Smartphone cameras have achieved startling levels of quality recently, leading many enthusiasts and even pro shooters to feel comfortable leaving their full-sized rigs at home. But there’s always room for improvement, and a great smartphone accessory can make your shooting better — and perhaps a bit more fun, too.
Miggo Pictar Camera Grip
If you’re a dedicated smartphone shooter out for a daylong adventure, you’ll probably appreciate this camera grip attachment from Miggo. It makes shooting with the iPhone less awkward (because what photographer enjoys shooting with a flat rectangle?), and what’s more, it packs in several DSLR-like functions. There are five programmable wheels and buttons, including a zoom ring, a shutter button with a half-press function for locking focus, an exposure compensation wheel and a smart wheel that can be configured to adjust shutter speed or white balance. It utilizes an app for interfacing with these settings, foregoing a battery-draining Bluetooth connection in favor of inaudible high-frequency tones that control the camera. As a result, its own onboard battery will last 6–8 months before requiring a replacement — so you don’t need to charge this thing prior to every use.
Concepter iBlazr 2
The number one contributor to lousy smartphone images is poor lighting. Unfortunately, the number two contributor to lousy smartphone images happens to be horrible flash meant to fix number one. This attachment should help you find the sweet spot, with its programmable brightness and color temperature and its easy Bluetooth interface. You can attach several of these to your smartphone for more challenging compositions, and you can even position the flash remotely for more precise directional lighting. It can be adjusted for continuous lighting as well, so you can set up your shots and think things out a bit better.
Portable smartphone printers have been a thing for a while, but this new one from Prynt brings several clever twists. First, it’s super compact, attaching to your iPhone — as well as Android, later this year — and cranking out photo stickers using a heat-activation method (no ink or toner necessary). Second, the accompanying app includes an augmented reality element in which you take a photo that also includes a short video clip; then, when someone else loads the app and points their phone to the printed photo later, it springs to life onscreen.
The quality isn’t stellar; the prints are challenged by tiny details and large swaths of single colors. But it’s good enough to be fun. I’m also quite sure there are some clever applications lurking out there that this thing was born for. A road-trip game for the kids, perhaps, or some Memento-like amnesia scenario where you print photo clues with this and stick them to your body while trying to solve a murder mystery. Worst case, it’s fun at parties.
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