Best iPhone Photo and Video Accessories

RotoLight-iPhone-

As the old adage goes, the best camera is the one you have with you. And more often than not these days that will be your smartphone. Pretty much all modern smartphones have great cameras. That’s a given. And there are a range of amazing apps out there on all OSs to enhance your photography, as well as a range of retro filters if you value pretension and inauthenticity. What gives iPhone users the edge is the wonderful 3rd party ecosystem of accessories that help you take your photography and film making closer and closer to a professional standard.

Rotolight OWLE
I shouldn’t have to say this but lighting is one of the most important elements of recording visuals. You’d be shocked at how often people forget and you wind up with terrible, terrible looking footage or images that are either too bright or too dark. The OWLE HD VIDEO KIT for iPhone 4/4S adds some serious clout to your mobile cinematography. It comes with the award winning Rotolight RL48-B HD LED Ring light and a range of filters so you can create perfect soft fill-in light. This alone is a great addition but the OWLE also includes a custom 37mm wide angle / macro lens, high quality 180 degrees adjustable Vericorder microphone and tripod mount threading on all 4 corners so it’s the most versatile high-end tool on the list.

When I spoke to Rotolight at the Gadget Show they promised an iPhone 5 version was coming. Still no word on when.

£215.99
Find out more: Rotolight

Joby GripTight GorillaPod
Joby-Gorillapod-GripTight

Shaking hand syndrome ruins so many videos and almost every photo I’ve take would have been better had I used a tripod. Hence the Joby GripTight GorillaPod – a tripod and clamp system that helpful works with most modern smartphones and folds up neatly into your bag when not in use. I have one in my bag right now. And obviously the upside of the GorillaPod is that it’s not just a regular tripod and seems at times almost infinitely versatile – you can manipulate the legs into numerous combinations that enable you to capture more exciting shots.

£25
Find out more: Joby

olloClip

OlloClip

The olloClip is an old favourite and one of the earliest to the iPhone lens game. The pocket sized, high quality three in one lens, including a Fish Eye, Wide Angle and Macro lens, simply pops on to the edge of your phone. However, this does mean that olloClip does not play nicely with iPhone cases, and it does feel a little exposed at times filming with an iPhone in its naked state. The fisheye lens captures approximately a 180° field-of-view, the wide-angle lens nearly doubles the iPhone’s normal field of view and the macro lens applies roughly a 10X magnification.

Find out more: OlloClip
£69.99

mobislyer

MobiSlyder

Sadly for videographers only the mobislyder allows you to take smooth tracking shots that can breath life into your cinematography. The mobislyder is developed by the world’s No. 1 camera slider company, Glidetrack, so it’s has some fairly substantial clout behind it. It’s incredibly sturdy, with an articulated mount and there are all sorts of amazing shots you can pull off once you have one (there’s also the incredible temptation to go a bit overboard).

http://vimeo.com/31045367#

Fortunately the mobislyder is compatible with all sorts of hand-held camera devices, including the iPhones, Android, compact cameras, small DSLR cameras and small camcorders.

Find out more: MobiSlyder
£75

GripTight Gorillapod stand for almost all smartphones

The smartphone photography boom continues unabated. It’s already been ages since the iPhone became one of the most popular cameras on mobile photography site Flickr. Now mobile sharing sites such as Instagram are all the rage and seemingly every big photo site is attempting to get in on the retro camera crazy, with Flickr and Twitter both trying to get in on the retro filters craze. One upshot of all this is that there’s a growing market for wonderful camera accessories to take your smartphone photography to the next level. Rotolight do wonderful things with smartphone lighting and lenses, Glidetrack make smartphone-specific camera dollies and now Joby, makers of the Gorillapod have produced a (relatively) device-agonistic smartphone tripod the GripTight Gorillapod stand for smartphones.

Joby-Gorillapod-GripTight

If you don’t know about Gorillapods then you’re missing out on a delightful range of tripods that open up a world of creative photo opportunities. Gorillapods have flexible joints that can bend and rotate 360° so you can pop them on many different surfaces and even manipulate the tripod into a claw that can be tightly wrapped around all sorts of pillars and posts.

Joby already make a mobile clip that lets you strap in previous iterations of the iPhone. The GripTight Mount, however is a much more flexible proposition and works with most leading smartphones – even with cases. I’ve working with a lot of iPhone stand solutions before (including my much-loved Glif) but having the flexibility to leave on cases or other modification such as lenses I may have made to my phone is a boon. The GripTight’s
internal steel springs allow you to mount to expand it to the size of your device and the rubber grip pads feel very secure – I never once feared for my iPhone’s safety – even when dangled upside-down from a ceiling.

The GripTight Mount is super compact and foldable and quickly attaches to the GorillaPod – and indeed other tripods – via ¼-20″ screw. The actual attachment is small enough to pop on the end of your keys (there’s a tiny hole to attach it to a loop) and I’ve been jingling one in my pocket for a couple of days without really noticing the additional weight. It’s a great tool to add to your collection.

The Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand (including the GripTight Mount) is available now with a recommended retail price of £25.00. For more details check Joby.

Joby Ultra Fit Camera Strap: Makes light work of a heavyweight

Let’s face it, these days modern DSLR cameras may be heavyweights for capturing those memorable moments but they’re also pretty heavy in the weight department too. Lugging one around your neck all day is something to be avoided at all costs so canny photographers use custom made straps designed specifically to ease the burden of carrying a heavy camera whilst still letting you get a quick shot away when you need it.

UltraFit

German strap specialist  Sun Sniper first  pioneered the innovative sling shot design which has made wearing a DSLR a piece of cake.

Hot on the King’s heels however is Joby, the makers of the ingenious Goriila Pod, a flexible and lightweight tripod stand that can be used just about anywhere. They know a thing or two about cameras, so it’s no surprise they’ve jumped onto the strap bandwagon. The Joby UltraFit Sling Strap is another take on the sling shot style where a long steel and nylon strap anchored into the tripod housing at the base of the camera is swung around your shoulder leaving the camera hanging down by your hip, but well within reach to be grabbed and snapped.

The Ultra Fit takes this idea further through individual customisation.  The strap can be adjusted using a patented SpeedCinch system where your camera fits snugly higher up and closer to your body than the Sling Shot, but allows you to fluidly extend the strap when you need to fire off some shots. Another perhaps more obvious improvement is given the physical differences between men and women it makes sense to have them gender specific.

Not content with just stealing a march on Sling Shot, Joby, has added to the range with the 3 Way Camera Strap for compact cameras, letting you hang your camera around your wrist, neck or shoulder using a reinforced retractable cord.

Pricing: UltraFit Sling Strap – SRP £41.00, 3 Way Camera Strap – SRP £33.00

www.joby.com