Smartphone cameras have come a long way in the last few years, and are actually capable of producing some fairly high quality photos. If you pair your phone’s internal camera with the right accessories, you can achieve results that rival a DSLR camera’s!
Just like a DSLR, you can get tripods, different lens attachments, external flashes, remote shutter releases, and other accessories that will maximize your phone’s camera. These accessories are also great because they tend to be relatively affordable, especially when compared to the cost of a DSLR and all the accessories!
There are tons of options available when it comes to photography accessories, so it can be hard to figure out where to start. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the accessories that will help get you started, and then you can go from there!
Just like with a regular camera, you should start with a good tripod. Tripods will help eliminate camera shake in a lot of situations, and open up a lot of possibilities in terms of the shots you can get. When deciding which tripod you want, keep in mind that portability is central to mobile photography. The best part about taking photos with your phone is that you can slip it in your pocket and easily take it anywhere. You want your tripod to follow along those lines as well!
One tripod you might consider is a Lollipod tripod. These tripods have an adjustable height, extending out a few feet, so you can set your phone up on the ground, or retract the tripod so you can use it on a tabletop. The Lollipod can also be used as a monopod or selfie stick! The tripod also folds down very small so you can easily slip it into your backpack and carry it with you.
Another great option is the GripTight Gorillapod. While these don’t have a lot of range height-wise, they feature bendable legs that make it possible for you to wrap around poles or trees. This opens up a whole world of possibilities!
A great way to bridge gap between mobile photography and DSLR photography is to use one of the many great external lenses that are available to you! While your phone may have a good quality camera built in, you will be limited by the internal lens. Adding an external lens will allow you to capture different kinds of shots and maximize the capabilities of your iPhone’s camera.
A great option is the Olloclip lens. Olloclip offers a variety of different lens options including wide angle, telephoto, macro, and polarizer lenses that work with most iPhone models. While some lenses require you to get a case to mount your lenses on, the Olloclip is a universal clip that fits over your phone, without putting pressure on the screen. This means you can attach the lens without risk of damaging your phone and you can continue using your lens even if you upgrade your phone!
Remote Shutter Release
Remote shutter releases are great for long exposure shots when you don’t want to touch your camera and risk motion blur or when you are taking self portraits. On your iPhone, you can use your headphones as a remote shutter release. Simply plug your headphones into your phone, and use the volume buttons to control the shutter! While this works in a pinch, it can be limiting, as the cord on your headphones is not very long. In order to give yourself more freedom, consider getting a Bluetooth remote shutter release that will allow you to be further away from your camera when you fire the shutter release. The Muku Shuttr is a great place to start, though there are plenty of affordable options available!
The flash that is built into your phone is not going to give you great results. For a higher quality, more professional look, opt for an external flash. The Lume Cube lighting kit, for example, is a good place to start. This kit comes with the cube and a smartphone mount, and is controlled via Bluetooth using the Lume Cube app. With the mount, you have the option of attaching it to your phone and using it in place of the internal flash, but since it is connected by Bluetooth, you also have the option of using it off-camera and lighting your subject from different angles.
In addition to physical accessories for your iPhone, there are also some amazing camera apps out there! Rather than using the default camera app, you can download one of these apps and get access to a wide variety of extra features that will give you more control over your phone’s camera.
ProCamera, for example, gives you a DSLR-like experience using the camera in your phone! Inside this app, you can easily adjust settings like ISO, shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and more. It also allows you to shot in RAW, TIFF, HEIF, and JPG formats, which can make editing easier.
There are many more accessories out there than are listed here, so do your research and find the ones that are best for you! Explore all kinds of different lenses and apps and make the most of that camera in your pocket!