I'm currently on a family trip and as I was packing I stumbled across my camera bin. It’s a pretty big plastic bin in which I’ve kept spare lenses, caps, tripod mounting points, cleaning kits, and the rest of the flotsam and jetsam from my various cameras over the years. There was a lot of stuff in there that I'd forgot I owned. The last few years, I’ve been doing my photography exclusively with iPhone. Although I didn’t need anything from the box, I do still have a small camera kit for when I want to get fancy shoot pictures with my iPhone and I thought I'd share it here.
This is a small sized packing cube that I bought with this set. I keep it in a handy place and it’s always ready to go with me, loaded with iPhone photo accessories.
This is the latest iteration of the Glif tripod mounting point for the iPhone and by far, in my opinion, the best. With the new, easy ratchet feature I can attach any iPhone, regardless of whether any case is attached.
The Glif Handle
There is also a combo kit that includes a Glif and this turned piece of wood with a mounting screw on the top. I use it most often for shooting video. Combining this big handle with the iPhone’s software motion smoothing gets some really clean video.
The Joby Micro Tripod
This is the smallest tripod I’ve ever seen. It folds up to easily fits in the coin pocket of a pair of jeans. Indeed, it’s so small that I’ve misplaced one somewhere in my house and now I’ve got a second one. I like using this tripod for taking family pictures or even, in a jam, getting a long exposure of something interesting. I can’t tell you the number of pictures I’ve taken with the micro tripod holding my Glif-equipped iPhone while sitting on a table or even trash can.
The Joby Magnetic Tripod
This tripod is the most recent addition to my gear. It uses those Joby interlocking points to give it flexible, trappable legs and it also has magnets at the bottom of each foot giving you one more way to lock your camera down. I haven’t had the guts to hang it upside down for a photo using the magnets yet, but I'm tempted. I’m looking forward to trying this new tripod out on the trip.
The DxO One is a 20MB sensor that attaches to your iPhone via the Lightning port. It’s a replacement camera lens and sensor for your iPhone with a much bigger sensor than the one in your iPhone and capable of taking some nice pictures. I’ve had this several years now and while the battery is starting to show its age, I still find this lens useful. At this point, I only use the DxO for still images. In my opinion, the iPhone X takes better video than the DxO. It will be interesting to see how many more years before iPhone computational photography can advance to a point that I stop carrying the DxO, but we’re not there yet.
While I’ve always liked the idea of bolt-on lenses for iPhone, the mounting systems always make me weary. We’ve been talking about this on Mac Power Users and Moment sent me a few of their lenses to try out on my trip. Moment lenses use a proprietary case that is the best solution I’ve seen yet. The case looks nice and has mounting points over the built-in iPhone lenses that let you screw the lenses onto the case. If you get a new iPhone with a different design, all you have to do is buy the new appropriate case and the lenses will work with it. This makes a solid, secure connection that you can remove in seconds. I can’t wait to take pictures with these lenses and report back. Pictured is their Fisheye and Wide lenses.
I bought this a few years ago. It’s an LED-based external flash that can either sync to a specific iPhone app or just blast a backlight. I often use this to put a light behind or to the side of a subject for shots in the dark. LumeCube Kick-Started a new version that’s even smaller last year and I backed it. I can’t wait to have a second for even better non-flash lighting.
So that’s it. A small collection of gear put together over the years that help me take better pictures with my iPhone. One of the nice things about iPhone photography is that most times you don’t need a bag. I’ll normally pick and choose from this kit based on what I intend to shoot that day and usually, everything fits in my pockets.