We've picked out some of the best iPhone tripods and supports for getting great shots with your camera phone. The plain fact is, a simple support can make more difference than any other camera phone accessory.
We all know by now that the best camera phones can take great-quality pictures. Apple started this whole phenomenon with the iPhone, and we have a guide to the best iPhones for photography, but whatever kind of camera phone you use, a tripod will let you capture shots which are impossible any other way.
Here are some ideas:
• Capture night shots: you'll need an app that allows you to set a low ISO and a long exposure, and then you'll be able to capture top quality night shots, city scapes and traffic trails.
• Shoot a video: with your camera phone on a tripod you can frame a scene and be in it too. An iPhone tripod is a must-have for bloggers and vloggers.
• Get a selfie without the arm-stretch: with your smartphone on a tripod you can put it on a wall, a restaurant table or any other flat surface for a more natural and relaxed selfie.
• Try a timelapse: with your camera phone locked down in a fixed position you can speed up a sunset, capture traffic trails at twilight and bring busy city streets to life.
The best tripods for regular cameras are just too big and heavy for these pocket-sized devices, of course, and camera phone users will be looking for something much more pocketable and portable.
The big difference between camera phones and regular cameras is that camera phones don't have tripod sockets, so you need some other way to grip the camera phone when you attach it. The solution is the camera phone 'clamp'. These are sometimes sold separately, sometimes in a kit with a mini-tripod. The advantage of separate clamps is that you can use them with any regular or table-top tripod, including those designed for regular cameras. Just be aware – one way or another, you will need a clamp.
1. Manfrotto PIXI with Universal Smartphone Clamp
A complete tripod and clamp kit that's solid, simple and versatile
Closed length: 360mm | Maximum height: 247mm | Weight: 215g | Leg type: Tilt | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: 83mm
Manfrotto markets its PIXI mini tripod and universal smartphone clamp as separate items, but it generally works out cheaper to buy these two items as a complete kit. As such, you’ll get the tripod itself, which comes with an integral ball head and is suitable for use with cameras, plus the smartphone clamp, which attaches via a standard 1/4-inch socket, and can accommodate phones of up to 83mm in width. It’s a good solution, thought the limited range of movement for the ball head means you can only shoot with the camera phone in landscape orientation. You need the more advanced Manfrotto Pixi Evo 2 and its more advanced ball head if you need to shoot portrait shots (most camera phone tripods are designed for horizontal shooting).
2. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod
You can get the PIXI without a clamp for a regular camera
Closed length: 185mm | Maximum height: 135mm | Weight: 190g | Leg type: Tilt | Phone adaptor included: Optional | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: N/A
Originally designed as a tabletop tripod for cameras weighing up to one kilogram, the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod is available in black, red or two-tone red and grey. When closed, the fold-out legs enable a comfortable and secure handheld grip for handheld shooting and video, and they open out to give a solid support. A neat push-button (bearing the Manfrotto logo) enables you to release or lock the clamp for the pivoting ball head. This is the same tripod that comes with the complete kit (above) but you will need a smartphone clamp to go with it. You can also use the Pixi as a tabletop tripod for a regular camera, as long as it's not too heavy.
3. Manfrotto TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp
With this clever clamp you can mount your phone on any tripod
Closed length: 180mm | Maximum height: N/A | Weight: 80g | Leg type: N/A | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: N/A | Maximum phone width: 82mm
This isn't a tripod, but the cleverly designed Manfrotto TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp does let you attach your camera phone to any regular tripod, including the Manfrotto Pixi above. It also folds virtually flat for stowing away in a pocket. You simply twist each end to pivot the clamping jaws around, so they can attach to any phone of up to 82mm in width. The clamping action itself is nice and solid, thanks to a locking screw at the rear. Immaculately engineered from high-grade aluminium and coloured dark grey, the TwistGrip looks and feels a quality item. It can mount on any tripod via its 1/4-inch screw socket, and has a cold shoe at the top for attaching accessories, like the Manfrotto Lumimuse LED light.
4. Manfrotto handle and accessory bar for TwistGrip
Turn your TwistGrip into a mini smartphone video rig
Closed length: 135mm | Maximum height: 115mm | Weight: 155g | Leg type: Handle | Phone adaptor included: No | Pivot: No | Maximum phone width: N/A
This two-piece kit comprises a handle and ‘accessory bar’ for Manfrotto’s TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp. The grip secures to the clamp via a 1/4-inch tripod thread, but you can also use the accessory bar horizontally between the two. The latter T-shaped configuration enables you to add one or two other accessories like an LED light and microphone – the two essentials for any smartphone vlogger – via two cold shoes. The components are well made from high-quality aluminium and rubber-grip surfaces. Overall, the Manfrotto ergonomic handle and accessory bar for TwistGrip adds versatility and natural handheld usability to the TwistGrip. This is a great combination for handheld video and vloggers, though you’ll still require a separate tripod for anything other than handheld shooting.
5. Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini
A tiny but effective flexible friend for your camera phone
Closed length: 118mm | Maximum height: 100mm | Weight: 32g | Leg type: Flexible | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: No | Maximum phone width: 90mm
With suitably small and phone-friendly dimensions, the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini weighs in at just 32 grams. It’s also Joby’s cheapest ‘tripod’, yet features the company’s trademark flexible legs, constructed from a series of movable joints. As such, you can stand it up like a mini tabletop tripod, or wrap its legs around other objects to cling onto them. It comes complete with a phone mount so it’s an all-in-one solution. The only real drawback is that each leg is only 60mm long, so you can only attach this relatively small GorillaPod to fairly thin objects.
6. Joby GripTight ONE Micro
Swivelling legs mean the Joby can pack away into a smaller space
Closed length: 85mm | Maximum height: 30mm | Weight: 88g | Leg type: Swivel | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: 90mm
Unlike Joby GorillaPods, the Joby GripTight ONE Micro is a tabletop tripod with rigid, non-flexible legs that swivel around. This makes the whole tripod very small and slim when folded away, while enabling a secure base when the legs are fanned out for the standing position. It’s a neat and very streamlined design, the only catch being that the operating height to the bottom of the phone is only about 30mm. Although there’s no height adjustment, the main clamp does enable you to pivot the phone forward and backward and from side to side, albeit with a fairly limited range of adjustment. You therefore can’t use the phone in upright, portrait orientation.
7. Joby GripTight ONE GP Magnetic Impulse
This is novel – a tripod with magnetic feet for metallic surfaces!
Closed length: 165mm | Maximum height: 60mm | Weight: 92g | Leg type: Flexible | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: 90mm
The relatively long legs of this GripTight GorillaPod have nine flexible joints. That’s a significant step up from the GorillaPod Mobile Mini, and enables greater height when using the stand as a tabletop tripod, as well as allowing you to wrap the legs around larger objects, such as tree branches and fence posts. On top of that, the ‘Magnetic’ edition also incorporates magnetic feet, so you can easily attach the GorillaPod to anything metallic. The phone clamp is the same one that’s featured in the GripTight ONE Micro Tripod.
8. Joby GripTight Gorillapod Stand PRO
This bigger Gorillapod has a rotating phone clamp
Closed length: 267mm | Maximum height: 180mm | Weight: 258g | Leg type: Flexible | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: 90mm
This chunky GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO gives very stable and solid support for smartphones and comes complete with an up-market phone clamp. It features a locking screw for adjusting the clamp to the exact size of the phone, and this screw also enables rotation for portrait and landscape orientation while shooting. However, a little care is needed to ensure the clamp doesn’t loosen its grip on the phone during rotation. It’s rather bigger, heavier and stronger than smaller GorillaPod siblings, but is still good value at the price. If you unscrew the phone clamp, the legs are also suitable for use with a compact camera or small DSLR.
9. Joby GripTight PRO TelePod
The Telepod is bigger but versatile, and can even hold accessories
Closed length: 340mm | Maximum height: 655mm | Weight: 360g | Leg type: Tilt | Phone adaptor included: Yes | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: 90mm
The sophisticated GripTight PRO TelePod can be used in many and varied ways. The comfortable hand grip has three longitudinal sections that hinge out to become a set of tripod legs, with two operational angles on offer. The centre column extends, with three telescopic sections that lock and unlock via a simple twist mechanism. Up on top, there’s essentially the same versatile head as featured in the GripTight Gorillapod Stand PRO, but this time a cold shoe is added, which can hold an LED light, microphone or other accessory. The kit also includes an ‘Impulse’ wireless remote shutter button, which connects to most iPhone and Android smartphones via Bluetooth.
10. Vortex Optics Car Window Mount
Or you can just shoot from the comfort of your car!
Closed length: 120mm | Maximum height: 120mm | Weight: 525g | Leg type: Clamp | Phone adaptor included: No | Pivot: Yes | Maximum phone width: N/A
A specialist in binoculars and spotting scopes, Vortex Optics also manufactures this novel mount for fixing to a semi-open car window. The idea is that you clamp the lower section of the support to the window, and the upper section acts as a regular tripod head, enabling pan and tilt functions. The Vortex Optics Car Window Mount works with cameras and any scopes that feature a standard 1/4-inch mounting socket, but you can just as easily add any phone clamp that has the same attachment thread, like a Manfrotto TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp, or a Joby GripTight ONE mount.