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Snap happy accessories

By Wu Ni | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2014-10-31 16:11

With more people using their smartphone as cameras, a range of add-on products have hit the market to help users get the best photos possible. Wu Ni reports.

Cell phone photography is quickly gaining ground on digital photography. As if to fuel the momentum, hard- ware producers are sparing no effort in making smart phones more powerful in snapshots. Here we select some of the coolest cell phone photography accessories that can help enhance your photographic style and bring more fun into the process.

Snap happy accessories

1. Joby griptight gorillapod stand

Price: $28

We all know the importance of a tripod. Many cell phone cameras have real problems in low light. Stabilizing them helps a lot. This gorilla tripod fits almost all best-selling iPhone, Android and Windows smartphones. Moveable legs allow the user to secure the camera almost anywhere – you never know when that perfect angle will require dangling out of a tree. It could also be a perfect holder for when you watch videos on your smartphone. And it is a must to take selfies when you travel alone.

Snap happy accessories

2. Olloclip 4-in-1 photo lens

Price: $80 (available for preorder at the brand's online store in late November)

Olloclip is the first name that comes to mind when I think of smartphone camera add-on lenses. It is a small clip that attaches to the iPhone, placing optics over the built-in camera, giving it impressive capabilities. Recently, the company launched a new edition of its 4-in-1 photo lens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The design has been updated to allow the four lens clip in one compact design, making it easier to bring everywhere. The lens includes a fish eye, a wide-angle and 10x and 15x macros. According to the responses from users of its previous editions, the macro lens is the most amazing, producing wonderful close-up photography.

Snap happy accessories

3. Kogeto dot

Price: $49

With its specially designed lens, this gadget allows you to capture video in a 360-degree panoramic shot. It’s basically like Google's Street View, but for videos. Download its Looker app, you can record the panoramic view with a total length of no more than eight minutes. And the clips can be shared instantly on social networks. For instance, if you are attending a wedding, just put it on the table, it automatically records everything happening around you. The videos don't show all 360-degrees at once; instead, you swipe back and forth to choose what you're seeing at any given moment. Considering that you’re squeezing 360 degrees of video into one lens, the image quality is not that satisfactory - it works best in a bright environment.

Snap happy accessories

4. Hisy Bluetooth camera shutter

Price: $24.99

This is a smart wireless remote to let you position your iPhone and iPad cameras and snap photos from afar. It would be easier to use if matched with a smartphone tripod. It is tiny, easy to carry and extremely simple to use: turn on the Bluetooth of the phone and pair with the button-like remote, press the button and you can take a nice selfi e, or record a video. No app is needed. A change-able button battery can ensure it works for as long as two years. The HISY only support iOS. Android users can shift to HALO, which functions almost the same with HISY but needs an app to connect with the smart phone.

Snap happy accessories

5. Pocket spotlight

Price: $30

An important tip for smartphone photography is to avoid using the phone's built-in flashlight. But a steady source to illuminate the subject on cloudy or dark days would be helpful. This compact LED spotlight provides bright yet soft light. Because the LEDs are arranged in a rectangular grid, it gives of a much wider swath of light than one would get using a flashlight. It charges via USB just like a phone and will shine for an hour.

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