With just a few additional accessories, your smartphone videography and photography can go from amateur to professional. Image Credit: Shutterstock

If you’re an amateur photographer or a social content creator, you likely started out by just using the camera on your smartphone

It’s no wonder why – we’re living in an age of mobile photography. Many smartphones today feature top-of-the-range cameras and vivid OLED (organic light emitting diode) screens that bring visuals to life. And just as important, they’re less expensive than high-end mirrorless cameras or DSLRs used by professionals.

But whether you’re making content for home videos, social media or work, using the right gear can help elevate the quality of your work.

How can I improve my mobile photography?

In-built grids and guides can help you improve your image or video's composition, so don't hesitate to use them, advises our expert. Image Credit: Unsplash/Sonnie Hiles

We spoke with Ahmed Ramzan, a senior visual journalist at Gulf News, who frequently uses his smartphone for street photography. He said: “There is always room for improvement in any technology, be it a mobile camera or a DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Mobile cameras, in particular, still lack good low-light performance.”

Ramzan advised looking for the best available light, whether in the day time or evening, before setting up your camera position, in order “to get better color, contrast and sharpness in pictures and videos”.

Since smartphone cameras are also equipped with useful features like grid lines, you can use a fundamental photography rule – the rule of thirds – to create better pictures. This grid guide helps you place your subject in the left or right third of an image, leaving the other two thirds more open. Ramzan said: “Use grid lines for controlled, good composition and well-balanced pictures and videos.”

However, he cautions that it’s important to manage your expectations when using a smartphone camera. He said: “Know the limitations of your device and shoot accordingly. Always remember that it is a mobile with a small camera sensor. Don’t expect [the same] results you’d get from a professional camera.”

Editor's tip
Take advantage of discounts on electronics on Amazon right now - many are up to 50 per cent off.

Based on our expert’s feedback, we curated the best camera gear for your smartphone, to take mobile photography to the next level. Get discounts on a number of these options, and subscribe to Amazon Prime for free, fast delivery.

1. Best Lens Kit: Excefore Phone Camera Lens Kit (4-in-1) 


  • Four types of lenses
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with all phones
  • Comes in a travel case


  • Telephoto lens clip may not be strong enough, say reviewers

Let’s face it – a smartphone camera lens can only capture so much. To expand its capabilities, use Excefore’s lens kit, which includes a 22X telephoto lens, a 205° fisheye lens, a HD 0.67X super wide-angle lens, and a 4K 25X macro lens. All the lenses are safely secured in a travel case, and come with all the requisite attachments – for instance, a flexible clamp, a phone clip, an eyecup, and a metal tripod – to improve the way you shoot, right out of the box. Ramzan said a set of lenses “for zoom, wide and macro photography” are a must. Reviewers say the lenses expand the viewing angle without distortion, and allow them to capture the most intricate details via macrophotography. However, some found that the lens clip isn’t strong enough to hold the slightly heavy telephoto lens, so it keeps slipping from its place.

Bonus: Redeem 20 per cent discount when using Mastercard, when you spend a minimum of Dh100, by entering the code ‘MC20’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two-year extended warranty for Dh17.

2. Best Tripod: UGREEN Selfie Stick Tripod 

The best shooting moments can be ruined by shaky hands or a sudden gust of wind – something that’s easily solved by a tripod. Ramzan’s pick is from UGREEN – a 152cm, extendable tripod with a Bluetooth remote shutter. He advised: “Always carry a portable tripod for long exposure and night photography, or if you are a solo photographer and want to add yourself in your videos.” Compatible with most iPhones and Android smartphones, UGREEN’s tripod is made with a sturdy aluminium-alloy material that prevents the device from tipping over. You can use the remote control at a distance of up to 10m, and rotate the angle of the phone holder by up to 203° for the perfect shooting angle.

Bonus: Redeem 20 per cent discount when using Mastercard, when you spend a minimum of Dh100, by entering the code ‘MC20’ at checkout.

