So, you’re in the market for the absolute essential photography equipment for smartphones. You want the bare minimum in gear so that you can see if smartphone photography is for you.

We can respect that.

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones

Photography Talk

If you’re beginning into smartphone photography or on a severe budget, then you only want the absolute must-haves. Well, you at least want everything you need to compete with the industry big-wigs, right?

It just so happens, we’re going to tell you why this stuff is the essential photography equipment for smartphones and what it will do to help you on your journey. We need to convince you that you need this stuff to spend money.

Then, once we explain why you need the tools, we’ll let you know which products to buy (or download for free in some cases).

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones


These are the things that you have to have to be a successful smartphone photographer. Well, outside of the right mindset and innate desire, of course.

This guide for essential photography equipment for smartphones is even more bare-bones than ones we’ve done in the past, so if you’re looking for more to up your game then consider our smartphone photography starter pack instead!

In each case, we’ll provide you with both the best option and the best value option because, well, we understand that even the essential photography equipment for smartphones can be expensive.

As a result, we’re willing to save you some money a chance we can.

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones: Lenses –

Your phones camera lens is better than the one that came on the original iPhone. We’ll cede that fact pretty quickly.

But, it’s not better than the millions of other phone camera lenses on newer iPhones, Galaxies, Pixels, and other similar smartphones. It’s precisely the same!

For your phone to compete, you’ll have to give it the tools necessary to do so.

Enter added lenses for your smartphone. All you have to do is clip these babies on, and they’ll accentuate your phone’s camera to the point that it’s special again.

Best Value: Camkix Three in One Camera Lens Kit

Camkix Three in One Lens Kit

This impressive, inexpensive, and the extremely well-rated kit includes one fisheye lens, one two-in-one macro and wide angle lens, a universal clip that works for all smartphones, and a microfiber carrying bag. 

Pretty great deal for under twelve bucks, huh?

What you’re giving up in performance pales in comparison to the bargain. And, after all, this is the essential photography equipment for smartphones so you may as well get it all for as cheap as possible.

This Camkix three in one lens kit is perfect for the beginner just wanting to put their feet in the smartphone photography waters.

Universal 3 in 1 Cell Phone Camera Lens Kit for Smartphones Including - Fish Eye Lens / 2 in 1 Macro Lens & Wide Angle Lens/Universal Clip/Carry Pouch/Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • WIDE ANGLE AND MACRO LENSES IN A 2 IN 1 SET: These two small lenses are screwed together for easy storage. To use the wide angle, simply attach both lenses to the clip provided. To use the macro lens, simply unscrew the wide angle lens.
  • THREE GREAT LENSES IN ONE KIT: The fisheye, macro and wide angle lenses give you an array of shooting options to help you enhance your mobile photography.
  • UNIVERSAL LENS CLIP: The lens included in this set can be used with a wide range of cell phones and mobile devices including iPhone X, 8, 7, SE, 6, 6+, 5, 5C, 5S, 4, 3; Samsung Galaxy S9+, S9, S8, S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Plus,S5, S4, S3; iPad 2, 3, 4, Air; and many more
  • HIGH QUALITY ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION: The lenses are made from aluminum to increase the durability of the product.
  • VELVET CARRYING BAG INCLUDED: Keep lenses clean and safe - store them in the velvet bag provided.

Best Lens: Moment Wide Angle Lens

Moment Wide Angle Lens

We’ve reviewed Moment’s whole range of lenses before, and the Wide Angle came out head over heels on top. Seriously, this lens is as legit as they come when it comes to smartphone photography.

At $119.99, the Moment Wide Angle is obviously on the expensive end of things, but the performance it delivers is worth the cost you’ll pay. Chances are if you purchase this wide angle lens, you won’t be making any other smartphone photography purchases soon.

As we mention every gimd we bring up Moment lenses , however, you will have to purchase their case to attach the lens.

If you do purchase the case, however, it is compatible with Moment’s full range of lenses. So, there is a silver lining.

Moment - Wide Lens for iPhone, Pixel, Samsung Galaxy and OnePlus Camera Phones
  • The Moment 18mm Wide Lens works with iPhone, Pixel, Galaxy and OnePlus Phones. Compatible with the new Iphone11 (cases coming to Amazon soon). This product includes a lens, lens cap, and microfiber bag.
  • This product REQUIRES you to purchase a Moment Case OR Battery Photo Case to attach the lens to your phone. Mounts over either lens on dual lens phones enabling nearly limitless creativity.
  • This Moment Wide lens captures 2x more picture with a multi-element glass design that provides edge to edge clarity. The most advanced lens we’ve ever made, the Wide18mm Lens captures smartphone photos and videos that are beautiful, crisp, and straight, with no fisheye distortion.
  • Moment makes the highest quality attachment lenses on the market. Made with aerospace grade metal and the same hand-polished glass used for high-end 4K film lenses.
  • We backup our products with a lifetime warranty, great customer service and a 100% satisfaction guarantee with free shipping and returns. Ask us how to get set up with a Moment gear guide.

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones: Editing Apps/ Software –

Even the best professional photographers who use DSLR and mirrorless cameras do a little editing! While they choose to do their editing on a PC and not a phone – hint, you should too if you can – the point is that they’re making their photos better.

Don’t take our word for it! Take Peter McKinnon’s.

Using a useful editing tool is just as crucial as any essential photography equipment for smartphones. While we’re only discussing a few options here, we’ve talked more about editing in the past.

