The Best Smartphone Camera Starter Kit to Buy in 2018

Take better pictures with these top camera accessories for your smartphone

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Thanks to Instagram, everyone is a photographer these days. But sometimes your smartphone just doesn't have enough camera power to give you that perfect shot (even if you filter it), so it helps to have some add-on accessories. But which ones should you choose? To help you, we've rounded up the best smartphone camera accessories available today. From outdoor photography lenses to mini-tripods and the best selfie stick, there's an accessory for every situation, and for consumers everywhere, that’s picture perfect.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Accessory: Olloclip 4-in-1

Olloclip
Courtesy of Amazon.com

As advanced as smartphone cameras are, they still aren't able to zoom in on an object or person without image deterioration. Luckily, the accessory industry has attempted to solve this key problem with add-on lenses and the Olloclip 4-in-1 is the best one on the market right now. Generally made for the iPhone, Olloclip also carries lenses for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and S4, with the hope that additional devices will be supported down the line. Weighing just under one ounce with attached lenses, you’ll hardly notice the Olloclip when attached and, as an external add-on, there’s no additional shutter delay when capturing a photo. Just point and shoot.

The 4-in-1 clip adds a versatile set of lens options, including a wide angle one for capturing more landscape, a fisheye one for a unique 180-degree field of vision, as well as 10x and 15x macro zoom lenses for close-up action that goes well beyond what the naked eye can naturally discover.

The fisheye and wide-angle provide some unique photographic opportunities, but the Olloclip really shines with the macro lenses. You’ll lose some focus at the edges of your images with macro shots with increased distortion, but it’s a small price to pay for the type of photography your out-of-the-box smartphone camera just can’t do.

On the downside, quickly flipping the lenses around can lead to some unwanted fingerprints, and the mount blocks the rear flash on iPhone models, which is a curious design choice.

Best Selfie Stick: Mpow iSnap X

Mpow
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Out top pick for the best seflie stick is the Mpow iSnap X, which comes Bluetooth-ready and is only 7.1” when collapsed. When extended, the 31.5” telescoping mount provides more than enough distance to capture the perfect moment. As an extra little perk, you’ll have your choice of black, blue or pink-tinged handles to offer a little personalization. The 270-degree adjustable mount means you’ll find the perfect angle to look your best while selfie photographing. Pairing is a cinch. Just turn it on, pair it with your smartphone of choice via Bluetooth and, voila, you’re ready to go.

Read more reviews of the best selfie sticks available to purchase online. 

Best Tripod: Joby GorillaPod

GripTight GorillaPod Stand
Courtesy of Amazon.com

When it comes to tripods for smartphones, few names evoke more universal love than the GorillaPod. Practical, flexible and all around great, the GorillaPod GripTight is an incredible tool for the most casual or professional photographer. The clamp fits any device measuring between 66mm to 99mm and works for most smartphones on today’s market.

Placing the phone into the GripTight grip is easy, just pull the clamp open and push it back in, tighten the screw and you’re ready to go. Bendable legs allow it to be placed in almost any position. It can be used on a flat surface, on a rock, wrapped around a branch or anywhere your imagination can take you. At just 12” tall and .15 pounds, it’s portable enough to be stowed in any sized bag for travel.

​Read more reviews of the best smartphone tripods available to purchase online. 

Best Camera Mount: Beastgrip Universal Lens Adapter & Rig Kit

The name says it all: the Beastgrip is an absolute beast. This rugged rig will accommodate virtually any modern smartphone, from iPhone to Android. It allows you to attach lenses for photo and video shooting, mount your phone on a tripod or gimbal, and more. The universal lens mount is a 37mm threaded joint that will work with the included Beastgrip wide angle lens, along with a variety of other lenses and filters for augmenting your smartphone's camera.

They’ve thrown in five separate ¼-inch mounts for placing this on a tripod or attaching mics and flashes, so you can add whatever accessories you need for your shoot. Plus, they've included a sliding rig system that accommodates a variety of phone sizes and camera placements. That means your attachments will line up with the built-in lens on your device, even if you decide to change your phone model in the future

Beastgrip spent years (and a few crowdfunding campaigns) putting this rig kit together. Each Beastgrip mount is assembled by hand in Chicago, so you can be sure you’re getting a well-designed and reliable product.

Best Light Attachment: Lofkworld Ring Light Phone Holder

If you’re looking to shoot low-light photography — whether that means after-dark landscape shots or in-studio shooting — the number one way to get better photos is to provide light. Sure, you can pull some ISO trickery and get lenses that brighten up the lows of a dark scene, but getting a good fill light that works well will yield more professional-looking shots. 

The Lofkworld light ring is 14 inches across and works at 100W of power. You can dim and adjust the color temperature (from 3200–5800K) so you can provide soft, smoothing light, or bright, clarifying light to your photos. It comes with a 61-inch light stand if you want to set up your phone like a full tripod rig, or you can use the Bluetooth-capable remote to wirelessly connect your device. The ring also has a hot shoe mount (in addition to the smartphone mount itself), in case you want to use your DSLR with it as well. When you're finished shooting, pack it all away in the included carrying case. 

This model is a bit on the pricey side (there are cheaper, more limited smartphone-centric lights out there), but you do get a ton of features for your money.