Ok, I have to admit that I don’t think an iPhone can match a DSLR but with a paid app and accessories, you can turn your phone into a professional camera (at least make it work darn close to one). Your phone will not have the same megapixels as a DSLR but I’m not printing my photos into a huge poster. At the largest, I print to an 8″x10″ photo and my main medium is on the web. A DSLR would be overkill for my purposes.
Make the most of a camera you always have with you—your phone. Everyone always carries their phone with them. The best part is that you don’t have to lug around the same amount of gear and weight that professional photographers have to carry.
When I started the blog I was convinced that I should invest in a DSLR camera. I later realized that I should try to make the most of what I already had. I took an online photography course for the iPhone and saw that you can take good pictures with the correct apps and tools which I’m sharing on this blog post.
THREE APPS / TOOLS TO HELP TURN YOUR PHONE INTO A PROFESSIONAL CAMERA
- ProCamera 8 application
- External lenses for the phone (such as the olloclip)
- Selfie stick / Tripod
The main application that I was impressed with is an app called ProCamera 8. It offers the following features:
- Get the same level of control as with a DSLR or compact camera
- Stunning HDR
- Remote trigger for Apple Watch
- Save photos in TIFF file format
- QR-Code Scanner
- 3D Tiltmeter for straight photos every time
- Advanced HFR video recording
- Fullscreen Trigger
- Night Camera
View the video of some of the application’s features (although this shows the ProCamera 7 app):
I really love the High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos I take with my iPhone 6 Plus using the ProCamera 8 app. I love that I can easily control the exposure setting and focus when taking a photo. The exposure setting and focus controls are independent of each other which makes a HUGE difference when taking pictures. Honestly I still have to play with the application some more but the independent exposure and focus controls makes a big difference in my photos that I forget it has more features I need to start using.
Initially it seems weird to install an external lens on your iPhone. It looks weird too. The only draw back to an olloclip is that I have to remove my case to install the lens on the iPhone. I tried the lenses out since the photographer on the online course I took praised the lens quality of the olloclip. I was convinced enough to purchase it and try it out for myself. I ended up purchasing the lenses with a telephoto, wide-angle, circular polarizing lens (CPL). This lens also has a 10x macro lens.
The lens features:
- Telephoto lens which is ideal for portrait photography because the shallow depth of field will allow your subject to stand out. You get 2x optical magnification which allows you to get twice as close to your subject.
- The CPL reduces glare and reflections and makes colors look true to life.
- The wide-angle lens nearly doubles the field of view (which is the lens I mainly use).
- 10x macro lens to capture details with increased magnification.
The amazing part is that all four lenses fit in the palm of your hand and you can wear the lenses on a lanyard around your neck (which is included with the olloclip).
Here’s a video on the telephoto and CPL lens:
Here’s a before picture without a wide-angle lens:
Here’s a picture using a wide-angle lens and CPL:
Here’s a photo using the 10x macro lens:
I’m really not a macro photographer but it’s a good lens to have if I need one. Overall, I enjoy using the external lenses and I think it’s a good investment to own especially if you don’t own a DSRL camera. I really like using the wide-angle lens. I also like that the lenses are light-weight and doesn’t take a lot of space when traveling.
Selfie stick / tripod
Personally I don’t take a lot of selfies but I really needed a tripod that could hold either my iPhone or iPad for taking videos. I found the selfie stick / tripod made by Accmor in Amazon. Initially I read the reviews for the Accmor selfie stick / tripod for the iPhone and it got great reviews, but I wanted the option of mounting my iPad as well which was more expensive and that’s how I ended up with this model.
This model offers the following features:
- It can mount a phone, tablet, and other devices like a GoPro camera.
- Turns into a tripod by twisting it onto the base (which is great for taking a video or a group picture indoors). The tripod is really meant for indoor use only. If you take the tripod outside, the wind and uneven surfaces can easily make your phone/tablet easily tip over.
- The stick itself retracts from 18″-50″ which is over 4 feet.
- The stick is also lockable so that it doesn’t move up or down once you find the right height that you want. This is a good feature to have when using the stick as a tripod.
- Includes a bluetooth remote to easily take photos on the stick or take the remote with you to take a group picture. Just be careful to not loose the remote since it can easily come off its holder that is on the stick. It’s also easy to pair your remote to your phone’s bluetooth.
And of course, always use good judgement when using the selfie stick. You don’t want to poke someone’s eye out. 🙂 I wouldn’t recommend using a selfie stick when there are many people around you. You may never know who you may hit with the stick and don’t use it on moving rides, etc. Again exercise good judgement.
I hope these three application / accessories for your phone will help you take better pictures. Practice makes perfect and keep on taking photos. 🙂