Modern smartphone cameras can produce stunning imagery. In the right hands, these handsets go head to head with dedicated cameras worth thousands of dollars. Smartphones fall behind in some departments, though. I specifically like the ergonomics, adaptability, and expandability of a real camera.
Thankfully, there are some tools you can use to take your mobile photography and videography to the next level. 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.
Best smartphone camera rigs:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smartphone camera grips and rigs regularly as new ones launch.
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 too, but most also have multiple mounts for lights, microphones, lenses, and more. These can get pretty advanced and are better suited for avid enthusiasts or professionals looking for full system replacements.
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Best smartphone grips
1. Pictar Mark II
The Pictar Mark II might be the best looking and most user-friendly grip in 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 shutter button, an exposure compensation wheel, a smart wheel for switching presets and shooting modes, and a zoom ring. 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. Neat idea, right? At $90, it’s also not a bad investment for improving your photo and video game.
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 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. All for $59.99.
The Shuttergrip 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 up to 10 meters away. At $39.95, it’s a simple solution at a very accessible price.
4. Shoulderpod S2
The Shoulderpod S2 has no controls, buttons, or any kind of tech built in. It really does nothing more than offer a nice grip on your phone, but it does it gracefully. The solid mount holds your phone tightly. A wooden handle can be attached to it, as well as a gorgeous leather wrist strap. There is a tripod screw for added stability and price is set at $40.
The Pixlplay is meant for kids, but it works perfectly as a smartphone camera grip for users of any age (if you don’t mind looking a little silly). The rubber design is playful and colorful, but also very protective. Not to mention the grip will be phenomenal. Aside from the build, the only feature it has is that there is a shutter button, but it operates via a 3.5mm headset jack. Those who don’t have one any longer can use an adapter.
Additionally, the enclosed design means not all phones will fit in this grip. Maximum smartphone dimensions are 5.59 x 2.95 x 0.374 inches. But hey! It’s only $15.
Best smartphone camera rigs
1. Beastgrip Pro
The Beastgrip Pro is one of the most popular smartphone 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 in the market. The included hand grip 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.
The Beastgrip Pro costs $190, but all secondary accessories need to be purchased separately. Regardless, it’s not a bad price to pay for such a versatile rig system.
2. Dreamgrip Evolution Mojo
The Dreamgrip Evolution Mojo 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 clamp holders, and a lens mount. The system comes with a $189 price tag. Those who want to further extend the rig’s functionality can purchase additional grips, monitors, lights, and even secondary cameras.
3. IK Multimedia iKlip A/V
Modern smartphones can take amazing video, but the same can’t be said about their audio quality. That is the issue iKlip A/V tackles. Aside from the ergonomic grip and phone mount, the iKilip A/V comes with everything you need to run professional wireless audio. It comes with a wireless receiver mount, an XLR input, a headphone output for monitoring, and phantom power controls.
4. Joby Gorillapod Mobile Rig
Gorillapods are great versatile tripods, but the manufacturer also has a solution for those who need rig expandability. The Joby Gorillapod Mobile Rig adds a couple arms with connections for lights, microphones, and more. Any accessory that can use a cold shoe or pin-joint mount can be attached to this mobile rig. The best part is these extensions can also be removed when you don’t need the extra expandability.
At around $90, the Gorillapod Mobile Rig is also less expensive than other rigs in this list. If you can live with three secondary accessories, it is a quality product at a great price.
5. Shoulderpod X1 Pro
If you liked the Shoulderpod S2 but thought it wasn’t enough for your needs, you may want to take a look at the Shoulderpod X1 Pro. It is equally elegant and beautifully designed, but comes with two handles attached by a plate. The dual handle system allows for more stability, while the plate makes it possible to attach other accessories to cold shoe mounts.
It’s a modular system, so you can expand it even more if you want. Likewise, if you already have a Shoulderpod S2, you can purchase the additional accessories necessary to turn your system into a rig like this one. This set can be had for $120 from Amazon.
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.