Smartphone cameras have come a very long way in just a few short years, and our lab tests consistently bear out that these are truly capable of professional-quality photos.
Of course, there's more to getting high-quality photos than just the camera—especially for a smartphone which is naturally limited by a phone's size, shape, and fixed lens. Luckily, there are a slew of accessories—from lenses, to tripods, to gimbals—that can help take your iPhone photos to the next level.
These are some of the best accessories we've seen for the iPhone, and a perfect addition to any budding smartphone photographer's arsenal.
1. Lenses by Moment that get you closer to the action
There are lots of lenses you can attach to various iPhones, but the New Telephoto lens from Moment are my favorite. The default iPhone lens provides a nice wide-angle field of view, so having the option to add a telephoto look to your photos should be your first priority, no matter what kind of photos you plan to take.
Just a heads up, you'll need a case that supports the Moment mount to use this with your phone. This case works with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, this case works with the iPhone 7 and 8 Plus, and this case works with the iPhone X.
2. This lens kit from Aukey gives you tons of options
When most people think of professional photos they think of extremely high-quality, expensive gear. That's true, but you can make sub-par gear work through creativity, as long as it gives you options. If you like the idea of add-on lenses but are on a very tight budget, this $15 kit from Aukey has you covered.
None of the lenses are very sharp, but it includes wide-angle options, macro options for close-up photos, and the clip to attach everything to your iPhone. You'll need to be creative to get top-notch results, but it's a fun addition if you want to just mess around.
3. This stabilizer from DJI is pure magic
The new DJI Osmo phone stabilizer was hands-down my favorite gadget at CES 2018, taking home one of our coveted Editors' Choice awards. For just $129.99 it offers incredible stabilization for hand-held shots, a simple joystick for buttery smooth tilts and pans, and controls for zoom and capturing photos.
With long battery life and a substantially reduced price over the original DJI Osmo, it might just be my favorite smartphone camera accessory of 2018.
4. This Joby tripod can grip railings for unique shots
Joby's Gorillapod series has been around for a long time, and it's still one of the best ways to attach your phone to your environment for creative, rock-solid shots. Smartphones are significantly more prone to shake, even on bright days, than full-size cameras. This can make it difficult to get steady shots, meaning your shots will lack the sharpness they should have.
This Gorillapod is easy to use and works with a wide range of smartphones thanks to its sliding head, which grips your phone tightly while you're setting up your shot.
5. This $100 stabilizer is among the cheapest on the market
Though the DJI Osmo 2 isn't that much more expensive, if you don't like DJI or just want to save a little more money, this $99 version is already on the market and is very well-reviewed. It has nearly all the same features and it comes in a range of colors to match your rose gold iPhone.
6. This phone mount attaches your iPhone to regular tripods
If you already own a tripod, then you probably don't need or want a second one. This mounting bracket grips your phone and attaches to most full-size tripod plates. We use these in our lab for smartphone testing, and they're generally excellent—though the wider phones like the iPhone 7/8 Plus are a bit too big.
7. This selfie stick is also a tripod and includes a Bluetooth remote
Look, selfie sticks hardly scream "professional" but you'd be shocked how many professional photographers and YouTubers I know who use them regularly. Especially combined with the iPhone's naturally wide lens, a selfie stick provides the height you need to capture unique perspectives.
This model from yoozon is a top seller on Amazon, comes well-reviewed, and can convert into a tripod with a Bluetooth remote for remotely triggering your phone's shutter. At just $21.99 I don't expect it to last forever, but it's worth the investment.
8. The Macro Pro kit from olloclip is still among the best
Olloclip is still one of the top name among iPhone lens manufacturers, and its Macro Pro lens kit includes 7x, 14x, and 21x macro lenses that can attach to your phone and work with either your front or rear cameras. Though the setup can be a little bit fiddly and the image quality isn't as sharp as a DSLR with a proper macro lens, for $79.99 this gives you lots of options for close-up work with your iPhone 7/8 and 7/8 Plus.
9. A USB battery pack to keep the whole thing powered
Though it won't have any effect on your actual images, you can't take great photos if your phone is dead. There's a reason why every single professional photographer I know about carries around multiple batteries—part of being a "pro" is being prepared.
This USB pack from RAVPower won our roundup of the best USB battery packs, and it packs enough juice to recharge your phone multiple times over. If you're going out for a long day of shooting, you're definitely going to want to invest in one (or two) of these.
10. Let there be light with this mobile LED light array
When using full-size cameras, I prefer to shoot in natural light. With a smartphone, that usually isn't an option. While this LED light isn't going to work in every situation, for video shooters especially it'll provide the boost you need to light your subject in tricky situations.
This particular model comes with a variety of mounting options, including a 3.5mm headphone jack mount, a suction cup mount, a phone clip, and the option to attach it to a 1/4-inch thread. It charges via USB and has its own battery, giving you plenty of flexibility no matter how you need to use it.