Apple's iPhone 5 is still the world’s favorite camera of choice, according to photo-storage service Flickr. But after the holidays — and presumably a lot of upgrades — newer versions of Apple’s phone could take the top spot.
Still, snapping great pics is only the start — iPhone photographers are using everything from filters to printers to get the most out of their shots. Give your photos a much needed edge with these seven iPhone camera accessories:
Smartphones might have done more for photography than any invention since the point-and-shoot camera, but they’ve totally gutted the practice of enjoying printed pics. This Wi-Fi connected printer works with both iOS and Android to let users spit out Polaroid-like snaps for real world enjoyment.
Battery-powered and weighting in at less than a pound, the $179 Instax is portable and easy to use, making sharing photos — as in actually physically giving them to someone else — a cinch. Great for scrap-booking, loading the inside of a locker with photos, or giving grandma a little something for her refrigerator, the Instax is an excellent way to help bring people trapped in the 20th century into the selfie age.
Panning, scanning, and tracking users as they walk past, this robotic dock is how some photographers create those gradually moving, gorgeous, time-lapse panoramic shots that go a full 360 degrees. Controllable via Bluetooth from another smart device or over the Internet, Galileo can also track faces and follow motion, making it great for video chat sessions as well.
Compatible with a range of iPhones from the current models all the way back to the 3Gs, this $149 device can also support GoPro cameras by using a special mount.
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A little outrageous compared to the iPhone’s tiny, subtle, rear camera lens, this 12-times zoom lens packs some powerful magnification into an inexpensive $35 kit. Complete with a matte black iPhone case (necessary for attaching the telephoto lens), a collapsible tripod, and a carrying case to keep it all protected, this manual focus accessory works with iPhones as old as the 4/4s (but note, the 5c is not compatible).
You might look a little foolish walking around taking snapshots with it, but who’ll be laughing later when your Instagram sunset gets more likes than your friends' pics?
Remember when Macs used to come with remote controls? iStabilizer hasn’t forgotten, and this iOS-compatible controller brings the experience to your handheld devices. But why would you need a remote for something you can put in your pocket? Photos.
This tiny, $39 accessory can snap pics from up to 30 feet away, which means technically full-body, sans-mirror selfies can be part of your repertoire. Add in the ability to play, pause, skip and rewind music, launch movies, adjust brightness and volume and even activate Siri, and you’ve got a multimedia monster in the palm of your hands. Oh, and it also works with Macs, if you lost your old remote.
Trying you out-filter your friends? Slap one of these gummy accessories over your iPhone’s camera lens before you shoot, and you’ll have photos that your followers will never be able to recreate.
Adhesive (without leaving residue), these keychain-looped lenses are compatible with just about any phone (or tablet) sporting a rear camera, and with starburst, kaleidoscope, and wide-angle options, they’ll make your photos pop and your videos totally trippy. Best of all, they run just $15 for the set, so they are excellent stocking stuffers for the shutterbug in your family.
Expert photographers frequently talk about how they use the popular smartphone to take astounding photos that their pro-level cameras just can’t capture. But with Moment’s gorgeously crafted lenses — a 60mm telephoto and a shorter wide-angle lens, $99 apiece — amateurs can also up their game, taking beautiful, distortion-free shots that can be just as good as those taken with DSLRs.
Compatible with the iPhone 4 and newer handsets (as well as iPad Air and Mini), the lenses attach to your Apple devices via a stylish adhesive mounting plate. But if you have a cover on your phone (and you should), fear not. I discovered that slipping the plate between the case and the handset works well (even with Apple’s super-snug, leather iPhone 6 protector), and even saves you from sticking the plate to your handset.
If 2014 was the year of the selfie, then there’s no more timely gift to give this holiday season than the Noot Selfie Stick. Low-tech but highly useful, this extendable pole lets photographers get more of themselves and their background in the shot.
While some selfie sticks connect via Bluetooth (yes, there are more than one of these devices on the market), they also require a periodic battery recharge. But this $19 model sports no such wireless connectivity. Instead, it has a plug that connects to your iPhone’s headphone jack that allows a button on the stick’s hilt to take the picture – no timers necessary. After all, who has time for timers when you’re snapping off super-cool selfies?