3. Best Light: Aputure MC Video Light 


  • Small, lightweight
  • Choose from hundreds of adjustment levels
  • Links with other Aputure lights


  • Smartphone app is not very user-friendly

Most night photography suffers because of the lack of light. But what if you could add more light to your image, and control just how much of it you need? Aputure’s light includes full colour, saturation and intensity (HIS) control – it has 360 levels of colour and 100 levels of saturation adjustment, so you can choose exactly how you’d like to illuminate your photo or video. Ramzan said: “A small portable light adds punch in your photography and videography.” Aputure’s light fits the bill – it’s as small as a credit card, weighing just 130g, but has strong built-in magnets that you can attach to your phone, car or any other surface in seconds. If you purchase several of these, you can also link them together and manage them via your smartphone.

Bonus: Redeem 20 per cent discount when using Mastercard, when you spend a minimum of Dh100, by entering the code ‘MC20’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

4. Best Wireless Mic: DJI Mic 


  • Suited for two people
  • Wireless
  • Good sound quality
  • Easy to use


  • Expensive

You can use a lavalier microphone, like everyone tends to do on TikTok, or you can upgrade to a wireless mic system. The DJI Mic is perfect if you’re regularly shooting videos and conducting interviews, or need to mic up two people at the same time. Its case includes two transmitters and a receiver, which work at a maximum range of 250m, so it’s great for livestreaming, vlogging or outdoor recording. Its 8GB internal storage can handle up to 14 hours of audio, and the transmitters have a battery life of up to 5.5 hours, which increases to 15 hours with the charging case. Audio quality can make or break your video, so it’s wise to invest in a solid mic system that ensures excellent sound quality and has a discrete look.

Bonus: Redeem 20 per cent discount when using Mastercard, when you spend a minimum of Dh100, by entering the code ‘MC20’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh97 and two-year extended warranty for Dh138.

5. Best On-Phone Mic: Joby Wavo 


  • Multifunctional device
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Works well outdoors


  • Remote is glitchy, say reviewers

If you’re looking for a cheaper option that doesn’t compromise on quality, check out the Joby Wavo. Incredibly compact, yet effective, this mic clips right onto your smartphone and uses in-built audio technology to focus on the vlogger’s voice, while minimising the noise of the environment. It comes with TRS and TRRS cables, so you can use it on a DSLR, a smartphone, and even a Gorillapod. Reviewers say its windguard is effective outdoors and it picks up sound really well, but caution that the capture remote that comes with the Gorillapod sometimes doesn’t work.

Bonus: Redeem 20 per cent discount when using Mastercard, when you spend a minimum of Dh100, by entering the code ‘MC20’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two-year extended warranty for Dh25.

6. Best Video Cage: Zeadio Smartphone Video Cage Rig 

If you’ve bought an on-phone mic or an LED light attachment, but don’t know where to put it, Zeadio’s video cage is the solution. This rig gives you a convenient way to attach accessories in an easy-to-move system. It comes with three standard hot-shoe mounts, so you can add multiple lights, a mic and other attachments. The cage can be mounted on a tripod, stabiliser, dolly or slider. You can grip the cage with the side handles, or use the removable selfie handle, for one-hand shooting. Zeadio also provides a wireless remote shutter so you can click pictures or shoot videos when you’re facing the phone camera.

7. Best Power Bank: Belkin Boostcharge Plus 


  • Comes with built-in cables
  • Booster power for speedy charge
  • Has a separate charging port


  • Battery takes time to recharge, say reviewers

A power bank ensures that your smartphone doesn’t run out of power in the middle of an epic shot. Ramzan’s pick is Belkin, which is light, compact and able to charge two devices at the same time. It can power an iPhone for up to 31 hours, and the device’s own 10,000mAh battery lets you know when it needs to be recharged, via an LED light indicator. The power bank comes equipped with a lightning cable and USB-C cable, which fold into the device when not in use – so you never have to worry about losing cables again. While most reviewers enjoy its travel-friendly appeal, a few said it takes over two hours for the power bank to recharge.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.