Fit in your pocket and snap onto your phone
Smart phones today have cameras that rival all but the most high-end DSLR cameras. With a bit of practice, even an amateur photographer can take professional-grade pictures with just their camera.
This becomes even easier when you think about the slew of attachable, portable camera lenses for phones. Many of these just snap on your phone and fit in a pocket, so you can take them anywhere without the need for a specialized camera bag.
We’ve studied the market and rounded up the best camera attachments for phones to help you up your Instagram game.
Olloclip is one of the original iPhone camera accessory makers. The company produces clip-on lenses for a wide range of phones from the iPhone 8 all the way to the X.
Although earlier models are no longer in production, a smart shopper can still dig up lens attachments for the iPhone 6. The most recent iteration caters to the iPhone X and includes a Macro lens with 15x magnification, a Fish-Eye lens, and a Super-Wide lens.
Olloclip also makes other accessories like grips and carrying cases. If you want to get into photography without a lot of hassle, the Olloclip is a great place to start—if you’re an iPhone user.
Moment (Buy from Moment)
If you’re a serious photographer, then Moment is the company for you. Moment caters toward high-end, high-quality mobile photography gear, and their prices reflect that.
Where Olloclip might sell a full lens set for around $90, a single lens from Moment can cost more than $120. Moment sells everything a photographer might need, from an 18mm wide angle lens to a 62mm UV filter.
Moment sells counterweight gimbals and lighting accessories, too. In addition to the photography gear, the Moment Pro Camera app is one of the most versatile, powerful camera applications available to iPhone users.
It overhauls the basic functionality of your phone’s camera and grants full manual control of ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and much more.
Aukey Ora (Amazon)
If Olloclip is the easy solution for phone-based photography, then the Aukey Ora series is the budget version. For just $19.99, users get a two-in-one lens kit that includes a 140-degree wide-angle lens and a 10x macro lens. The lenses clip onto your phone with ease for easy swapping between the two types.
The downside is that the Aukey Ora only works with iPhone 6, 7, and 8, Samsung phones, and “other Android smartphones.” To find out whether it works with your device, you might need to do a bit of digging. The one thing no one can debate is the quality. The Aukey packs quite the photographic punch for such a low price.
Sony QX10 & QX100 (Amazon)
Sony has long been known for quality cameras, but the QX10 and QX100 definitely fall into the “experimental” category. Marketed as a camera for smart phones, they actually use the phone itself as a viewfinder.
The lens link to the phone and grant complete control to the user. While you can purchase clips to attach the lens to the phone, it is not always the most elegant solution.
On the other hand, the specs on these cameras are impressive. The QX10 gives 10x zoom, while the QX100 has significantly higher technical specs with a 20 megapixel sensor and a 1.8 aperture for low-light photography. These are not the cheapest solutions, but if you love Sony cameras an want a portable solution, the QX10 and QX100 might be a great fit for you.
A Tip for Android Users
If you search for phone camera lenses, the majority of results will be for iPhone. Android cameras are powerful, but Apple has done a fantastic job of marketing their line of phones as having the best cameras of any phone.
As a result, a lot of manufacturers cater their equipment toward iPhone users. However, a bit of digging will help you find a lens that fits your phone camera, as long as you have a mainstream Android device.