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

Buy now from:

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.

Buy now from:

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.

Buy now from:

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.

Buy now from:

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.

Buy now from:

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.

Pre-order now from:

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).

Buy now from:

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.

Buy now from:

Amazon Lensbaby

Product Review

With the Z7, Nikon gives DSLR holdouts the mirrorless wonder they've waited for

Nikon’s long awaited full-frame mirrorless cameras are here, and the Z7 is the new flagship model. But does it stand up to the company's DSLR pedigree, and, more importantly, does it have what it takes to compete with the likes of Sony?
Photography

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for November 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for November 2018.
Deals

The best iPad deals for November 2018

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 November 2018.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Photography

Flickr just expanded Pro tools — but free users may have to delete some photos

If you have more than 1,000 photos on a free Flickr account, you might want to decide which to delete . Flickr announced some changes following an acquisition by SmugMug, including a new way to calculate the free account storage limit.
Product Review

Rylo is the 360 camera that finally makes 360 video useful

The Rylo puts a new spin on 360 video by focusing on flat, fixed-frame output. It can’t quite replace your action camera or camcorder, but it shows a glimmer of what the future of consumer video could be.
Photography

Premiere Pro A.I. plug-in for Adobe paints your videos in the style of van Gogh

CyberLink is bringing its suite of artificial intelligence-based video effects directly to Adobe users as a plug-in for Premiere Pro. The A.I. Style video plug-in "redraws" video in the styles of artists like Vincent van Gogh.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photography News: Flickr keeping Creative Commons photos, ONA gets colorful

Flickr has confirmed it's saving all Creative Commons images, ONA has released a new capsule collection in partnership with Passion Passport and 7Artisans has launched a new drone-specific 35mm f/5.6 lens.
Photography

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.