Mobile Studios: Spotlight on the Foldio 1 by Orange Monkie

Updated: Jan 18


Whether you have your own website, make handmade goods, travel frequently or a combination of all three you may realise that getting consistent lighting for your photos is not always easy. You may also find that you have limited space to work in and/or you need the flexibility of being able to set up a workplace in diverse locations because you don’t have a set office. That’s where the portable studios sold by Orange Monkie may be the perfect fit for you. They are a foldable studio made of plastic sheeting that when unfolded is held together by magnets. Lighting is provided by LED lights and the studios come with backgrounds included so once set up you are ready to go. I chose the Foldio1 to gain a better understanding of the product and how it could be used. Below you will find a first impression review as well as some information on alternatives offered by the company.

First Impression Review of Foldio 1

(Image credit: ornagemonkie)

(Image credit: Sophie Poualion)

Features

Portable 26 x 26cm studio body Dual LED light strips 2 USB cables White pouch 4 backdrops (White, Grey, Black, Green)

I like

✔️Easy set-up and storage ✔️ Doesn’t require much space ✔️ Doesn’t require an added power source. ✔️ Good starter studio for those new to product photography, those who want a quick set-up option or who have limited space available to them

I don’t like ⚠️ Doesn’t suit anything bigger than a watch ⚠️ Backgrounds attract dust easily because they are velour ⚠️ No care instructions (e.g. how to keep backgrounds clean) ⚠️ Foldio 1 background packs aren’t sold separately.

Rating: 🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴 (based on the first impression)

To buy it: http://orangemonkie.com/product/foldio1/

Price: US$29 (excluding shipping) so approximately AU$42

Buying Guide

Things to consider before buying.

1) The space you have available to set up the studio 2) The dimensions of the objects you’re most likely to be photographing 3) The type of photos you’ll be most likely to be taking (e.g. flatlay) 4) Where your USB ports on your laptop or PC are (i.e. the cables may get in the way when taking photos or you may not have enough space to comfortably place the studio) 5) The likelihood of needing to replace the backgrounds (i.e. think about sourcing other options) 6) The exchange rate for your country (i.e. price are quoted in US dollars)

Alternatives for the Foldio1 from Orange Monkie

Foldio 2 Plus

(Image credit: ornagemonkie)

Features Portable 38 x 38cm studio body with pre-installed LED lighting Detachable Top Cover (for flat-lay photography) Dimming Controller International Adapter Kit (US, UK, AU, EU) 2 Backdrops (White, Black) Backdrop Holder Instruction Manual

To buy it: http://orangemonkie.com/product/foldio2plus/ Price: US$79 (excluding shipping) so approximately AU$114

Foldio 3

(Image credit: ornagemonkie)

Features Portable 63.5 x 63.5cm studio body Triple LED lighting system Dimming controller Power Adapter kit (US, UK, AU, EU) 2 backdrops (White, Black) Instructions Foldio app (iOS available only)

To buy it: http://orangemonkie.com/product/foldio3/

Price: US$139 (excluding shipping) so approximately AU$200

Foldio 360 Full Set

(Image credit: ornagemonkie)

Features Portable Foldio3 63.5cm x 63.5cm studio body Halo bar set (lighting accessory composed of 2 Halo bars and 1 connecting cable) Dimming controller Power Adapter kit (US, UK, AU, EU) Foldio360 (smart turntable for 360-degree product photography) Only US(JP) & EU plug available. Foldio360 extension kit (49cm extension accessory for the Foldio360) 2 backdrops (White, Black) Instructions Foldio app (iOS available only)

To buy it: http://orangemonkie.com/product/foldio360-20-full-set/

Price: US$359 (excluding shipping) so approximately AU$516

My verdict

The product was shipped to me via DHL and arrived quickly and safely with zero damage. I ordered it the 15th, it was shipped out to me the 15th and I received it on the 20th. For reference, it ships from Korea and I’m in Australia. As mini studios go, I found the set up to be incredibly easy and the resultant quality of photo to be excellent. Given the fact that your photos will need to be cropped and the size of the actual studio the size of the objects you can photograph is restricted. Having said that for smaller objects I think this is a great affordable option that will give you great results. In future, I think I would source additional backgrounds or background options as I think they would have a tendency to get dirty/stained very easily. I found that using 250gsm project card was quite a good (and affordable option). In regards to price, given that I’m in Australia the products cost dearer (i.e. US$1 = AU$1.49). So, when you’re making your order you may want to choose carefully and consider if you want to purchase added options. I would personally be looking at getting either the Foldio2 Plus or Foldio 360 full set to expand the type of photos I could take and variety of products I could photograph.

Footnote:

The rating system is 1 is terrible and 5 is excellent.

There will be a full review of the Foldio1 coming soon. So, keep your eye peeled!

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