My go-to iPhone video accessories

The best camera is the one you have with you. And let’s face it, the one we have with us the most often is your smartphone.

So how can you get the best possible photos and video with the phone that’s most likely right at your side right now? Buy the right accessories.

I’ve been teaching smartphone video for more than five years now at Drake University, and I’ve learned that using the right add-on accessories can make all of the difference. I even keep an updated list of all of my favorite smartphone video/photo accessories on my website.

But here are the seven accessories that I absolutely love the most — my go-to ones.

1. Camkix tabletop tripod

This little tabletop tripod comes with a GoPro adaptor and a smartphone adaptor (so you can skip buying No. 2 on this list). And you get it all for $13. Honestly this is a cheap microphone may be all that you need to start making great content for Facebook Live or even for YouTube.

2. Shoulderpod smartphone tripod adaptor

Your iPhone doesn’t natively attach to a smartphone, so you need some sort of adaptor to make that happen. I’ve used them all, and the Shoulderpod is a winner. It holds your phone well, and it’s build to last. Mine have been through hundreds of students and they’re still standing. Budget alternative: This Vastar tripod adaptor is pretty good for only $6.

3. NEEWER CN-160 Light

This is a great LED light that will only set you back around $30. It lets you adjust the brightness and includes filters for various lighting settings. It doesn’t come with a battery, but it uses batteries you might have laying around anyway (or AAs if not). You’ll need a case such as the Diff (see below) to attach it to the camera.

4. iRig Pro

I need a way to attach my XLR microphones and cables to my iPhone, and the iRig Pro is hand-down the best I’ve used. It plugs into the lightning port for digital sound. If the price scares you off, try the iRig Pre.

5. Lavalier microphone kit

These MXL FR-366K lavalier microphones plug into the iRig Pro to give me professional sound for all of my interviews. These won’t work with the iRig Pre, but they work great with the iRig Pro, and are my go-to microphones for all interviews.

6. Rode VideoMic Me

Sometimes you need a little directional microphone for handheld shots or simple interviews. The Rode VideoMic Me isolates the sound nicely, and the windscreen eliminates nasty sounds when I’m filming outside.

7. Diff Camera Rig

The Diff Camera Rig was one of the first iPhone video accessories that I bought, and it’s still one of the best. None of my old iPhone 4 and 5 cases fit my new iPhone 6S. This one still works. And it will likely still work when the iPhone 7 rolls out.

Interested in smartphone video? Like this Facebook page for all the latest in smartphone video tips and tools.

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