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It has been a year-long struggle to avoid the naughty list, but the festive season has finally arrived. There are plenty of brilliant accessories for iPhone photographers to wish for, from mini tripods to tiny flashguns — the choice is endless. To sort the worthwhile gadgets from the useless gizmos, we have searched high and low for the best iPhone photo accessories. Here is the 2016 gift guide for mobile photographers.
Editor’s Note: Enlight is not in any way associated with the products in this list nor do we earn affiliate commissions from the links included on this page.
Steady as She Goes
To capture the night sky, or turn rivers into beautiful babbling sculptures, it is essential to keep your iPhone rock-steady. By far the most popular solution is the GorillaPod GripTight from Joby. This compact tripod has bendy legs that can wrap around railings and streetlamps, with a firm clamp holding your smartphone in place.
The Shoulderpod S1 is even more versatile: it transforms from a small travel stand into a stabilizing grip for taking smooth video, or even a phone mount for your full-size tripod.
Let There Be Light
No compact camera or smartphone truly excels in low light. While the iPhone has a respectable flash, regular party-goers and concert attendees will benefit from upgraded lighting. For a good balance of features and affordability, the iBlazr 2 LED flash syncs with your phone and kicks out 300 lux. You can link as many as 10 iBlazr units together to take beautiful portraits on the go, and even dial in custom white balance settings.
The most accomplished off-camera flash for iPhone, however, must be the tiny LumeCube. It measures just two inches across, but this little plug-in offers high-speed sync with 750 lux — the kind of features you need for shooting action sports after dark.
While photography is a significant consideration in the design of each iPhone, the settings and controls are only available via the touchscreen. If you prefer a more tactile interface, the Snap! Pro case adds a DSLR-style textured grip, a physical shutter button (with press-to-focus) and a tripod mount to your device, along with the option of using clip-on lenses.
Speaking of additional optics, Olloclip and Moment are streets ahead of the competition. The Core Lens Set from Olloclip lets you switch between fish-eye, wide-angle and 15x macro views without any fiddly attachments.
Unlike cheaper alternatives, Olloclip uses coated glass to prevent unsightly light streaks and color fringing. Lenses from Moment hit similar heights in terms of image quality, and the Tele lens lets you zoom in on distant subjects.
Collectively, we are taking more photos than ever before. Yet few of us ever get round to printing the shots we take. While Facebook and Instagram will suffice for most images, there are some photos that deserve to be framed.
For sheer convenience and instant gratification, the FujiFilm Instax SP-2 is hard to beat. This handheld printer uses inkless technology to produce cute 2×3″ prints in 10 seconds flat. With a resolution of 320 dpi, the image quality is superb, and you can print straight from your phone via Wi-Fi.
For larger prints and more features, the Canon SELPHY CP9000 is a great little 6×4″ printer with wireless connectivity and a 2.7″ touchscreen. The prints are water-resistant, and Canon claims they can last for up to 100 years!
There are many other worthy accessories that didn’t quite make it onto the list above. For instance, the Pictar iPhone Camera Grip offers physical zoom controls and even a mode dial — but delayed production means it will only start shipping in the New Year. Timelapses are not strictly about photography, but the Camalapse from Photojojo lets you take awesome panning shots. Folks on a budget should check out the YOPO iPhone Camera Kit at Amazon, which offers a 12x zoom lens and plenty of other accessories for under $40.
Did we miss your favorite iPhone accessory? Let us know in the comments!