It’s unimaginable to think of a smartphone without a camera nowadays. So, whenever we buy a new smartphone, one of the most important aspects we look for is the camera. We want multiple lenses, wide aperture, high dynamic range, autofocus, portrait modes, lots of filters, all from a single mobile camera.
But having all these incredible features in one smartphone camera is not possible at all. Even though the new era of smartphones comes with three, four, or even five cameras on the rear, we still can’t get the perfect shot we want. So, we look for more options to enhance our pictures or videos.
It is especially true for mobile photographers, cinematographers, or vloggers who want more from their mobile phones. But, they also need to purchase some extra equipment to get that DSLR quality shot. That’s where the external mobile lens industry got a chance to enter the consumer market and introduce external lenses for smartphones.
Though many people thought of the outer lens as a gimmick at first, after Steven Soderbergh used the Moment Lens to shoot his entire movie on an iPhone 7+, he proved that an external lens could be used to enhance your mobile photography. And just like Steven, many people prefer to use the Moment Lens from more than 70 smartphone lenses available on the market. But why “Moment”? What makes Moment so popular among people? Let’s find out!
Journey of Moment
“Moment” was launched in August 2013 by Marc Barros and the other three co-founders. Marc Barros was a serial entrepreneur, and before “Moment,” he founded a Seattle action-video-camera company called “Contour.” Contour was a rising company at that time and had the potential to grow. But unfortunately, he was fired from his own company. And after his departure, the company went bankrupt in only nine months. It was hard to accept, but Barros moved on and put his new stake on “Moment.”
Rather than making the same mistakes Barros did in Contour, he decided to take charge. After comprehensive market research, he decided to put all of his products on Kickstarter for crowdfunding even though they had enough funds for investment. It might seem like the company was a money hunter, but there was a valid reason for doing this. As Barros said, “You can spend four months prototyping, but if people don’t want it or don’t (care), then you’re going to waste a lot of money on manufacturing.”
That’s why Barros wanted to be sure that the external mobile lens industry had a future ahead. As the built-in mobile cameras, at that time, were not able to quench the need for professional-level photographers or cinematographers, people were looking for something bigger that could change their smartphone camera experience. So, Moment targeted those customers and came up with their prototype of mobile lenses. Luckily this time, Marc hit the bullseye, and the first campaign of Moment Lens on Kickstarter was a big hit. The company raised more than $450,000 from 4,722 backers on Kickstarter, whereas they only had a target of $50,000.
Nevertheless, it showed Barros the potential of his new startup, and he introduced his first two Moment Lenses, the Moment Tele and Moment Wide, in 2014. Both lenses were made using the same old proprietary process of designing and manufacturing cinematic lenses to achieve the highest image quality. Also, these Moment lenses had no distortion, minimal chromatic aberration, and better MTF performance than other available mobile lenses.
So, it didn’t take long for Moment to grab the market. After which, they also launched another campaign of a Phone Case on Kickstarter in 2015. The primary purpose of the phone case was to minimize the hassle of attaching lenses to iPhone and Galaxy phones. It was another success, and this time they raised $693,435 from 4,833 backers, which was $243,435 more than the previous campaign.
After that, in 2017, Moment announced its new Kickstarter campaign to launch three new products: a new range of their Photo Case, a new Wide Lens, and the Battery Photo Case. In this lineup, the battery photo case was something new that grabbed the attention of mobile photographers.
The battery photo case was meant to give extra life to the iPhone 7+ with its 3500 mAh battery and the iPhone 7 with a 2500 mAh Battery. The batteries were attached to the photo cases and could recharge the iPhone automatically. But the charging could also be controlled by the Moment App, and it also brought back the DSLR-like shutter button experience for mobile photographers.
With this fantastic new battery case idea and a new range of photo cases and lenses, Moment again raised $767,897 pledged by 5,149 backers. Till then, it was the highest investment that Moment had raised in its 3-year existence. But the record-breaking history of Moment occurred in 2018 when Moment’s fourth Kickstarter campaign reached its goal of $50,000 in 41 minutes and raised this amount five times faster than previous records. It clearly showed that Moment Lenses had gathered great popularity in the mobile lens market, and people were eager to see more from this Seatle-based startup.
And to keep up with the expectation of mobile photographers, Moment introduced its new Anamorphic Lens, iPhone X battery case, Gimbal Counterweight, and lens filter adapters. These products debuted to increase the video quality and smoothness of the iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones.
That same year, Moment had also introduced another Kickstarter campaign for a new Moment Lens. In this campaign, Barros announced the launch of an anamorphic drone lens that can be attached to a DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom. This was Moments’ first step towards making a drone lens. And it received an investment of $1.5 million from this campaign which clearly shows that consumers and investors have a robust trust in Moments products.
After that, there was no going back. Time after time, Moment has introduced a variety of mobile lenses, photo cases, battery cases, and different mobile accessories. And to enhance the photo and video shooting experience for Moment customers, they had also launched the Pro Camera app. With so many mobile camera accessories and apps, Moment is considered one of the best mobile lenses on the market. Now the main question arises. Why is Moment considered to be one of the best mobile lenses?
Why Moment is the Best?
“In short, Moment Lenses have everything you need to make your mobile photography easier. They offer a wide range of lenses, easy to attach photo cases, battery cases, gimbals, tripods, etc. It’s not like other lens companies don’t manufacture those accessories. But nobody else offers such a wide selection of products to choose from.”
Moment offers five different lenses to choose from, including wide lenses, fisheye lenses, x10 macros, tele lenses, and anamorphic lenses. They have photo cases for every single model of the iPhone and even some android phones too.
The Moment has photo cases for the Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and OnePlus devices, whereas other lens companies only focus on iPhones. So clearly, Moment Lens gets more customers than any other lens brand available on the market. Another important reason why people love Moment Lenses is because of their easy-to-attach facilities. Generally, in mobile lenses, we can see magnets or clips attached to mobile, which can be a little troublesome. Most of the time, the magnet or clip lenses just keep slipping and don’t stay in the center.
The Moment has given a very wise and easy solution for these issues. They invented photo cases that come with easy to attach knots for Moment Lenses. For that, the lenses got a strong grip and didn’t fall or slip from the center. Even the battery cases come with the same feature and also give extra life to your iPhones and Android phones, which no other lens company has given yet. And if you are thinking only about the lens, then the Moment Lens has all the quality and features you will need from an external mobile lens. It has a great build quality, no distortion, minimal chromatic aberration, and better MTF performance than any other mobile lens.
So, it is easy to understand that the great quality, many variations, and easy-to-use facilities make these small compact moment lenses popular and best among mobile photographers. And till now, no lens company has yet created anything with this much quality, that can compete with Moment Lenses. Now, if we talk about future aspects, then we should say Moment does have a great future ahead. According to Statista, worldwide camera shipments dropped by 93 percent between 2010 and 2020 because of Smartphones and wiped out 40 years of camera industry growth.
This means people are now looking for more from a smartphone camera than they had previously. And when a company like Moment offers a product that can enhance the quality of a photo, people will definitely support it. But the concerning fact is that when every single mobile brand is regularly upgrading their smartphone cameras and adding different sensors to enhance its quality, is there going to be any future for external lenses? Or is Moment going to bring something even more revolutionary to keep up with their pro mobile photographers? Only time will tell.
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