We’re living in a golden age of mobile photography. Every smartphone keynote kicks off with companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung trying desperately to one-up each other in a never-ending photographic arms race. The winner here is you, and me, and everyone else who leaves the house every day with a killer little camera in their pocket.

All of our favorite Android phones and iPhones have outstanding cameras, but if you want to get some professional-grade photos and videos out of your phone, you might need to pick up a few things. Here is everything you need to turn your phone into a pro-grade powerhouse.

Be sure to check out our guides to the best compact cameras and best instant cameras, as well.

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  • moment lens on an iphone

    Photograph: Moment


    A Pocket-Size Cinema Lens

    Moment Anamorphic Lens

    Your smartphone’s camera is already great, but its key shortcoming is the built-in—and very small—lens. A bigger lens means more detailed and more dramatic images. That’s where Moment comes in. Using professional-grade optics, Moment lenses greatly expand your phone camera’s capabilities.

    Moment makes different lenses for different applications. Pictured here is the Moment Anamorphic lens, which is perfect for video or ultrawide landscape photography. If you’re looking to shoot better portraits with your phone or wade into street photography, I’d also recommend Moment’s 58-mm lens. It’s right in that telephoto sweet spot, delivering 2X magnification and some luscious bokeh. Don’t take my word for it, check out Moment’s photo gallery to see what these lenses are capable of. To use any of Moment’s lenses, you will have to invest in a Moment Photo Case, but the designs are stylish, and they offer excellent all-around protection.


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  • Photograph: RODE Microphones


    A Portable Shotgun Mic

    Røde Videomic Go

    Good video is nothing without good audio. Microphones can get expensive and cumbersome, but since we’re trying to keep things lean here, I’d recommend the Rode VideoMic Go. It’s my personal go-to when I’m shooting something and I want to keep my kit lightweight. It’s super small, and it doesn’t need an external power source; it just plugs into the phone’s 3.5-mm jack (or your dongle) like a pair of headphones.

    The audio quality isn’t studio-grade by any means, but it’s definitely better than the mic on your phone, and it’s capable of picking up clean sound from a good distance.


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  • Photograph: Joby 


    A Go-Anywhere Tripod

    Joby GripTight Pro 2 Gorillapod

    You won’t always have a nice flat surface to set your tripod on, especially if you’re shooting out in the wilderness. But Joby’s GripTight Pro Gorilla Pod has your back. The articulated legs on this tripod can be adjusted every which way to hold your phone level on just about any surface. The legs are so bendy that they can curl around anything—fence posts, tree branches, your hand—to form a tight grip. It’s also good for vlogging, because it’s small enough that you can squeeze all three legs together into an easily grippable monopod.


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