Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on iPhone photographers.
Shoulderpod S1 Professional Smartphone Rig
If you’re going to get your budding iPhone photographer just one thing this holiday season, make it the Shoulderpod S1 Smartphone Rig. It’s a well-built, well-reviewed multi-tool that can be used as a tripod mount, filmmaker grip, and traveling stand. It works with virtually any smartphone, and will hold your device tight and secure thanks to its adjustable pressure-screws and wide rubber pads. This is a must-have for anyone wanting to take their photo/video taking skills to the next level.
Alternative: if you’re not feeling the multi-tool, the Glif from Studio Neat is a well-respected iPhone tripod mount.
Sony Smartphone Attachable 4.45-44.5mm Lens
Sony’s attachable QX10 lens also makes for a great gift for the iPhone photographer in your life. Attaching this 4.45-44.5mm lens to your smartphone essentially gives it 10x zoom. It clips on to your handset, connects via NFC or Wi-Fi and is capable of taking up to 18.9MP photos. Other features include SteadyShot image stabilization tech, autofocus, and great low light performance.
Mpow Selfie Stick with built-in Remote Shutter
We all rolled our eyes when selfie sticks first came out. Then it seemed like almost everyone had one. And now they are in this weird place where they are kind of old news. At any rate, I still think they make great gifts for folks who don’t have one. This one from mPow measures just 7.1 inches long retracted, over 2.5 feet extended, and it features a collapsable phone cradle and wireless shutter button. Plus it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon on over 4,000 reviews, and it’s listed as their #1 best seller.
The Art of iPhone Photography Book
It seems like in today’s digital world, physical books get forgotten about, but I still think they make excellent gifts. The art of iPhone Photography explores how 45 of today’s best iPhoneographers from around the world conceived, composed and created their best pieces. In their own words, each artists gives you a step-by-step presentation of their favorite techniques and approach to creative decisions, giving you new tools to take your art to new heights.
Joby GorillaPod Tripod with Ball Head
Every good photographer, whether they use an iPhone or not, needs a solid tripod. The GorillaPod tripod from Joby is a favorite amongst iPhone photographers thanks to its portability, flexibility, and stability. In addition to the tripod, you also get a smooth motion ball head and bubble level for making quick and accurate adjustments on the fly. This is also one of my favorite gift ideas on this list.
CamKix Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote
This one shouldn’t need much of an explanation. This CamKix Bluetooth remote control allows you to operate your smartphone’s shutter from several feet away. So you can step out from behind the camera and get in the picture, or put your phone in a remote location to get the perfect shot. There are tons of these out there, but the CamKix is less than $10, works with virtually every smartphone on the market, and it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon on thousands of reviews.
olloclip Macro Pro Lens Set for iPhone 7
Another tool every iPhone photographer should have is a lens kit. Now, once again there are tons of these out there, but perhaps none more popular than the olloclip. These lenses have been around for several iPhone generations, and are even featured in Apple’s retail store. This particular kit features a macro lens that lets you achieve crisp close-up photos with greater depth-of-field and less pincushion distortion, and was made exclusively for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Note: As I said, they’ve been making these for a while, so you can find an olloclip kit for virtually any iPhone model.
Anker Astro 5200mAh Compact Portable Charger
If you’re going to be out taking photos all day, the last thing you want to worry about is battery life. So to make sure the shoot can keep going, get them a battery pack. For this we like the Anker Astro 5200mAh portable charger. It’s candy bar-sized, so it can fit in a pants pocket or take up little space in a bag, yet it’s powerful enough to fully charge an iPhone 7 twice. Other features include PowerIQ technology for a fast, safe charge every time and an 18-month warranty.
You can buy the Anker Astro 5200mAh battery pack for $16.
DJI OSMO Gimbal for Cameras and Smartphones
This one’s a little more expensive, but if the iPhone photographer you’re shopping for has any aspirations in videography or film-making, it’s a must-have. The DJI Osmo is a gimbal for smartphones and cameras that eliminates camera shake, turning every shot into a cinematic masterpiece. It features Active Track technology, so your phone will stay facing the same direction as you move, full external camera controls, up to 4.5 hours of battery life, and a premium, ergonomic design.
AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case
Of course you’re going to need a way to carry all of these awesome tools with you on your outings and adventures. Honestly, any small bag or pouch with multiple pockets will do, but we thought we’d highlight a good, inexpensive option: the AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case. On the outside it looks like a generic CD case (remember those?), with a small AmazonBasics logo at the bottom, but inside you’ll find one large pocket and multiple smaller pockets that can be rearranged to fit your needs. It has great customer ratings, is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon, and measures just 9.5 x 5.25 x 1.88 inches. Plus we like the secure zippered closure.
Also be sure to check out our other gift idea roundups: