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The best smartphone camera grips and rigs you can get
Modern smartphone cameras can produce stunning imagery. In the right hands, these handsets go head to head with dedicated cameras worth thousands of dollars. Even budget phones are becoming awesome camera replacements. Smartphones fall behind in some departments, though. I specifically like the ergonomics, adaptability, and expandability of a real camera. This is where the best smartphone camera grips and rigs come in handy.
Grips can improve ergonomics, include physical controls, and even add features to your smartphone camera. Meanwhile, those who want more stability, as well as added components and accessories, can find a proper rig to use with a smartphone. It’s hard to decide which route to go with and find the right accessory, so we are here to help with a list of the best smartphone camera grips and rigs.
Before we get started, you should check out our guide to the most important photography terms. It can be a good resource if there is anything we talk about that you don’t understand.
Should you get a smartphone camera grip or rig?
First, you have to choose which route to take. A smartphone camera grip is smaller and less expandable, but it will also be much more portable. These are made for those who want the phone to do most of the work, but require added stability, some extra features, and a better… grip.
Meanwhile, a smartphone camera rig is for those who want to improve upon what the smartphone camera can do on its own. Of course, a rig can add stability and features, but most also have multiple mounts for lights, microphones, lenses, and other accessories. These can get pretty advanced and are better suited for avid enthusiasts or professionals looking for total system replacements.
The best smartphone grips and rigs:
Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list of the best smartphone camera grips and rigs as new ones launch.
The best smartphone grips
1. Pictar Pro
The Pictar Pro might be the best-looking and most user-friendly smartphone camera grip on this list. The accessory covers about half of the phone and features a classic design that is both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to hold. In addition, you get a multi-state shutter button, an exposure compensation wheel, an intelligent wheel for switching presets and shooting modes, and a zoom switch. It also has a tripod socket on the bottom and a cold shoe mount for a single accessory.
This unit doesn’t use cables, connectors, or wireless connections. Instead, the grip can emit high-pitch sounds to send commands to the smartphone app. These sounds are inaudible to the human ear.
Other great features include an optional Qi charging feature. The device also supports most Android and iOS devices now, whereas the previous versions were much more limited.
2. Adonit Photogrip Qi
The Adonit Photogrip Qi may not have cool wheels and controls, but it addresses a serious issue for smartphone photographers and videographers — battery life. This smartphone camera grip comes with a 3,000mAh battery and Qi wireless charging, which means it can juice up your device while it is docked.
Another cool feature is that the Bluetooth shutter button can be removed and used at a distance of up to 10 meters. The package also comes with a mini tripod, a pouch, and a neck strap.
3. Just Mobile ShutterGrip 2
The Shuttergrip 2 has a much lighter profile, but it handles the basics just fine. The rounded shape creates a comfortable grip, and it comes with a Bluetooth shutter button that can also be removed for taking photos from a distance. The Shuttergrip is a simple solution at a very accessible price.
4. ShiftCam SnapGrip
The ShiftCam SnapGrip is a novel product that turns MagSafe-compatible devices into more advanced photo-shooting camera phones. You don’t have to have an Apple device to use it, though. You can either get a MagSafe adapter for your Android device, or use the magnetic sticker included with the SnapGrip.
The unit provides an ergonomic grip, and the angle can be rotated at will. Additionally, it will charge your device at 5W, with the integrated battery. It will also work as a stand, and there are plenty of other accessories you can magnetically attach, such as an LED light, and a cold show attachment. You can get them all if you purchase the ShiftCam SnapGrip Creator Kit.
5. Shoulderpod G2
Nothing quite compares to the Shoulderpod G2 when it comes to smartphone camera grips. This has no Bluetooth, wireless charging, integrated batteries, or any other fancy features. What it has is a solid construction, superb ergonomics, and the ability to expand your smartphone’s capabilities quickly.
The unit comes with six cold shoes for mounting accessories and a couple of tripod mounts to adjust orientation. The best part is that it’s not really expensive.
The best smartphone camera rigs
1. Beastgrip Pro
The Beastgrip Pro is one of the most popular smartphone camera grips around, mostly due to its versatile design and secondary accessories. The grip expands both horizontally and vertically to fit a wide variety of smartphones. The included handgrip provides a more ergonomic and secure hold for steady shots, and the lens mount can be adjusted to work with nearly any smartphone.
The unit has five standard 1/4-inch 20 threads for attaching the rig to any tripod, slider, or stabilizer. In addition, the company sells lenses, cold shoe mounts, clamps, action grips, and more. You can even purchase an adapter for attaching DSLR lenses to the system, which truly expands the possibilities and quality offered by the Beastgrip Pro.
2. Dreamgrip Evolution Mojo 2 Plus
The Dreamgrip Evolution Mojo 2 Plus is for those who want an all-inclusive system for improving smartphone videos and photographs. It comes with a universal rig, a shotgun microphone, two LED lights, dual molded grips, a couple of clamp holders, and glass with a hood and filters.
Those who want to extend the rig’s functionality further can purchase additional grips, monitors, lights, and even secondary cameras. This is said to be a “complete journalist kit.”
3. Ulanzi Smartphone Video Rig
Isn’t this the coolest-looking rig? It’s not all about looks, though. The accessory provides plenty of flexibility across the board. It has a total of 10 standard 1/4-inch screw ports, four cold shoe mounts, and two arri-locating pins. It uses a spring-tension mechanism to hold any phone that is 5.4-6.7 inches long. The rubber gaskets will also keep your phone free of scratches.
4. JOBY GorillaPod Advanced Mobile Vlogging Kit
Gorillapods are great versatile tripods, but the manufacturer also has a solution for those who need a smartphone camera rig. The Joby Gorillapod Advanced Mobile Vlogging Kit adds a couple of arms with connections for lights, microphones, etc.
Any accessory that can use a cold shoe or pin-joint mount can be attached to this mobile rig. The best part is you can remove these extensions when you don’t need the extra expandability. This kit also adds an action camera adapter, cold shoe adapter, a mini LED light, a diffuser, a USB-C cable, a Lightning to TRRS adapter, a microphone, a TRRS to TRS cable, and a TRS to TRS cable.
5. NEEWER Metal Smartphone Video Rig
All these fancy smartphone camera rigs are great, but we know many of you don’t want or need all those extra capabilities. If you want a basic rig that gets the job done for as little money as possible, your best bet is the NEEWER Metal Smartphone Video Rig. It comes with an ergonomic handle for stabilizing your shots and a convenient phone holder you can move around. You can add accessories to the three available cold shoes up top, and plenty of 1/4-inch connections.
Now you are ready to take your smartphone photography and videography to the next level! These are all amazing options, so pick wisely and take one that best suits your specific needs. If you need more help, also look at our favorite photography tips.