13 must-have iPhone camera accessories

These accessories will help you take your iPhone photos to the next level.

Boost your mobile shots

As photographer Chase Jarvis once said, "The best camera is the one that's with you." And, thanks to iPhone and Android smartphones, many folks always have a camera with them. These cameras are constantly getting better—the original iPhone shipped with a 2-megapixel camera, while the newest iPhone 5 sports an 8-megapixel shooter.

Still, there's always room for improvement. If you want to take your iPhone photos to the next level, check out this collection of must-have iPhone camera accessories. For Android phone users, there's even a set of universal external lenses and other products for your handset.

Kogeto Dot

Phone types: iPhone 5, 4S, and 4

Starting price: $40

Retailer: Kogeto website

Take 360-degree panoramic video with your iPhone 5, 4S, or 4 using Kogeto's Dot snap-on accessory lens and Looker, a free companion app from the iTunes Store. Dot comes in black, green, pink, or red. The iPhone 5 model is $50 and the iPhone 4 and 4S model is $40.


Phone types: iPhone 5, 4S, and 4

Starting price: $70

Retailer: Olloclip website

The Olloclip three-in-one camera lens for iPhone 5, 4S, and 4 features fish-eye, wide-angle, and macro lenses in one small package. The lens system clips snugly onto the side of your handset, but is not compatible with protective cases or screen protectors. Olloclip comes in black, white, or red for $70.

iPhone SLR Mount

Phone types: iPhone 5, 4S, and 4

Starting price: $249

Retailer: Photojojo Website

Online photo accessory store Photojojo offers two mounts that you can use to attach Canon EOS or Nikon SLR lenses to your iPhone 5, 4S, and 4. Photojojo warns that you may have to make several small adjustments to get the iPhone and your lens in sync when focusing on your subject. The iPhone SLR Mount is available for $249.

Flip Cage with iPhone 4/4S/3GS Mount

Phone types: iPhone 4, 4S, or 3GS

Starting price: $30

Retailer: GaryFongEStore

Photographic accessory maker Gary Fong sells this folding tabletop stand with a mount for the iPhone 4, 4S, or 3GS. The flip cage can be used as a tabletop tripod, and you can also use the iPod mount to secure your phone to a larger tripod. The flip cage also holds point-and-shoot cameras.

Factron Quattro

Phone types: iPhone 5, 4

Starting price: $199

Retailer: Factron website

This iPhone case made from duralumin—an aluminum alloy used in aircraft construction—features a camera mount that can fit specially made interchangeable external lenses. Available lenses, sold separately, include close-up, wide-angle, and fish-eye. The Quattro has a calfskin leather backing with several different designs, such as lizard and crocodile. While the Quattro may be a good case for taking pictures with your iPhone, it's not so great for other purposes. The manufacturer warns that the aluminum case may interfere with the iPhone's reception of Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular signals.

6X Telescope with Crystal Case for iPhone 4S/4

Phone types: iPhone 4S, 4

Starting price: $16

Retailer: USB Fever

If you plan on taking photos from far away, check out this telephoto lens from USB Fever. The "Telescope" lens has a fixed 6X zoom, so it's only for taking pictures from a distance. The lens also comes with a translucent case that connects to the lens, and a neck strap.

Glif Tripod Mount & Stand For iPhone 4/4S and 5

Phone type: iPhone 5, 4S, 4

Starting price: $20

Retailer: Studio Neat

If you already have a tripod and you just need a way to mount your iPhone to it, look no further than the Glif from Studio Neat. This simple tripod mount is made of rubberized plastic and has a thread that fits most standard tripod mounts. You can also use the Glif as a tabletop stand for hands-free reading or video viewing on your phone.

Zgrip iPhone Jr

Phone type: iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3G

Starting price: $69

Retailer: Zacuto

The Zgrip iPhone Jr helps budding iPhone cinematographers stabilize their camera for a clearer picture. The device features a fixed claw mounted on a handgrip for mobile shooting. The handgrip also has a thread on the bottom that will fit most tripods, as well as a thread on the top for mounting lighting equipment. The claw is designed to not obstruct your iPhone camera lens.

ZoomIt SD Card Reader

Phone types: iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS and iPod Touch

Starting price: $60

Retailer: ZoomMediaPlus

The ZoomIt SD card reader won't help you take better photos, but it will help you get photos from a camera onto your handset faster than syncing with your computer. The ZoomIt plugs into your iPhone's dock connector to let you import photos onto your device, where you can then upload them to your favorite social network. The ZoomIt supports a variety of media file types including audio, video, standard document types (DOC, XLS, PDF), and images.

Photojojo iPhone and Android Lens Series

Phone types: Android, iPhone 5, 4S, 4, other camera phones

Starting price: $20

Retailer: Photojojo

These four lenses—fisheye, telephoto, wide angle, macro—improve shots taken with almost any camera phone. The lenses use a detachable magnetic ring to match up with your camera's built-in lens. Each lens is sold separately for $20 each (fisheye is $25), but you can buy the entire set for $49.

Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand

Phone types: Almost all models of iPhone Android phones

Starting price: $30

Retailer: Joby

This GorillaPod tripod from Joby lets you take photos from any angle you can think of. GorillaPod's flexible and wrappable legs allow you to secure your phone to a tree branch, metal pole, or other structures. You can also use GorillaPod as a phone stand for reading or watching videos.


Phone type: iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3GS

Starting price: $13

Retailer: Cyanics andAmazon

If you need to add a little more brightness to your iPhone photography, Cyanics has an LED flash called iFlash that adds an external camera flash to iPhones (versions 4, 3GS, and 3G). You can also use iFlash in "Torch mode" for a constant light source—the device can double as a flashlight. The iFlash is battery-free, drawing its power from the iPhone. It comes in white or black.

Griffin Clarifi for iPhone 3G and 3GS

Phone type: iPhone 3G, 3GS

Starting price: $10

Retailer: Griffin

Clarifi, from mobile device case maker Griffin, has a built-in close-up lens that the manufacturer says boosts the camera resolution of the iPhone 3G and 3GS. You can use Clarifi's lens to get a clearer photo taken from as close as 4 inches away from your subject.

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