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Gone are the days when if you wanted to be ready to take high-quality photos, you had to lug around a point-and-shoot camera or digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera in a cushioned camera bag. Now more than ever, our mobile devices are being designed with some of the most cutting-edge camera technology, delivering pictures that any entry- to mid-tier Nikon would have a tough time competing against.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t beef up our phones’ image quality and range of photo features even more by adding the best camera accessories for phones. Here’s how to hack your smartphone camera with a few tips from Rolling Stone.
From Rolling Stone:
While phone camera technology has come a long way in recent years, it still can’t match the sharpness, versatility and clarity that a physical camera provides. For starters, without a decent lens, you’ll never get as wide an image or as close to the action. When recording video, your phone is limited in its scope and range, and its auto-focus will never be as accurate as one on an actual camera.
But that doesn’t mean you have to swap your device for a DSLR camera anytime soon. Unless you’re a professional photographer, there are several camera accessories and add-ons that can upgrade your phone’s photo capabilities — features you probably won’t find on your phone’s built-in camera for another few years.
These top-selling best camera accessories for phones are compatible with both iPhone and Android and let you hack your phone camera to take better photographs, videos and, yes, selfies. Whether you’re shooting your favorite artist at a concert, traveling around the world or just sorting out some options for social media, by adding the best camera accessories for your phone, you can capture high-quality memories like a pro.
1. Joby GorillaPod Compact Tripod
Whether you’re lining up a long exposure shot or attempting to get the whole family gathered for one picture (including yourself), simply propping your phone up against a pile of books or some other conspicuous balancing act won’t cut it. Look no further than the Job GorillaPod Compact Tripod for the best hands-less mobile photography.
This octopus-style tripod boasts a 6-pound weight limit so that it can handle a myriad of devices, including point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs, monitors, lights, microphones, and of course, mobile phones (must purchase a Goby GripTight mount). With its 360-degree panning bed and 90-degree tilt functions, you’ll be able to frame up some of the most articulate mobile photos your iPhone or Android has ever captured, and the built-in bubble level ensures your device’s lens is perfectly angled.
We especially love the foldable nature of the tripod. Bend its three legs and grip it like a selfie-stick, stand it upright on a table, desk, or other flat surfaces, or wrap it around a tree branch. While some reviewers have noted it’s a bit on the heavy side, it’s certainly not going to break your back on your next hike.
2. Xenvo Shutterbug Remote Control
The selfie lens on your phone never quite captures the image fidelity that most powerful rear-facing cameras have to offer. But it can be nearly impossible to get a perfect selfie shot without using it. That is until you invest in a Xenvo Shutterbug Remote Control.
Utilizing Bluetooth 3.0, the Xenvo remote pairs with most iOS and Android hardware up to 30 feet away and automatically recalls the last device to which it was connected. Once powered on, the blue LED indicator will shine when your phone’s shutter pairs with the remote. The only thing left is to press the big button on the fob to snap a photo or start recording a video.
The generously-sized hole in the design is excellent for clipping the remote to backpacks, belts and key rings, and Xenvo doesn’t skimp on peace-of-mind coverage because a complete lifetime warranty covers every Shutterbug remote. During the initial setup, some reviewers have indicated the remote may have a little bit of trouble properly pairing with particular devices — but after it initially syncs, you’ll be good to go.Buy: Xenvo Shutterbug Remote Control $18.99 (orig. $25.99) 27% OFF
3. Canon Selphy CP1200 Compact Photo Printer
The Canon Selphy CP1200 is the best camera accessory for your phone if you want instant photo printing from several devices. Once paired to a compatible Wi-Fi network, the CP1200 can quickly print your mobile memories through the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app (available for iOS and Android devices), iOS AirPrint, memory cards and USB flash drives.
The printer comes with an ink and paper kit designed to output 18, 36 or 54 photos depending on what layouts you choose (the printer can handle a maximum size of 4 inches by 6 inches — and the image quality is fantastic. We also love the idea of accessing photos from Facebook and Instagram and printing directly through the SELPHY app.
It’s a little heavier than some competing mobile printers, and the optional Canon OEM battery is pretty expensive. Still, we can’t think of a better grab-and-go mobile photo printer when it comes to performance and reliability.
4. Anker 313 Power Bank
Sometimes you need a quick boost when shooting on-location for an extended period. This 10,000 mAh portable charger from Anker offers some of the fastest charging for mobile devices, and it’s such an easy carry-on addition to whatever photo gear you’ll be lugging around with you during the day.
