An adage among photographers says that the best camera is the one you have with you. That means with the millions of smartphones around the world, most of us are never more than a foot away from a capable camera. The stock camera on the iPhone can produce stunning images, even earning the praise of photographers from National Geographic. But that doesn’t mean your iPhone can’t use a little help.
Update: We’ve started receiving the first batch of iPhone lens kits for use with the iPhone 7 and the dual lens iPhone 7 Plus. So, if you’re looking to see how lens affect image quality on the new iPhones, check back soon for more lens kit news and reviews later this spring.
An ever-increasing number of iPhone kits includes lenses that let you get close-up details (macro), some that capture a 180-degree field of view (fisheye) and some that deliver expansive landscapes or scenes (wide-angle). There are even some telephoto lenses. The best investment you can make is a kit that provides the flexibility of multiple lenses along with strong image quality.
Our favorite overall is the DxO One ($499), which doesn’t use the iPhone’s camera at all, but rather plugs into the Lightning port, and gives you a much larger sensor and manual control. If you’d prefer a simpler (and less expensive) clip-on lens, Olloclip in general makes the best accessories, combining as many as four lenses into a single unit. The company makes lens kits for iPhones back as far as the iPhone 4, and recently announced a lens kit for the iPhone7/7 Plus.
DXO ONE – Best Overall