There used to be a time when you needed to spend hundreds if not thousands on a digital SLR camera and all the accessories if you wanted to take decent photos or shoot some video. Now instagrammers, bloggers as well as budding photographers and film makers can dramatically enhance their smartphone photography without spending the earth!
Modern phones have definitely advanced when it comes to photographic quality but with a few clever accessories you can take your mobile phone’s photography capabilities to yet another level.
Add a gimbal, lens, tripod and extra storage and start to feel like a real photographer, producing shots you didn’t think were possible on your humble smartphone. Here we pick five of our favourite smartphone add ons.
1. Olloclip Core lens set for iPhone 8/7 & 8/7 Plus
This accessory is a great way to get creative and try out different lenses on your phone, just as you would a digital SLR but for a fraction of the price. The kit comes with Fisheye, Wide Angle and Macro x 15 lenses. They all work simply by clipping onto your iPhone.
With the wide angle lens you can capture super wide shots of landscapes making it a great accessory for scenery and holiday shots. The even wider fish eye lens is perfect for the ultimate group selfie while the macro lens allows you to capture intricate close up detail from flowers, insect, shells and even starfish! The Olloclip core lens set is available from Jessops for £89.99.
2. Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Magnetic with Impulse Remote
Joby manufactures a wide range of flexible grips for smartphone photography. The GripTight ONE is just one of many in the range and is compatible with all makes and models of smartphones. It’s a great way to take control over your photos, especially if you are prone to having shaky hands or want to shoot some stunning time lapse photography on your next trip!
The best thing about these Joby GorillaPods are the flexible legs that can be wrapped around different objects like tentacles to create different angles and improve control. Bend into hand grips for vlogging or selfies or attach it to magnetic surfaces for hands-free shots. Also on board is a remote which uses Bluetooth to trigger your smartphone’s camera button so you can take selfies/group shots without having to hold the camera.
Available from Amazon for around £40.
3. DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal
If you don’t know what a gimbal is think of it as a pivoted mount for your phone designed to keep your shots smooth, steady and free from vibrations. This latest model from Chinese firm DJI can hold any sized smartphone in landscape or portrait mode and features a sturdy chargeable handle with a built in USB port.
Want to capture your holiday films in a more cinematic style? A new built-in zoom slider lets you operate your smartphone’s camera from the handle with more fluid, cinematic zoom. You can even produce dolly zoom — a visual effect that previously only professional film sets could produce.
The Osmo Mobile 2 can automatically move to capture multiple photos and stitch them to create a seamless image. It will also automatically track someone’s face which is particularly handy for interviews if someone is moving around quite a bit. See our YouTube video below.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Gimbal is now available from PC World for around £129.
4. Budget Lens option: PNY Accessory Kit
Earlier in this article we looked at the Olloclip Core lens set for the iPhone. The PNY Accessory Kit is a similar, but more affordable version, and rather than three lenses it features four interchangeable, clip-on lenses which means you can get creative and try out different effects on your phone.
Included are a wide angle, super wide angle, fisheye and macro lens. There’s a handy storage pouch and reversable clip so the lenses can be used on both sides of the phone and access to the Fotor photo editing app is provided too.
Costs £24.99 (Save £5 at Jessops. Regular price £29.99)
5. SanDisk iXpand 64GB Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad
Protect all your precious photos by backing them with this flash drive. The perfect companion for your iPhone, the iXpandTM Flash Drive lets you free up space on your iPhone, back up your camera roll, and even watch videos straight from the drive. The flexible Lightning connector connects easily with your universe case and the USB 3.0 connector plugs into your Mac computer or PC, making file transfers quick and easy. The drive also includes password-protection software to keep your sensitive files secure across your devices. Take all the photos and videos you want — with the iXpand Flash Drive you’re always ready to take more. Available for £59.99 for 64GB version or around £70 for 128GB version.