Best smartphone photography tech: Gimbals, lenses and tripods
- 18 October, 2019 16:53
Smartphone cameras, both in the mid-tier and the flagship segments, continue to get better and better. These days, if you take the time to really learn what your device can really do, you can produce some incredible looking photos and video content with it.
Still, if you are looking to push your portable photography to the absolute limit, it’s gonna be worth investing in the right accessories and equipment. Even if it's not going to be as significant as a wholesale device upgrade, picking up a gimbal or a set of third-party lenses for your new iPhone 11 Pro or your old Google Pixel 3 can still make a big difference in the results you’re able to produce with your smartphone.
Here’s what we’d recommend:
Best smartphone lens systems
Black Eye Pro Kit G4
Black Eye’s Pro Kit G4 includes a motley crew of lenses that’ll let you push your smartphone photography just that little bit further. The company does, of course, sell individual lenses as well but opting for the Pro Kit means you also get a nifty protective carry-case that’s specifically fitted to keep your glass in good condition.
The Pro Kit G4 includes a Pro Portrait Tele G4 lens, Pro Fisheye G4 lens and Pro Cinema Wide G4 lens.
You can find it on Amazon for an RRP of AU$369.
Moment’s smartphone lenses come with a unique hook that’s either a gift or a blessing, depending on how you look at it. They’re exclusively designed to be used with Moment’s smartphone cases. You can’t just buy and use them without one.
The downside to this is that you have to spend more money. However, the upshot is that the way that Moment’s smartphone lenses integrate with your devices feels a lot smoother and more premium. You’re also able to bring your lenses with you from one phone to another - assuming you buy a new Moment case, of course.
Nabbing yourself a Moment case (Pixel, iPhone, Samsung) is going to cost you around AU$60-AU$80. The lenses themselves start at around $150 for the macro lens, around $165 for the fisheye lens and AU$200 for the wide angle lens.
Why should you get a lens system for your smartphone?
More and more modern smartphones are embracing multi-lens arrays. However, if you’re after a specific type of shot or lens, you might want to look at investing in a smartphone lens system of your own. In addition to adding a little bit of extra telephoto zoom to your iPhone, these accessories can allow you to easily capture things like fisheye shots and more.
Best smartphone gimbals
DJI Osmo Mobile
DJI’s Osmo gimbals have been the golden standard for consumer-grade smartphone stabilisation - and the Osmo Mobile 3 is their best effort in the space to date.
The third-generation Osmo touts 15 hours of battery life and a more compact design that allows it to fold up when not in use. Like earlier efforts, it'll also integrate with the company's DJI Mimo app to make more complex maneuvers available at the press of a button.
You can find the DJI Osmo Mobile on Amazon for just shy of AU$200.
Hohem iSteady Mobile+
If the DJI Osmo is looking a little too pricey then the Hohem iSteady Mobile+ make for a good alternative. Though cheaper and without the extensive customer support that the DJI gets you, it does work with most smartphones and tout support for basic maneuvers like 360-degree rotations and a dedicated sports mode designed to help it capture fast moving objects.
Why should you get a gimbal for your smartphone?
If you’re finding a stabilizer isn’t doing the trick or you just want to skip straight to good stuff, a gimbal for your smartphone is going to be the way to go. They can be expensive - which isn’t ideal - but they can make a visible difference in the filmmaking capabilities of your smartphone. Buying a gimbal means smoother video content and many more-advanced features besides.
Best smartphone power banks
Cygnett ChargeUp Pro 20000mAh Power Bank
If you want a heavy duty power bank that isn’t all that heavy, it’s hard to look past Cygnett’s ChargeUp Pro. Weighing in at about 20000mAhs of extra battery life, it’s beefy enough to keep your smartphone going for a few more days - maybe even the whole week depending on the model.
Priced at around AU$150, the Cygnett ChargeUp Pro can be found on Amazon.
Belkin Pocket Power Bank
If you’re keen to spend a little less but still walk away with plenty of extra battery life, you can’t go past Belkin’s Pocket Power range. They tout 10,000mAh of extra battery life and also feature a nifty LED indicator to keep you in loop.
You can nab a Belkin Pocket Power Bank on Amazon for about AU$30 right now, so get on it.
Why should you get a powerbank for your smartphone?
If you’re shooting a lot of video content with your smartphone, it’ll absolutely have an impact on your battery life. For that reason, it’s probably a smart idea to keep a powerbank on hand so that you don’t have to worry as much about running out of battery before you finish a shoot.
Best tripod for your smartphone
Revelli Lightweight Aluminum Tripod
If you’re after an old fashioned tripod that’ll work with your shiny new smartphone, Ravelli have you covered.
Their Aluminum Tripod is super-affordable and comes bundled with a carry bag and a universal smartphone mount and a standard ¼-inch camera mounting quick-release plate.
You can find it on Amazon for about AU$30.
Fotopro Phone Tripod
Looking for something a little more portable and modern? The Fotopro Phone Tripod might be the right fit for you.
It features an easy-to-pivot head that’s flexible enough to let you shoot in both horizontal and vertical orientations plus a handy Bluetooth control that doesn’t even require an app to use.
Why should you get a tripod for your smartphone?
If you’re interested in doing much long exposure or low-light photography, it’s going to be worth getting yourself a tripod. Modern flagship smartphones have a lot of built-in optical and electronic image stabilization tech but a tripod ensures you’re always going to get the best results.