While it’s outer shell remains nearly unchanged, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro takes the brand’s already stellar flagship model and improves it further. The Pro adds in a longer 30 minute flight time, a couple of extra stereoscopic and new infrared sensors around the drone, and a better camera equipped with a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor coupled to a custom lens. One thing this means for the pilot is better obstacle avoidance: notably, you can now enable this while flying faster, up to 31 mph, and it’ll detect objects in almost every direction while moving to avoid them. Moreover it now shoots 4K video at a super smooth 60fps, snaps 20-megapixel stills, and optionally comes with a remote that’s got a built-in 5.5-inch touchscreen display (though the standard smartphone-dependent remote is available at the base price). It’s also loaded with more modes and features, including Draw that lets you draw a route on the screen to have the drone follow that path plus ActiveTrack image recognition algorithms to follow and record subjects without a tracker and from various angles.
Hit up DJI to learn more – $1,500
Babysitting our camera’s lens cap is probably the thing we like the least about shooting, even with the thousands of accessories that promise to safeguard it while it’s off the lens. Leica compact D-Lux with Explorer Kit, on the other hand, lets you spontaneously snap away without having to worry about a cap thanks to its clever lens cover that splits and opens up as the camera is turned on. The camera itself comes equipped with a big Four Thirds sensor and a fast Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9–34 mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH zoom lens that complement its spirit of quickness. Also included is a rugged red cotton carrying strap for securing the compact cam around your wrist. Though if you’ve already got a D-Lux just grab the Auto Lens Cap ($60) and call it a day.
Learn more at Leica – $1,145
Your Apple Watch straps a tiny, surprisingly functional computer to your wrist, but it’s always been deprived of a camera. Here to fill that void is Glide’s CMRA Apple Watch Camera Band. It’s a flexible elastomer strap that’s equipped with not one but two cameras: a 2-megapixel self-facing cam and an 8-megapixel outward-facing one, both with Sony sensors to shoot quality photos and crisp HD video. The strap has a single button that’s used as a shutter, 8GB of memory to store it all, and a battery that’s good for snapping hundreds of photos on a charge or about 30 minutes of video. Thanks to WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity it integrates right in with your watch and even allows for video conferencing using Glide’s watchOS app. Conveniently included is a dock that charges both strap and watch simultaneously.
Find it at CMRA – $150
All it takes is a smartphone redesign to make all your previous accessories incompatible. And while its form factor hasn’t changed much, the cameras on the iPhone 7 and especially the 7 Plus, are quite different than those on their predecessors. Luckily the Olloclip iPhone 7 Lens Set is already good to go on the new phones, slipping over both rear and front cameras and even over thick screen protectors (though not over standard cases, but Olloclip does make compatible ones) to enhance your shots and selfies. All three new models feature Olloclip’s Connect Lens system, letting you swap the lenses on either side with others in the series to mix and match the pair to your liking, and boast a hinged base that lets the camera move to work with the 7 as well as either of the 7 Plus’ cameras. Lenses include fisheye, 120° super-wide, 2x telephoto, 155° ultra wide, and several macro lenses up to 21x, paired up across the current three sets: Core, Active, and Macro Pro.
Learn more at Olloclip – $80+
Your GoPro is fairly rugged. Definitely not rugged enough to throw it several dozen feet in the air and let it crash back down bare, though. But pop it in an Aer and you can do just that. This giant Nerf-like foam dart fits your action camera in its head, working nicely with the GoPro HERO 3, 4, and 5 (this last one with an insert to make up for its smaller size). A hefty foam bumper protects the cam from eventual impact while a large hole keeps its wide-angle view unobstructed. Its large fins keep the frame very stable and, importantly, it’s both very portable and completely waterproof, floating if it lands in a body of water. Check out some of the shots and videos they’ve taken with it.
Find it at Kickstarter – roughly $55
Theoretically, drones don’t need to be big to be capable, but so far these two attributes have been tightly correlated. DJI’s Mavic Pro breaks the mold by being small enough to fit in your hand while lacking few features of the drone brand’s far larger flagship machines. Folded, the Mavic could fit into the tightest of handbags and murses. Once it takes to the skies you’d hardly know it considering its got a 3-axis gimbal-stabilized 4K camera, about 27 minutes of battery life, and a 4.3 mile range thanks to a new OcuSync transmission system that pipes back a 1080p live feed. Its most impressive features? We’d have to go for two: Precision Hover, which uses GPS as usual to avoid drifting outdoors but that also uses a slew of cameras and sensors to compensate for drift indoors where satellite positioning is not available; and FlightAutonomy, which uses 5 cameras, 2 ultrasonic range finders, a bunch more sensors and 24 computing cores to sense and avoid obstacles even when you’re piloting the thing from many miles away. Plus it boasts compatibility with the company’s new DJI goggles which put two 1080p screens right in front of your eyes by way of a VR headset.
Learn more at Amazon – $1,000
Snapchat, the company behind the app, is now known simply as Snap. With this moniker change comes their first relevant non-software release: Spectacles, pairing perfectly with the app. These slightly crazy-looking sunglasses put a 115-degree lens-equipped video camera beside your right eye and a small circle of LEDs beside your left. Tap a button on the left arm to record a 10 second snap from your perspective, letting others know you’re recording by illuminating the circle of LEDS to downplay the creep factor (while simultaneously letting you know thanks to a small light inside the glasses). Uploading videos is done wirelessly via Bluetooth so you can share them just as quick, and the wide-ange video is shot circularly to make it seamlessly viewable in both portrait and landscape orientations with no dead zone. An included case recharges Spectacles when you’re not wearing them so running out of juice at any point is rather unlikely.
Coming soon. Learn more at Spectacles – $130
Small smartphone lenses aren’t so great at shooting or filming in low-light situations. SureFire’s FirePak ensures you’ll rarely, if ever, have to shoot in the dark. It’s ludicrously powerful, emitting up to 1,500 lumens of light at a 50 foot range by the use of two high-performance LEDs and that, thanks to cleverly designed reflectors, create a seamlessly blended beam that’s shaped to fully illuminate a typical 16:9 video frame. A switch on the side controls brightness, although so does its free Bluetooth app, and it’s equally useful for snapping photos. Plus its battery is beefy enough recharge most smartphones twice and rails on the back attach it to your smartphone wrapped in one of SureFire’s cases.
Learn more at SureFire – $300