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12 Best Camera Accessories For Phones (2022): Apps, Tripods, Mics, And More

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From mobile lenses to shotgun mics, here’s everything you need for your portable, pro-grade photo or video studio.

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A Pocket-Size Cinema LensMoment Anamorphic Lens

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A Filter Mount and PolarizerMoment 37-mm Mount + CPL Filter

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A Grip With a BatteryProGrip ShiftCam Starter Kit

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A Multi-Threaded Tripod AdapterMoment Multi-Threaded Adapter

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Photograph: Moment

A Pocket-Size Cinema LensMoment Anamorphic Lens

Your smartphone’s camera is already great, but its key shortcoming is the built-in—and very small—lens. A bigger lens means more detailed and more dramatic images. That’s where Moment comes in. Using professional-grade optics, Moment lenses greatly expand your phone camera’s capabilities. The company makes different lenses for different applications. Pictured here is the Moment Anamorphic lens, which is perfect for video or ultrawide landscape photography. If you’re looking to shoot better portraits with your phone or wade into street photography, I’d also recommend Moment’s 58-mm lens. It’s right in that telephoto sweet spot, delivering 2X magnification and some luscious bokeh.

To use any of Moment’s lenses, you will have to invest in a Moment Photo Case, but the designs are stylish, and they offer excellent all-around protection. If you have a MagSafe-compatible phone, Moment also includes MagSafe Magnets so you can use its mounts for attaching tripods, mics, lights, and more. (If you have an iPhone 14, you will also need the drop-in lens mount.) All of its cases are stylish and offer excellent all-around protection.

Photograph: Moment

A Filter Mount and PolarizerMoment 37-mm Mount + CPL Filter

This filter and mount kit open up a world of possibilities for your default phone camera. It mounts to any Moment case (see above), and the filter screws right on. The included filter is a polarization filter, which makes it possible to shoot photos and videos without capturing reflections. That way you can capture images through windows or without reflected sunlight on the surface of water. The CPL filter also makes it easy to shoot videos of people wearing glasses without catching yourself in the reflection.

Photograph: ProGrip

A Grip With a BatteryProGrip ShiftCam Starter Kit

Shiftcam’s Progrip comes very close to turning your phone into a full-on DSLR. Once you attach your phone, the ProGrip connects to your phone via Bluetooth. Use its onboard buttons to control your shutter, and its included power pack keeps your phone charged (with wireless charging). It’s pretty bulky but way lighter than a full-on DSLR.

It’s a good choice if you’re going to be out and about and you know you’re going to be shooting a lot of photos, or if you want a grip that can do double duty as a tripod mount. I’ve taken this on a hike and it was great—it makes you feel like your phone is very secure when you’re crossing rough terrain. The extra battery life kept my phone going much longer than it would have otherwise. The starter kit includes a carrying case, a cold shoe mount, and a hand strap.

Photograph: Moment

A Multi-Threaded Tripod AdapterMoment Multi-Threaded Adapter

Moment offers several tripod mounts compatible with MagSafe-compatible phones, but my favorite by far is the multi-threaded mount. It’s just a flat disc of metal with several holes drilled in it (also why this kind of mount is affectionately called a Swiss cheese plate), and each hole corresponds to a different size of tripod screw.

It’s small enough to stick into any camera kit and versatile enough that I have yet to encounter a tripod I can’t use it with. Once you pop your phone onto the mount, it clings to it with a surprisingly powerful magnetic grip. It’s just an excellent tool to have on hand, and I’ve used it way more than I thought I would. It has worked for everything from stabilizing my phone for video calls to turning my phone into an “emergency” backup low-light landscape shooter–when I forgot to charge my camera batteries before going on a scenic walk on the beach.

This one is specifically for use with Apple’s MagSafe technology, but Moment offers a number of MagSafe adapter cases for Samsung, Pixel, and OnePlus Android phones.

Photograph: Aputure

A Video LightAputure MC RGBWW LED Light

Aputure’s video lights have a cultlike following, and you will want an LED lamp if you plan to shoot video in low light or at night. The MC is compact and gets relatively bright, and you can tweak the color temperature to match the ambient light around you. It also has tons of color options, so if you want to bask your subject in red light, it’s as simple as pressing a button. It charges via USB-C or wirelessly with most wireless chargers, and it has standard mounting points so you don’t have to hold it in your hand.

Photograph: RODE Microphones

A Portable Shotgun MicRøde Videomic Go

Good video is nothing without good audio. Microphones can get expensive and cumbersome, but since we’re trying to keep things lean here, I’d recommend the Rode VideoMic Go. It’s my personal go-to when I’m shooting something and want to keep my kit lightweight. It’s super small, and it doesn’t need an external power source; it just plugs into the phone’s 3.5-mm jack (or your dongle) like a pair of headphones.

The audio quality isn’t studio-grade by any means, but it’s definitely better than the mic on your phone, and it’s capable of picking up clean sound from a good distance.