Don’t worry; we’ll discuss a few more editing tools below for those too lazy to click through.

Best Tool: Adobe Suite

There is no competing with Adobe in terms of photo editing.

If you can afford their basic package, and at less than $10 we think you probably can, then you definitely should bite the bullet and smash that purchase button.

To not purchase Adobe Suite is to severely handicap your ability to compete in the smartphone photography world. While the tools take some time to learn, the benefit on learning how to use them certainly outweigh any cons associated with this product.

Worst case scenario, you can purchase an Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies book and learn everything you can from there.

Best Value: Snapseed

So, the primary value in Snapseed is that it’s free.

Who doesn’t love that?

Price aside, however, Snapseed is a powerful editing tool that takes all of what Instagram’s photo editing tools can do to another level.

If you’re on a budget and looking for a cheap and effective fix, then Snapseed is the tool for you.

Best App: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for Mobile

Adobe’s mobile app is free.

Maybe you should go read that again.

Well, before you get too excited, it’s worth pointing out that the full toolbelt available on Adobe suite on the desktop version isn’t available on the app without a subscription.

At the same time, as far as we’re concerned the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for Mobile app is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition when it comes to editing photos on the phone.

While it is better than its peers, like the desktop version of the product, there is a little learning curve associated with the tools. If you are a smartphone photography beginner, it may be advantageous to start with an easy to use app to at least develop an eye for the different things available in the editing stage of photography.

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones – The Less than Essentials

Maybe you’re interested in a little more than what has been outlined above from the outset, or you started your smartphone photography journey based on this post, and now you’re back to add to your toolbelt – it doesn’t matter to us. All that matters is that you’re here now.

At this point, we’ve got you a basic lens, and we’ve told you how to go about editing your photos. But maybe you want something that’s going to take your photos to the next level.

The two tools we’ll discuss will help you in doing just that, and if you’re interested in an even better run down on them and other gear like them, then we’ve looked into it all in the past.

It is worth noting that as this is the essential photography equipment for smartphones, these are the budget options. If you’re interested in something a little bit more legit, then the link above is for you.

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones:

Tripod –

Image Premier Tripod

Why do you even need a tripod for smartphone photography?

Well, in short, to keep the camera still during the shot. Did you know, for example, that standard shutter speed is about 1/60th of a second? If you drop below that, which you can do in manual mode by the way, then motion blur can be a serious concern.

Do you know what solves the issue of motion blur? A tripod, of course!

In slightly more detail, well we did a whole post all about why you need a tripod for smartphone photography. So, just read it.

This smartphone photography tripod by Image Premier won’t blow your mind when it comes to features. But at less than $10, it might blow your mind when it comes to cost. It’s the perfect tripod for someone looking at beginning their smartphone photography career.

Flexible Mini Tripod for Iphone, Samsung Galaxy with Wireless Shutter Remote and Free Smartphone Photography eBook - Universal Camera Phone Stand, Holder
  • Easily record high quality videos, selfies and time lapse photos from your phone with the universal tripod and mount and bluetooth remote
  • Make superior photo and video content for your social media pages - Facebook Live, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Youtube. Linkedin
  • Tough, flexible stand will provide level stable base for your smartphone photos from any surface
  • Lightweight, small, versatile mobile tripod stand and cell phone remote shutter control are easy to carry with you wherever you go to capture valuable lifelong memories
  • Remotely control your cell phone camera from up to 30 feet away with the Bluetooth Remote Shutter controller

Essential Photography Equipment for Smartphones:

Lighting Aid –

Selfie Light Ring, Clip-on 3-Level Dimmable LED Camera Light

Ideally, you’re doing most of your shooting during the blue or golden hour.

If you’re not, then you’ve read our guide on lowlight photography, right?

Maybe you need a little extra assistance – it’s ok. This clip-on LED light will, in a cost-effective manner, solve all your lighting problems.

All you have to do is clip this LED light onto your smartphone and fiddle around with the three different light settings until you find the ideal one for you. This lighting aid is ideal for low light photography as it adds light without the harshness that comes with your phone’s flash.

Selfie Light Ring,Dimmable LED Camera Light,Portable Photography Light Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Sumsung Galaxy, Phone,Laptop (White,1-Pack)
  • 【Three-Level Adjustable Brightness】GYTF Phone light can adjust high brightness, medium brightness and low mode.For various uses -- make-up, selfie photos, videos and live streaming.Slightly press the dimmer button to change the brightness levels,then enjoy your selfies no matter indoor or outdoor, daytime or at night with our ring light for cell phone.
  • 【Built-in Rechargeable Battery】This phone camera ring light includes a built-in rechargeable battery with CE/FCC/ROHS/MSDS certification.Just plug in USB interface device. So eco-friendly is it and don't worry about replacing the battery.
  • 【Light Weight & Portable】 Pocket sized and extremely compact.Our LED ring light Makes it easy to put in your pocket. Simply and widely used for your iphone, tablet, laptop , makeup or Youtube video camera.Take it with you anywhere to record your cute life!
  • 【Mini & Cute Design】This ring light for iphone was simple circle shaped with clip, packed in pink color gift box.The selfie ring light is a great gift to your kids, friends, relatives, or anyone you love as a gift.
  • 【Warranty】 100% original brand new. All of our products provide 18 months guarantee. If you’re not 100% satisfied, please contact us for full refund or replacement within 45 days of purchase. ---> [NOTE:Please remove the dustproof film in the clip before installing]

Last update on 2020-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API