Google’s work in smartphone cameras is quite simply amazing. Between HDR+ and the black magic that is Night Sight, it’s unparalleled and is a huge reason why the phone sits in my pocket daily. However, it still lacks a lot of the flexibility of a traditional camera. That’s where Moment lenses come in – here’s what they can do with the Google Pixel 3.
We’ve covered Moment’s gear in the past here on 9to5Google, and the results still speak for themselves. Moment produces some excellent glass to go with any smartphone, but since that first review alongside the Pixel 2 XL, a lot has changed in terms of what lenses you can buy and also, arguably more importantly, the case it connects with.
Moment Cases for Google Pixel 3
First and foremost, I want to take a second to thank Moment for hearing the cries of users regarding the cases it uses. Frankly, the cases used in previous years just weren’t very good. The quality was lacking and, at least in my case, I often only wanted to use that case if I knew I was going to use the lens. Now, the company has made some major improvements to its case. It better covers the entire device and has better buttons too.
There are three variants of the case too. There’s all black option which has a canvas backing, a black case with a walnut insert (my personal favorite), and a white case with a leather insert. That white case is probably the best looking of the bunch, but it stains way too easily. A week going in and out of a pair of blue jeans left an irreversible blue tint on the case. For that reason, I simply can’t recommend that variant, but know that all three are improved greatly over the cases available in past years.
Moment Tele 58mm Lens
Now, the fun part. Moment has produced a lot of great new lenses since we’ve last done any hands-on coverage, and the new Tele 58mm lens is a great option for taking stills. Pictured in the header above, this lens is designed to zoom in on the subject and create a lot of bokeh. It does that job very well too, making subjects look very sharp and almost hitting portrait mode results without the need to switch modes.
It’s not perfect, though. The Tele 58mm lens still can’t get very close to a subject without having trouble with focus, and bright light in the background can cause issues too. In one of the examples below my colleague Stephen Hall stands in front of some LED lighting, and you can see how the lens had a bit of trouble with that.
Moment Anamorphic Lens
If you’re a video lover, the Anamorphic lens probably gets you pretty excited. It’s designed to get that widescreen, letterboxed look for films. The effect is usually really expensive and requires special hardware, but Moment has managed to make a simple smartphone lens that brings it to your device. It also gets those sweet lens flares so you can get your JJ Abrams on.
The problem with the anamorphic lens at the moment, though, is the fact that it doesn’t work quite right with Android yet. Because the Moment Pro Camera app is a bit behind its iOS counterpart, it lacks the ability to save files with the “desqueezed” look that actually makes footage look correct. Until that’s out, I’d wait on buying it.
- Moment Anamorphic Lens – $149
Moment Wide Angle Lens
Even though it’s older now and we’ve already covered it, I still can’t give enough love to the classic 18mm wide angle lens. It’s my personal favorite from Moment’s entire collection, and it’s also the one I still use most with my Pixel 3 XL. It doesn’t take any sharpness away from photos, lets you see way more of the scene, and it can also negate the crop that comes from shooting video on the Pixel 3. That final point alone makes it worth the asking price if you ask me. To see that in action, check out the Google Assistant CES booth tour embedded below, it was shot entirely on that lens.
Why are they getting more expensive?
Recently, Moment sent out a message to its customers in an effort to be transparent about a change for the company. Moment lenses are getting more expensive. Already applied, the company’s lenses have seen price increases of roughly $20 each. That’s a shame as the price has already been something that makes these harder to recommend, but Moment says it’s in an effort to push the product into more retail locations.
Personally, I still think Moment’s lenses are worth it even at the higher prices, if you’re the right customer. These work best if you go out often looking for “the shot.” Having the ability to improve your mobile photography without lugging around a DSLR is simply great, and the right lens can solve pain points on any camera, including the Pixel 3’s. For example, I love using the wide angle lens to counteract the crop that comes from shooting video on the device.
Thankfully, you can still save. For the rest of the day, using the lofotenislands at checkout on Moment’s website restores prices to their original state. This only works until midnight on Tuesday (2/5/19), though. After that, you can use our exclusive coupon code, 9to5moment through Thursday (2/7/19) to save 10% on your entire order.
More on Google Pixel 3:
- Google’s latest Pixel 3 Night Sight ad shows off behind the scenes of ‘Phone X’ comparison [Video]
- Pixel Visual Core support w/ HDR+ exits beta on Moment Pro Camera app, available to all
- uBreakiFix confirms same-day repairs for Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are (finally) available
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