Anker’s PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology provides up to 12 watts of hard-hitting power. At the same time, the charger’s trickle-charging mode delivers optimized charging for low-power devices like Bluetooth speakers and earbuds. On a full charge, you can expect close to three full recharges for an iPhone 12, almost two full charges for a Galaxy S21, and a single recharge for an iPad mini.
Compared to other portable chargers, the Anker 313 is slightly short in actual inputs. Yes, there are USB-A, USB-C and micro USB connections, but the USB-C and micro ports are inputs only. Don’t let this deter you, though, for Anker is as sound a name as it gets when it comes to mobile chargers. Just don’t expect to be charging several devices at the same time.
5. Auxiwa Clip-On Selfie Ring Light
You’ve taken enough photos with your phone to know the importance of good lighting. You’ve also been to enough parties and events to see everyone from influencers to event photographers using some style of the ring light.
This popular ring light illuminates your sightlines (and your selfies) with three brightness levels and 36 long-lasting LEDs. Unlike your flash, the ring light emits a subtle, softer glow that won’t look harsh or overexposed in photos. Reviewers say it’s also great for videos, especially when grabbing footage at a concert or, say, documenting your meal at a dimly-lit restaurant.
What we like: the ring light is rechargeable using the included charging cable, and it’s designed with scratch-resistant material to protect it from dings and drops. The company also offers a lifetime guarantee. With a 4.4 star rating from more than 12,500 reviews, this is one of the best-reviewed phone camera accessories we found online.
6. Coreal Mobile Phone Chest Mount
Strap on this mobile phone harness and free up your hands on your next shoot. The adjustable chest mount steadies your phone against your body, letting you record video while on the go. Clip the phone chest mount on and adjust the clamp to get your desired shooting angle. You can tap your phone or press the shutter release attachment to begin shooting.
Reviewers say the phone holder locks in tight without worry, and the straps are more comfortable than you think. People have also worn it over jackets for convenient outdoor recording that gets you cool-looking footage while your hands and body stay warm.
Coreal provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not 100% satisfied with the product. The harness also comes with a 12-month warranty.
7. Xenvo Pro Lens Kit
A best-seller on Amazon, this $40 hack lets you expand your smartphone’s field of view with a “TruView” 0.45x wide-angle lens. The coated optical glass lenses minimize any lens flare or reflections, and unlike cheaper attachments available, you won’t get that annoying “vignetting” (read: dark corners) in your photos.
The kit comes with a lens clip, rechargeable LED light (so you can use it at night), charging cable, lanyard, case and cleaning cloth. It also includes a 15x macro lens, which magnifies the image in front of you for super crisp, close-up photos. Note: this lens addition works best when closer to your subject; it’s not designed for zooming in.
8. Pictar Mark II SmartPhone Camera Grip
Use your smartphone as a real camera with this camera-style handgrip. Get steadier shots with a more natural and familiar grip, and never worry about your phone slipping out of your hand again.
In addition to the sturdy, ergonomic case, the Pictar works like a camera, too, with a shutter button, dials for adjusting brightness, and a rotating “zoom ring” that lets you zoom in and out with just one hand. It also comes with nine pre-set modes that mimic the look and feel of a real camera (think: auto mode, portrait mode, landscape mode and ISO priority mode).
This set includes an adjustable wrist strap and handy carrying case. There is also a discreet socket built into the case for mounting on a tripod.Buy: Pictar Mark II SmartPhone Camera Grip $89.95
9. Zhiyun Smooth 4 Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
Shoot higher-quality footage with less shakiness with this handheld tripod and stabilizer. Unlike other stabilizers in the market, this one comes with “pull and zoom” capability, which lets you zoom in and out without having to touch your screen. The built-in handwheel also enables you to rack focus to achieve more professional-looking shots.
We like Zhiyun’s “Smooth 4” technology that helps track objects, including with much higher precision than your phone alone. Frame the object you want to track on the screen, and the stabilizer can do the rest, never letting it out of its sight. The stabilizer’s integrated control panel also reduces the need to touch the screen, with built-in “hot-key” buttons that put all the main functions at your fingertips.
10. DxO ONE 20.2MP Digital Connected Camera
This portable device packs the power of a high-end camera into a tiny, lighter-sized package. Attach it to your phone’s lightning port and turn your device into a smart, intuitive digital camera with a 20.2-megapixel lens, a fast f/1.8 aperture and the ability to handle shutter speeds up to 1/20000ths of a second. Your phone screen becomes a digital viewfinder that you can swivel around to get the best shot. A 6-element aspherical lens lets you capture closer, sharper, more accurate images too.
The DxO ONE has its own memory card and battery, so it will never impact your phone’s storage or battery life. It also works on its own as a mini standalone camera.
SPY republished this story with the permission of Rolling Stone. To read the original article, click here.