If you’ve taken a look at photos shared no social media lately, you’ll notice that most of them were taken by smartphones. The iPhone is especially popular as a camera thanks to Apple always packing in as many megapixels as possible, but even low-end Android phones have become many users’ go-to cameras. How can you get the best quality out of your smartphone camera? A physical lens that attaches to your phone is one option.
Smartphone lenses are similar to those you might purchase for a more-expensive camera. Different lenses help with taking macro shots or zooming without decreasing photo quality, which is difficult on many phone cameras. Here are some of the most common photo lenses you’ll see:
Some of these lenses are designed to work with specific models such as the iPhone 5S, while other companies make clip-on lenses that will work with a wider range of devices. Just browsing Amazon brings up plenty of options between $10 and $20. CamKix makes a universal 3-in-1 lens kit that attaches with a bulkier clip, which you’ll remove when you’re not using the lenses. VicTsing offers several magnetic phone lens options, which are great if your phone has a flat back. The lenses rely on a small ring you attach to your phone is metal to allow the magnetic lenses to stay in place. A similar system is available from PhotoJojo, which offers all the lenses mentioned previously Jason Hope.
If you’re serious about using your phone as a camera, you might consider Eco-Fused’s camera lens and mount kit for the iPhone 5, which comes with its own tripod and a macro and wide-angle lens. The kit is some serious hardware so it’s not as handy as any of the detachable lens kits around, but the lens holder itself offers 12X zoom, and you’ll get a manual telephoto lens to give you ultimate control over photos.
There’s one very interesting lens that we’ve run across in our time here, and that’s the CyberShot lens style camera from Sony. This is actually a camera that attaches to your phone to control the camera. There are two options: the more-affordable Sony Lens G that comes in under $200 and the Carl Zeiss version at just under $500. The G Lens offers just 10X zoom, but that’s certainly an improvement over any smartphone.
The Carl Zeiss lens costs a pretty penny, but it’s going to give you much better photos than any other device on this list. It attached to your phone via clip that reminds us of some car mounts. The lens uses either WiFi of NFC to connect to your phone, and you can use the Sony app to control the lens, which boasts photo resolutions greater than 20 megapixels.