More so now than ever, the iPhone is as much a camera as it is a phone. As the camera has improved over the years, so 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 flexible. Here are the best iPhone camera accessories to take your mobile photography (and video) to the next level.
This one may be a bit of a boring choice, but taking photos and videos on your iPhone can be very taxing on its battery. To make sure you have enough juice to capture everything you want, you’re going to want an external battery pack. To save you time, we’ve rounded up 25 of the best battery packs on the market for you to choose from. These range from small, pocket-sized options to ones large enough to restart your car in the event its battery gives up, too.
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 a 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 Anamorphic lens.
Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod
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.
Rode VideoMic Me-L
Thanks to 4K resolution and advanced apps like Filmic Pro, the iPhone is a capable video camera today. 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 of it.
Olloclip Essential Lens Kit
Like the Moment, Olloclip is another solution for making the most of your iPhone’s camera(s) 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: a fisheye, a super-wide angle, and a macro lens. 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.
A time-lapse is a great way to compress a long chunk of time down into a video short enough that people will actually watch it, and by adding motion to your time-lapse it becomes even more interesting. When it comes to shooting a time-lapse with your iPhone, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than Movo’s inexpensive MTP2000 rotating phone mount. A glorified egg timer that will automatically pan your phone at a steady speed, it can rotate a full 360-degrees in 120 minutes and works with pretty much any smartphone or action camera.
DJI Osmo Mobile 3
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 size and weight that won’t completely ruin the portability of your phone. Building on the success of the Osmo Mobile 2, the 3-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 ensure you never miss a moment and capture it all as smoothly as possible.
Lume Cube 2.0
Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends
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 the light will sync to your smartphone as a flash along with the option of using the light 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.
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3
Sure, most of your photos will probably just end up on Instagram, but sometimes it’s nice to move your photos off the screen and into the physical world. Instant film photography has seen a huge resurgence in recent years, and the Instax Share SP-3 instant printer combines the best features of phone photography with instant film. Using Fujifilm Instax Square film cartridges, you can send photos wirelessly from your phone directly to the printer to have them turned into Polaroid-like prints to hand out to friends and family. While there are lots of great mobile photo printers out there, the larger print size helps the SP-3 top the list.
Your iPhone might never be a GoPro, but the Hitcase Pro will get it darn near close. Hitcase Pro is a waterproof, shockproof, and mountable case for your iPhone that effectively turns it into a rugged action cam. As you’d expect from an action cam, it features the same mounting system as the GoPro, meaning it shouldn’t be too hard to find accessories and mounting plates for every possible situation. There are even add-on lenses to extend the imaging capabilities of your iPhone. The Hitcase Pro is available for most iPhone models from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 11 Max.