For many, the iPhone is a camera that also makes phone calls. The camera has improved greatly over the years, as have the third-party gadgets designed to improve your iPhoneography. From lenses and lights to gimbals and microphones, the right accessories can take the camera you have in your pocket and make it even more accurate and flexible. Here are the best iPhone camera accessories to take your mobile photography (and video) to the next level.
Pro tip: Shooting photos and videos on your iPhone can be very taxing on the battery. To that you have enough juice to capture everything you want, you’ll need an external battery pack. We’ve rounded up some of the best battery packs on the market.
One of the most effective ways to improve your smartphone photography is to purchase add-on lens attachments. These lenses mount on top of your built-in lens and alter the angle of view; they won’t technically improve image quality, but they can expand the types of photos you’re able to capture with your iPhone. While there are plenty of cheaper options on the market, Moment Lenses are our favorites thanks to their build quality, quick and secure mounting, and wide variety of options available. Constructed of high-quality glass within a metal frame, Moment Lenses let you capture telephoto, wide-angle, and fisheye perspectives, but the Starter Set is a good place to, well, start. Videographers should also check out the Moment Anamorphic lens.
Sometimes you need to shoot steady and hands-free, and this handy Bluetooth remote gadget makes that possible. Use it for selfies, group photos, and steady shots for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Lightweight and convenient, the remote is easy to carry and store, and you need to pair it only once to be automatically recognized. The shutter can trigger your phone and tablet at up to 30 feet (10 meters) away and has two buttons for shooting photos and videos — a small button for Android and a large button for iPhone. Otherwise, it’s compatible with a huge number of devices, including phones and tablets running Android 4.2.2 and later and Apple iOS 6.0 and later. There’s also an option to use the built-in app or Camera 360 app. It comes with an adjustable wrist strap.
A simple tabletop tripod is the easiest way to get a steady shot when you’re on the go, without adding much bulk to your bag. Manfrotto knows a thing or two about making tripods, and its mobile lineup is no exception. The Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod has been around for some time, and for good reason: It is designed in Italy like its larger siblings, and offers the same type of build quality you’d come to expect from full-size Manfrotto tripods. Included with the tripod is a dedicated smartphone mount that fits even the largest of iPhones. With legs collapsed, it even functions as a small selfie stick.
Thanks to 4K resolution and advanced apps like Filmic Pro, the iPhone is a capable video camera. However, one area where it remains lacking is audio quality. The Rode VideoMic Me-L solves this problem with a directional microphone with an integrated Lightning connector that plus directly into your iPhone. This dramatically improves audio quality by filtering out off-axis sounds to focus on your subject. It should work particularly well for vloggers, and will help cut through the background noise of public spaces. The microphone is even powered by your phone so you don’t need to worry about an additional battery, but note that you may have trouble connecting it if your phone has a case that covers the bottom.
Like Moment, Olloclip is another way to make the most of your iPhone’s camera through additional lenses, but tends to sit at a lower price. Olloclip’s new Essential Lens Kit and a universal clip can fit on a number of smartphones, so you won’t have to buy a new case or mount if you upgrade your phone. It includes a dedicated lens mounting clip and three interchangeable lenses: Fisheye, super-wide angle, and macro. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get new looks from your iPhone photography, the Essential Lens Kit is a great place to start.
While newer iPhones offer both optical and digital image stabilization in video mode, serious videographers will undoubtedly want something better. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 brings professional-level gimbal stabilization to the iPhone in a size and weight that won’t completely ruin the portability of your phone. Building on the success of the Osmo Mobile 2, the three-axis mobile gimbal offers subject tracking, so you can shoot fast subjects without worrying about keeping them centered in the frame. The Osmo Mobile 3 also has built-in modes for easier shooting, quickly switches between portrait and landscape orientation, and folds down to avoid taking up too much room in your bag. It’s designed to be used alongside a dedicated smartphone app and offers a slew of clever features to you never miss a moment and capture it all as smoothly as possible.
The LED lights integrated into smartphones are adequate for a handful of situations, but they’re far from perfect. To add more light to the scene or, better yet, to take the light off-camera to make it more interesting, try the Lume Cube 2.0. The lighting accessory is ideal for anything from serious smartphone photography to better selfies and more flattering live streams. The light is Bluetooth connected, which means it will sync to your smartphone as a flash or can be used as a continuous light source. The Lume Cube is also adjustable so you can get the right amount of light in the image and comes with gels to help get the color right, too. As an added bonus, the Lume Cube is easily portable and also waterproof and can also be used with action cameras. The Lume Cube 2.0 offers a better battery life and a low light mode over the original model.
Yes, many of your photos will presumably just end up on Instagram, but sometimes it’s nice to transfer your pictures from the digital world into physical print form. Instant film photography has a seen a massive resurgence in the past few years, and the Instax Share SP-3 instant printer merges the most beneficial features of phone picture-taking with instant film. Using Fujifilm Instax Square film cartridges, you can transfer images wirelessly from your mobile device directly to the printer to have them transformed into super cool Polaroid-like prints to give to all your friends and family. While there are plenty of great mobile photo printers on the market today, the bigger print size rockets the SP-3 straight to the top of our list of faves.
Your iPhone may never become a GoPro, but the Hitcase Pro will get it very close. Hitcase Pro is a watertight, shock-absorbing, mountable case for your iPhone that expertly transforms it into a rough and tough adventure camera. As you’d probably assume from an activity camera, it highlights an identical mounting method as the GoPro, indicating that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find accessories and mounting plates for every conceivable circumstance. There are even add-on lenses to expand the photo and video-capturing skills of your iPhone. The Hitcase Pro is available for most iPhone models, including anywhere from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 11 Max.
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