It’s easy to forget that the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. Over the years, the iPhone (and all smartphones) has become a serious tool for videographers, introducing capabilities such as recording 4K video at 60fps.
As it’s evolved, a burgeoning market of iPhone accessories has grown alongside it. From gimbals to lenses, these days you can get some amazing accessories and kit your iPhone out as a proper video rig or something else entirely.
In this buyer’s guide we’ll round up some the best iPhone accessories you can buy to improve your video and stills.
The best iPhone accessories for video
Turn your iPhone into a handheld video production studio with these great accessories…
DJI Osmo Mobile 3
The Osmo Mobile 3 is DJI’s latest motorised gimbal stabilizer for smartphones, including the iPhone. New features include a folding design, USB-C charging, phone port access and a trigger control on the front of the handle.
What’s interesting about the Osmo Mobile 3 is that despite a slew of new features, DJI has kept its price tag the same as the Osmo Mobile 2 it replaces.
The Oslo Mobile 3 debuts a new foldable design that requires no locking mechanism. The Osmo Mobile 3’s controls have also been redesigned along the handle so that users can control the gimbal’s movement or switch settings with just one hand.
Options such as Quick Roll rotates your phone’s orientation from portrait to landscape without having to remove your phone from the gimbal. You can do this by pressing the Mode (M) button twice.
You can also now use the trigger to lock the Osmo Mobile 3’s orientation, rotate it for selfies or re-centre the phone when tracking a subject. For the latter, tapping the trigger once activates ActiveTrack and the Osmo Mobile 3 will begin tracking your subject, keeping it centred in the frame.
A new zoom slider on the side of the Osmo Mobile 3 lets you customise zoom speed and avoid having to zoom via your phone’s touchscreen.
Other options include a Gesture Control mode via your phone’s selfie camera, which activates a self-timer and a Sport mode for panning in fast-moving scenes.
Story mode does all the work for your and automatically generates a short, edited video with a music soundtrack.
ActiveTrack 3.0 uses DJI’s AI algorithms to recognise and follow subjects of your choice. You’ll also find Panorama, Slow Motion, HyperLapse, TimeLapse and MotionLapse modes.
Olloclip Filmer’s Kit
The Olloclip Filmer’s Kit enables you to elevate the potential filmmaking on your iPhone by equipping it with a variety of specialist lenses. With the kit you get a Telephoto, Ultra-Wide, Super-Wide and Fish-Eye / Macro 15x.
Each lens is an individual module with a lens cap and spring-loaded clip that enables it to be loaded into the Olloclip System. The lenses attach to the clip system that in turn fits snugly over the existing iPhone lens.
The Lens Clip system is double sided so that a lens can be mounted in each direction. When you want to swap between the Telephoto and Super-Wide, for instance, all you need to do is flip the clip.
There’s also a GoPro adapter in the case, so if you want to remove the phone clamp from the grip, you can quickly swap it for the GoPro adapter and mount your action camera.
If you shoot video on your iPhone, then the Olloclip Filmer’s Kit is a worthwhile accessory.
Lume Cube Air
The Lume Cube Air is the successor to the original Lume Cube, a pocket-size LED light that packs a powerful punch of 350 lumens of light, which you can adjust across 10 steps.
New to the Lume Cube Air, however, is smartphone remote control via a companion app which is compatible with iOS devices.
The Lume Cube Air offers a colour temperature of 5600 Kelvin, and charges via a Micro USB port. Underneath is a standard 1/4-inch screw thread, meaning you can mount it to any mini tripod or full-size tripod. It’s also got a built-in magnet for mounting to your car or bike.
And if that’s not enough, the Lume Cube Air is also waterproof up to 10 metres.
The Shoulderpod S2 is an essential iPhone accessory for anyone who wants to shoot video on their smartphone. Its wooden handle connects to the G1 grip mount, which in turn can be stretched to fit any iPhone (or Android phone for that matter).
What’s more, you can detach the G1 grip from the handle and screw the Shoulderpod S2 directly to your tripod. You can also use it landscape or portrait format.
