When recently visiting The Photography Show a little known brand caught my attention with the Foldio photo studio.
They were demonstrating the various products to show goers and the simplicity had everyone interested in seeing what was on offer.
Seeing the interest I got in touch with Orangemonkie and they kindly sent me several items to check out and review.
The Foldio2 is a 15″ foldable photo studio, ideal for small object photography, specifically product photography. There are 3 versions available, the 2, which I’m reviewing, the 10″ 1 and the 25″ 3.
As well as the studio I received a power supply, light control and backing sheets, a black and a white background sheet.
The power supply is used with the inbuilt LED lights at the top of the Foldio, a smart design to give you nice bright lights.
The smarts don’t stop there, the studio is initially flat, it folds (hence the name) into a cube and uses strong magnets to retain it’s shape.
It’s a really simple idea that works very well. Once ‘cubed’ it’s nice and steady and ready for a background sheet. This is also held in place, this time via two magnetic strips, one at the top and one at the bottom.
Power plugs in at the top, plug it in and you’re good to go!
There is also an additional accessory, the front cover, which adds a front to the studio. This attaches via magnets and has a viewing cutout in the front.
Photos can be taken either from the front or top down, there is a removable hatch (held in place with…you guessed it, magnets!) which allows your camera a top down view of any item inside.
Initial results look good but some experimentation with camera settings is going to be required to get the really crisp white background.
I found the white background to be better than the black. I didn’t use the black much but it became visibly marked very quickly. Given the design of the magnetic holding system you could easily make your own background colour providing the material you use isn’t too heavy.
If you feel the included lights aren’t bright enough, or you’d like options about light placement, Orangemonkie have design a couple of additional light bars, called Halo Bars.
These are made from lightweight plastic to allow them to be positioned either outside or inside the lightbox, attaching to the sides via magnets.
They plug into the Foldio light control unit, giving you control over all lights via two dimming controls, one adjusts the Foldio lighting, the other adjusts the Halo lighting.
The bars are well designed, they can be stood up or lay flat and they have a decent brightness to them.
As the Foldio is small enough to place on a table you won’t need a full sized tripod and that’s where Tripod50 comes in. I really like the design of the tripod, it feels great quality and is very compact.
It comes with a ball head and quick release plate allowing you to attach any camera. If you’re going to be using your mobile you can attach the included mobile holder.
In it’s most compact form it’s 17cm tall but this can be extended to 50cm.
Although designed as an accessory for the Foldio I’ve found this to be an excellent tripod in general, perfect for use out an about.
I haven’t tried this accessory out but I have seen it in action. It’s an optional turntable to put inside the light box which allows you to create 360 degree photos of products.
The Foldio360 turntable can be controlled via your phone over bluetooth meaning you don’t need an expensive DSLR to create 360 product shoots.
Once all the photos have been taken the idea is you can add the product to your site in a way that allows users to swipe to rotate around.
The Orangemonkie team have come up with a well thought out range of products for those looking to take product photos.
The smart design of the Foldio allows it to be easily stored away when not in use; I love the mini Tripod50, it’s uses go beyond product photography; The Halo Bars offer up new options around lighting and while I’ve not tried the Foldio360 I can see it being brilliant for those looking for a unique way to showcase products.
It’s going to take further experimentation to get the most out of the photos, but so far this has been a much better option over the larger Amazon Photo Studio due to it’s compact size.