We list some of the best smartphone accessories on the market right now.
Sony’s QX range comprises a number of small ‘lens-style’ cameras that are designed to attach directly to your smartphone from where they can be controlled via the smartphone’s touchscreen using built-in Wi-fi connectivity and a bespoke Sony app.
There are currently three primary models to choose from, the pick of which is probably the 20.2MP QX100 (£380) that comes equipped with a 1in sensor and a 3.6x optical zoom. Next up in the line is the 20.4MP QX30 (£250) that’s built around a 1/2.3in sensor and a 30x optical zoom, while the entry-level 18.2MP QX10 (£170) combines a 1/2.3in sensor with a 10x optical zoom.
In addition, Sony also offers the 20.1MP QX1 (£250) that comes with an APS-C sensor for true DSLR-like image quality. The main difference between the QX1 and the other models is that it doesn’t come with any built-in optics. It can, however, accommodate any Sony E-mount lens you might already own.
Joby Grip Tight
A decent tripod is a must-have bit of kit for any serious enthusiast, and that includes cameraphone snappers. The Joby GripTight is basically a miniaturised tripod with three multi-linked legs that can be bent and shaped in all directions, enabling you to either stand the tripod upright or fasten it onto a suitably accommodating object such as a railing or tree branch.
Joby’s bespoke GripTight clasp sits on top of these and holds your phone securely in place via twin clasps that are rubber-coated to ensure your phone isn’t scratched. The GripTight is available in two phone sizes – ‘Regular’ for phones that measure 54-72mm in width, and an ‘XL’ version for phones measuring 69-99mm wide.
The GripTight isn’t just for smartphones, either, as removing the phone clasp exposes a standard 1/4in tripod thumbscrew that connects directly to virtually any lightweight digital compact camera.
Nova Bluetooth Flash
Off-camera flash is a popular technique that’s often employed by professional portrait photographers as it allows you to take control over the directional light of a flashgun and use it to give your subject much better depth.
While the Nova Bluetooth flash isn’t nearly as powerful as a DSLR-sized flashgun, the 40 diffused warm and white LEDs that populate its surface will certainly allow you to dabble in a bit of creative lighting with your smartphone. The Nova is equipped with a built-in li-ion battery that’s good for up to 150 flashes and is charged via a supplied USB cable.
To operate it you’ll need to download the free NovaCamera app from the Apple App Store. Once everything is paired and ready to go you can choose from three levels of brightness – gentle, warm and bright – and also take control over colour temperature. Sadly, there’s no version available for Android as of now, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Manfrotto Klyp+ Complete Kit
The Klyp+ case is a specialist protective case designed for iPhones that also allows you to attach a number of bespoke accessories including a range of screw-in lenses and a 225-lumen LED light. The Klyp+ Complete Kit contains everything you need in one package, including the case itself, the LED light and two clip-in lenses – a fisheye and a 3x optical lens that gives your iPhone the 35mm focal length equivalent of 105mm.
These aren’t the only lenses in the range, and Manfrotto also manufactures a number of Super Wideangle, Telephoto and Macro optics, all of which will screw directly into the Klyp+ case.
In addition, the case features a 1/4in tripod mount that enables you to mount your iPhone on a regular-sized tripod. Unfortunately, the Klyp+ is presently only available for iPhone 5/5s and 6/6 Plus models, however we’d expect a version designed for iPhone 6/6 Plus to become available at some point.
Price: £70 (iPhone 6s kit)
Olloclip makes a wide range of smartphone lenses and lens kits that, between them, cover pretty much all focal ranges including macro, wideangle and telephoto. The pick of the bunch, however, is probably its 4-in-1 lens kits, which comes with a fisheye, a wideangle, a 10x macro and a 15x macro lens.
Each of the lenses fastens to a specially designed lens holder, which you simply clip onto the phone. Better still, because the lens holder is designed to accommodate two lenses at the same time, you can quickly and easily swap from, say, macro to wideangle simply by removing the lens holder from your cameraphone and flipping it around by 180°.
The Olloclip 4-in-1 is available for all of the Apple iPhone models from the iPhone 4 onwards, along with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 models. There’s nothing, as yet, for the Galaxy S6, though.