There are a lot of video mounts out there for smartphones, but what we like about the Shoulderpod is its beautiful and robust build quality at such a modest price tag. Plus, its modular design means you can add mics and light panels and other accessories you need to complete your rig.
Manfrotto Twistgrip System
Price: From £35
Manfrotto’s Twistgrip is a simple but beautifully crafted device designed to enable you to tripod-mount your iPhone. Essentially, the system enables you to transform your iPhone into a video rig, and unlike other systems out there it’s ultra-compact.
The system consists of the Twistgrip, which is basically a clamp that adjusts to the size of your phone, and a Handle (with hand strap) and an Accessory Bar. At the top of the handle is a standard 1/4-inch screw so it can be bolted directly to the base of the Twistgrip or if you like an action camera or another compact camera. Meanwhile, a 1/4-inch thread on the base allows other accessories to be bolted on if needed.
But it’s the addition of the accessories bar that enables you to really start taking iPhone videography more seriously. With its various screw mounts you can add a light and the support of a decent microphone. Do this and you’ll notice a huge difference to your videos.
The Twistgrip might not have the stabilisation of the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, but it is less than half the price yet still enables you a great deal of control over your filming.
Sandmarc Prolight Collection
Sandmarc’s Prolight Collection is an RGB and Bi-Color lighting system designed to mount on to your iPhone for filmmaking.
The pocket-size Prolight RGB provides 16 million hues of illumination and is designed as an all-rounder for both indoor and outdoor filming.
The Prolight RGB delivers a colour temperature ranging from 1,000 to 10,000K, and a colour rendering index of 96+.
The Prolight Bi-Color provides a brightness power of 1500 Lux and is a key or fill light. It also provides a colour temperature of 3,000 to 6,500K with a CRI of 95+.
Both lights mount to Sandmarc’s existing Sandmarc Pole – Film Edition and Film Rig, to which you can mount your iPhone.
Best iPhone accessories for photos
These iPhone lenses will help you get vastly improved images from your smartphone and achieve new levels of creative effects…
At the core of the ExoLens system is the machined aluminium bracket that attaches to the phone and that accepts the optics. The Bracket Frame has a gel liner that sits inside the machined aluminium bracket to cushion the phone and it slots onto the iPhone spanning the width of the phone.
You can buy variants of the ExoLens for the iPhone 6, 6S and 7, and attaching it is dead easy. With the bracket mounted to your phone, the lenses simply screw into the frame.
Lens options include a Zeiss Muta 0.6x Asph T* Wide-Angle, the Zeiss Vario-Proxar 40-80 T* macro-zoom and a Zeiss Mutar™ 2.0x Asph T* lenses. Build quality for both the bracket and lenses is outstanding, and optical performance is superb.
There’s currently no option for the iPhone 8 or iPhone X; however we suspect we’ll see one before too long.
Sandmarc lenses for iPhone
Price: from $69.99
Sandmarc makes lenses and filters for GoPro and DJI gear, but it also makes a fine range of iPhone lenses that are quickly becoming our favourites. The range is compatible with the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The Sandmarc macro lens for iPhone is the cheapest of the bunch at $69.99. The fisheye lens is priced $79.99 and offers 5x wider capture, Sandmarc says.
The wide lens offers 2x wider capture and is priced $89.99. Alternatively, you can buy all three of the Sandmarc lenses for iPhone for $189.99.
Each lens comes with what Sandmarc says is the world’s thinnest lens case mount, or you can use it with a clip mount if you don’t have a case or wish to use your own.
We’ve been shooting with these for a few months now and find the optical quality superb.
Olloclip Connect X lens system
Price: from £40 / $60
Also on our best accessories for iPhone video list is Olloclip, which like Sandmarc makes excellent lenses and other accessories. The Connect X system comprises six lenses that clip to the iPhone X’s front and rear cameras.
The range consists of a Super-Wide lens with a 120-degree field of view; Ultra-Wide offering a 155-degree field of view; Fisheye + 15x Macro offering a 180-degree wide-angle lens with a 15x magnification; Telephoto lens; 14x + 7x Macro and a 21x Macro lens.
Olloclip’s new Connect X ‘lens mount’ is also compatible with most phone cases.