside from the ruggedness of this case is the ability to mount it flat, via the 90° angle shift going on. Not even GoPro's form factor is as unobtrusive as this -- lying flat means a mounted camera protrusion of around 25mm or less. Granted, the camera of your iPhone or Android is not as specialized as a standalone industry leader like the GoPro -- meaning things like compression artifacting, rolling shutter jello, latitude, resolution, and bit-rate (you know, the important stuff) are not primary concerns of the machine, and therefore may give you serious problems. Then again, shooters of the DSLR generation certainly aren't strangers to this phenomenon.

The fact is, action cam-type material just isn't going to be "A" camera material by definition -- and I'm seriously betting an action cam style insert under one second in length will not constitute a nightmare to match-grade up to par. This stuff is more about accenting and impact, after all. It's not about narrative finesse, or even continuity. In other words, it very well may work -- and even work well -- if not simply 'just well enough' to squeak by. There doesn't appear to be any pricing info floating about either, but you can bet the cost will be very competitive to "the other well-known sports cameras on the market," even including the price of brand new smartphone. If not, then why bother?

Any iPhone or Galaxy SIII owners out there rethinking a GoPro purchase? Do you see this accessory legitimizing your smartphone as an action camera option?

Link: G90 Action Sports Camera -- G-Form

[via Mashable, Gizmodo, & TodaysiPhone]

*iSwissArmyKnife didn't quite have the same ring to it.

Your Comment

32 Comments

How do you make a call then?

January 24, 2013

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Soosan Khanoom

Wait - smartphones can actually make phone calls?

January 24, 2013

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Swested

You don't buy smartphones for calling, that's so XXth century, yuk!

January 24, 2013

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maghoxfr

However much I would love to say that the 100000 drop was impressive, it wasn't.

As soon as it hits terminal velocity you may as well be dropping it from a bridge or something. Oh look. it can fall for 10 minutes in air without breaking.

It's a test that isn't actually proving anything but overacting the truth of the matter. It can take a fall, but 100,000 ft in the air doesn't make it fall any harder.

January 24, 2013

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Tyler

Really? It can survive a fall at terminal velocity. That's pretty damn impressive. 100,000, 10,000, or 1,000. Who cares. It's impressive.

January 24, 2013

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Not if you understand the physics behind it.

January 24, 2013

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Hummer

The physics behind it? The only relevant aspects of physics are that it reaches terminal velocity, well over 100 mph, hits the rocky ground and does not leave a scratch on the iPad. The drop may be exaggerated, but since when is it uncool to send something up to the outer atmosphere and drop it?

June 3, 2013

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Tyler

100,000 feet drop? It would, first, have to survive re-entry into the earth's atmosphere without burning to a cinder. If it can do that, that IS impressive.

January 24, 2013

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dixter

Actually, FIRST, you'd have to understand that it never exited the atmosphere. Therefore, it can't burn up on re-entry, as re-entry didn't exist. You see the atmosphere extends up to around 100km, and 100 000 feet is only around 30km. So, the prinicple of terminal velocity applies. (Still a cool case, don't know of any other cases that can claim terminal velocity protection.)

February 2, 2013

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SHHH- most consumers dont understand basic physics.

January 24, 2013

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john jeffreys

He's only saying that they're over exaggerating just for the sake of saying 100,000 feet. I agree. It's kind of pointless, you really wanna show how that thing works? Shoot it out of a canon or shoot something out of canon at it or something like that. If it survives, then my jaw will drop. Ipad's don't weigh a lot. I'd love to hear the science behind how fast it was actually falling.

January 24, 2013

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If you can afford an iPhone, you can afford a GoPro. This is a terrible idea.

January 24, 2013

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Derik

Yeah, but what if you could get a used iPhone 4 off of Craigslist for say, $150? Not such a terrible idea now is it?

January 24, 2013

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Yep. Still a terrible idea. ;)

January 24, 2013

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Derik

150$ for a shitty camera plagued by excessive rolling shutter is 150$ wasted.

January 24, 2013

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FabDex

Still a terrible idea. $150 you're almost able to buy a GoPro.

January 24, 2013

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Yeah ok.. you're right, this is just a shitty case.

January 24, 2013

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So? They made a rugged case for an iPhone. It's not some giant breakthrough. No disrespect to Joe for writing about it or to the quality of the article itself.

January 24, 2013

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DIYFilmSchool.net

This is Dave's post.

January 24, 2013

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avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
217

Like he said, "No disrespect to Joe." ;)

January 24, 2013

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Derik

Dave's not here, maaaan!

January 24, 2013

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Farkle

Dave's not here. Dave went away. Dave's gone...

January 24, 2013

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avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
217

Dave? Is that you Dave?

January 24, 2013

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papalazarou

Will the real Dave please stand up? *sits down*

January 24, 2013

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Dave Kendricken
Writer
Freelancer
36

I actually liked this article Dave. Lol. Apparently my tastes run really contrary to the crowd that comments on these.

January 24, 2013

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d

To boldly go go where no Hero has gone before... to the app store! :)

January 24, 2013

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David Sharp

Sadly we can make this kind of stuff for technology but not for our OWN humanly body safety.

January 24, 2013

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This company makes protection for athletes of extreme sports out of the same material as their cases. http://g-form.com/our-products/athletics/

April 10, 2013

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Drew

If it's not too expesive i might be interested. Let's just hope they tought of putting a 1/4'' 20 hole at the bottom so it can be mounted on many things.

January 25, 2013

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Antoine Quirion

I have a Samsung S2 and while it's ok for talking head type video its bit rate is like 1.6 mb/sec or something. It doesn't handle fast motion very well at all. Not sure what the specs of the iPhone are. Great screen though, it plays back HD footage beautifully if you're in a pinch.

January 26, 2013

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steve

Didn't anyone notice the GoPro survived the fall as well?!!

February 6, 2013

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Evan

Quick question. If we already own a g form case for our device, when purchasing the g90 does it come with another case? Or do we just buy the outer g90 thing.

April 9, 2013

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Tony