Smart Shooter

The Best Gifts for the Smartphone Photographer


November 19, 2019 Buying Guides By

None of today’s best smartphones are going to replace a good mirrorless, DSLR or even compact camera. But a smartphone can come impressively close in some cases. For those who don’t feel the need to invest in a separate camera, or who don’t want to carry a separate device, a few accessories can improve any smartphone photographer’s results. These are some of our favorite smartphone photography accessories that will make great gifts for any shooter.

1. AmazonBasics Lightweight Mini Tripod

Price: $6
From: amazon.com

This cheap and tiny tripod comes with adjustable-height metal legs and rubber feet. It’s compatible with GoPro action cameras and small digital cameras. Smartphone photographers will need an adapter, like this one, but it’s a great accessory anyone who likes to take photos remotely, or take timelapses.

2. PopSockets

Price: $10+
From: amazon.com

Smartphones keep on getting bigger and bigger, making them more difficult to hold one-handed. A PopSocket helps with that and, in the process, will help you take steadier photos without the fear of dropping anything expensive.

3. Bone Universal Cell Phone Lanyard Holder

Price: $15
From: amazon.com

A smartphone photographer will risk quite a lot to get the best possible shot – including putting their smartphone in a pretty precarious situation. This leash (of sorts) will prevent them from losing or damaging their smartphone, even if they drop it.

4. Wordima 3.5mm to USB-C Dongle

Price: $17
From: amazon.com

This convenient little dongle adds a headphone jack and a USB-C port to your smartphone. For vloggers, it allows you to charge your smartphone and use an external microphone simultaneously.

5. Joby GripTight Mount

Price: $20
From: amazon.com

This is a pretty neat smartphone mount that’s designed to work with most tripods. It’s tiny, able to fold down to pocketable size and it’s spring loaded, so popping it out of your pocket and getting it “smartphone ready” is quick and easy.

Gear Patrol Magazine Subscription

Price: $39
From: store.gearpatrol.com

Gear Patrol Magazine is a deep dive into product culture. Inside each issue, you’ll find seasonal buying guides, rich maker profiles and long-form dispatches from the front lines of product design. Get four print magazines — delivered quarterly — with an annual subscription.

6. Manfrotto Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clamp

Price: $24
From: amazon.com

Manfrotto makes some of our favorite tripods for basically every type of camera. This kit includes a tripod and smartphone clamp, which is everything you need, plus its legs can fold up and double as a hand grip.

7. Joby GripTight GorillaPod

Price: $26
From: bhphotovideo.com

This tripod system combines Joby’s GripTight ONE Mount and GorillaPod tripod, and it’s a bare-bones essential for any smartphone photographer. It just works, and works well.

8. Miggo Pictar Mark II

Price: $50
From: amazon.com

The Pictar Mark II holsters your smartphone and makes it look and feel more like a real camera – it gives you a real shutter button to press. It can also stand the smartphone on its side, eliminating the need for a tripod if placed on a flat surface.

9. XP PhotoGear Smartphone Cinema Mount

Price: $90
From: bhphotovideo.com

This mount adds an ergonomic case and a built-in Bluetooth shutter button to your smartphone. On top of that, it adds two lenses — an 0.45x wide-angle and an 5x macro lens — so you can better capture the world around you.

10. DJI Osmo Mobile 3

Price: $119
From: amazon.com

DJI’s newest smartphone gimbal is the perfect accessory for anybody looking to take take way more stabilized videos and better photos. In addition to have some cool new features from the Osmo Mobile 2, such as a trigger button and the ability to quickly switch between portrait to landscape orientations, the Osmo Mobile 3 is actually foldable.

11. Polaroid Lab Digital Photo Printer

Price: $130
From: amazon.com

This fun little gadget turns your smartphone photos into full-on Polaroids that you can actually touch and share. Polaroid film sold separately.

12. Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Mobile Printer

Price: $134
From: amazon.com

Digital photo frames are great and all, but sometimes you want something a bit more tangible. This portable printer turns your smartphone photos into something tangible that you can hang on your wall.

13. Moment Starter Set

Price: $150
From: shopmoment.com

Moment is one of the industry leaders when it comes to smartphone lens and photography kits. The company’s starter kit is great because it includes the necessary smartphone case and a wide-angle lens. And if they want to add more Moment lenses down the road, they can.

14. Moment Anamorphic Lens

Price: $150
From: amazon.com

An anamorphic lens is next level. It’s designed for creative photographers who want to get that fantastic lens flare that vintage photographs always seem to capture. For a smartphone, there are really only a few anamorphic lens available today. Moment’s, in our opinion, is the best.

15. Olloclip Filmer’s Kit for iPhone X

Price: $200
From: olloclip.com

Olloclip’s Filmer’s Kit is ideal for anybody who takes smartphone photography and video seriously. It includes a pivot, mobile video grip, a multi-device clip and five — yes, five — lenses. The big difference from Moment’s offerings is that Olloclip doesn’t require you to use a proprietary smartphone case, which makes it easier to keep using after you’ve upgraded your phone.

16. DJI Mavic Mini

Price: $399
From: dji.com

DJI’s newest tiny drone is technically a phone photography accessory in that it will require your smartphone to help pilot it. From there, you can then capture photos that a smartphone would normally never be able to get. And $399 for a pretty badass drone isn’t bad either.

Twelve South Journal CaddySack

Price: $90
From: store.gearpatrol.com

The Journal CaddySack is a stylish leather tote designed to neatly house your most essential iPhone accessories. With its collection of elastic bands, Velcro straps and a purpose-built pocket the CaddySack has room for a MacBook power adapter and charging cable, plus space for your AirPod case, adapters and other cables.

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Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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