8 oddball accessories to bring your iPhone or Android photos to the next level

8 weird, useful camera accessories for your iPhone or Android

miggo pictar pro kickstarter  table small
Miggo

As the cameras inside smartphones have gotten more and more capable, companies have started devoting more effort to developing accessories designed specifically for the photography capabilities of smartphones. There’s no shortage of options, and in your search for the best, you might also come across some of the more unusual options.

To save you the hassle of finding more obscure accessories — or just downright wacky ones — we’ve assembled this helpful list of the craziest smartphone accessories money can buy.

HTC RE Camera ($55)

crazy camera accessories htc test

Why use a periscope-esque device to shoot mobile photos? For starters, it’ll totally go with your Captain Nemo beanie. The HTC Re is waterproof up to 10 feet (30 feet with included rubber case) and enables quicker snapshots. The Re captures 16-megapixel images or 1080p videos with the touch of its one button. The Re camera hasn’t been updated for a while, and we doubt HTC will be making any more — so snap it up now while you still can.

Read our full HTC RE review

Amazon

Chest Mount for iPhone ($55)

chest strap for iPhone 6
store.hitcase.com

The action camera is pretty much GoPro’s domain, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you want to use your iPhone to achieve the same POV function. Film your epic lines with this iPhone chest mount from HitCase, which frees your hands from having to hold the phone so that, you know, you can concentrate on not wiping out.

Amazon

iOgrapher Filmmaking Case ($50-60)

crazy camera accessories iphone holder thumb

Steady your iPhone footage with the iOgrapher case. Made from polycarbonate, the biographer case has mounts galore to attach add-on lenses, lighting, and audio gear. We think it looks a little like a childproof tablet case or your 7th grade soccer trophy, but it’s far more practical and less expensive than other iPhone camera accessories. It also has a standard tripod mount and offers enough space to attach a converter lens from iOgrapher.

Amazon iOgrapher

Cliquefie ($50)

cliquefie
Cliquefie

The Cliquefie is an attempt at perfecting the selfie stick – and it may have succeeded. Described as “chic, lightweight, and ultra-portable,” Cliquefie’s makers seem to be targeting the female demographic (never mind that a photo of the Cliquefie in a pink purse resembles a feminine hygiene product). But compared to bulky selfie sticks you buy at the drugstore, the Cliquefie is stylish. There are several ingenious features of note here: It has a detachable Bluetooth remote, an inconspicuous phone mount, and a retractable tripod, for example. A Mini version ($30) is available for smaller bags, like said purse, but lacks the removable remote. We still think selfie sticks are annoying for most situations, but at least the Cliquefie can be quickly stashed away when the museum guard steps into the room. It comes in a variety of colors.

Amazon Cliquefie

Megaverse Anti-Gravity iPhone Case ($30)

Like a handful of other products on this list, the Mega Tiny Anti-Gravity Phone Case was brought to life with the help of Kickstarter. As its name suggests, this case lets you mount your phone to almost any surface imaginable using a nano-suction surface on the rear of the case.

Mega Tiny, the company behind the project, claims the case is “perfect for hands-free use and selfies.” Just stick it to a wall, mirror, or a window and you’ll have an extra free hand to throw up whatever sign you’re feeling that day. It’s available for all versions of the iPhone going back to the iPhone 5.

Amazon

Shiftcam ($125)

Most third-party lens add-ons won’t work with the dual camera setup on the latest iPhones, but the Shiftcam isn’t your everyday camera accessory. This case offers six additional add-on lenses that can be used interchangeably by sliding them in front of the lenses. Sure, the case is a bit bulky and isn’t too aesthetically appealing, but who cares? You have a 6-in-1 camera case to use! Shiftcam for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are currently available for pre-order.

Shiftcam

Miggo Pictar Pro ($120)

pictar iphone case provides dslr like shooting experience miggo 17

Smartphones may be our everyday cameras, but let’s face it, they aren’t comfortable to hold and can be unwieldy to use – at least for photography. The Pictar Pro, currently being funded via Kickstarter, brings familiar camera controls and even a viewfinder to the latest iPhones, through a mix of physical controls and a companion app. The neat trick with the Pictar is that it communicates wirelessly with the phone through sound – clicks that are inaudible to the human ear – so it doesn’t need a physical connection, nor does it draw power from the phone (it uses its own battery).

Kickstarter

Lensbaby Creative Mobile Kit ($100)

blurs arent defects but the charm in lensbabys new mobile lens kit lensbaby creative use4

Add-on lenses for phones are a dime a dozen. Lensbaby’s Creative Mobile Kit is anything but ordinary, however — and that’s to be expected from a company that makes nothing but creative lenses. Whereas most lenses are about clarity, the Creative Mobile Kit is all about putting fun effects on photos. Using it takes some getting used to, but once you figure out what works, you can give basic photos some artistic flair. Unfortunately, the Lensbaby Creative Mobile Kit hasn’t been updated, so it will only work with iPhone 5 and 6 devices.

Amazon Lensbaby

Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…
Photography

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Photography

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.
Photography

From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon's EOS R mirrorless series will gain six new lenses this year. Canon just shared a list of six lenses under development, including four zooms and two prime lenses. One has a mysterious new feature called Defocus Smoothing.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Photography

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.