Photograph: Joby

A Go-Anywhere TripodJoby GripTight Tripod Mount for MagSafe

You won’t always have a nice flat surface to set your tripod on, especially if you’re shooting in the wilderness, but Joby’s GripTight GorillaPod has your back. The articulated legs on this tripod can be adjusted to any angle so your phone stays level on almost any surface. The legs are so bendy they can curl around anything—fence posts, tree branches, your hand—to form a tight grip. It’s also good for vlogging because it’s small enough that you can squeeze all three legs together into an easily graspable monopod.

If you have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, you’ll be especially happy to know that the mount includes MagSafe support, so you can just plop your iPhone on it. There are clamps for additional security or if you have any other smartphone.

Photograph: Amazon

A Fistful of DonglesLinklike 3.5mm to USB-C Dongle

Any ultralight photo kit is going to require a couple of dongles, and this one is pretty essential. It has a headphone jack and a USB-C port, so it lets you connect your microphone without hogging the connector you need to charge your phone. That means you’ll be able to plug in a mic and a charger or external battery at the same time.

If you don’t have a phone with a USB-C jack, don’t worry. Check out our list of the Best USB Hubs and Dongles for more options.

Photograph: Anker

Portable PowerAnker PowerCore Slim

Even the latest smartphones will burn through their battery pretty quickly if you’re going around shooting video or taking a lot of carefully composed photos. Portable power is essential. That’s why I recommend this Anker power bank. It’s small enough to slip into a jacket pocket but considerable enough to give you a few extra charges, depending on your phone. Check out our Best Portable Chargers guide for more options.

Photograph: Peak Design

An Everyday Carry BagPeak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L

All right. You have your kit, you have your phone, but now you need to carry and organize all these items. Get the Peak Design Everyday Sling. The contents of this list can easily fit inside the 6L size. It has tons of internal organization space, along with some dividers you can move around to suit your needs. Plus it’s weather-sealed, so you can tote it in the rain without any worry.

This is my go-to camera bag, my do-everything bag. I’ve subjected it to all kinds of abuse, but it’s never once sprung a leak or failed to protect my devices. It’s a good investment for anyone who needs a small everyday carrier. Check out our Best Camera Bags and Best Messenger Bags guides if you’re looking for more options.

Photograph: Beastgrip

Grip on the GoBeastgrip Beastclamp Phone Grip

The Beastclamp is a lightweight grip option that works well with a variety of phones. It’s smaller than the other grip on this list, and I’ve started carrying it in my bag more often lately for that exact reason (if you don’t mind the fewer mounting points). It’s great when you need extra stability, especially when you’re shooting photos or videos and you’re away from a full-size tripod. It’s secure enough that I never worry about my phone getting jostled out of the grip once it’s settled in there. It’s an excellent tool for everyday carry that’s sure to up your photo game.

Photograph: Halide

There’s an App for ThatGreat Photo and Video Apps

Most of the time, using your phone’s built-in camera app will give you pretty good results. Those apps, like Apple’s and Google’s Camera apps, have a lot of built-in computational photography tricks that are tailored to your phone’s particular set of lenses and photos sensors. But sometimes you want a bit more control. That’s where pro photo and video apps come in.

Grain for iOS: This app is more of a suite of editing tools than a photography app, but there’s a lot of flexibility. Shoot your video, save it, and then open it in the Grain app from Moment and you get access to a full set of professional color-grading and video-editing tools—alongside a library of presets. The marquee feature is the ability to create and save your own video presets, so you can find a look and vibe you like and apply it to future videos with just a couple of taps. It’s functionality you get from most pro video-editing software, but in a very approachable mobile-first interface. It costs $5 a month and is available only on iPhones and iPads.Halide for iOS: If you’ve ever wanted manual control over your phone’s camera, Halide is an app you should definitely check out. Designed to bring the granular control you get from a pro camera to your smartphone, Halide offers a suite of tools to take your phone photos to the next level. The app uses its own machine learning to optimize your photos and even bring a greater degree of flexibility to Apple features like Portrait Mode. Halide’s Depth Mode sometimes works even when Apple’s official version doesn’t. It does a whole lot more, but one of my favorite features is an often overlooked one: It’s frequently updated. It’s been around for more than four years and regularly sees new features. It costs $12 per year and is available only on iPhones and iPads.ProCam X for Android: Finding great photography apps for Android can be tricky, because there’s a wider variety of hardware using Google’s operating system than there is on iOS. That means your results may vary with a lot of pro camera apps. But my absolute favorite is ProCam X. It gives you all the manual features you’re looking for without being too complicated or bloated to use regularly. You can control your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Plus, and this is a big plus over iOS apps, thanks to Android’s greater flexibility you can assign ProCam X as the default camera app. It costs $5 and is available only on Android.

Jaina Grey is a product reviewer at WIRED, covering all those devices that make your life easier—and sometimes much more difficult. Since her first byline in Dragon Magazine to her more recent work at Digital Trends, she’s covered a little bit of everything, from crime, courts, and patent filings to… Read more