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Backpacker Magazine – June 2013

Smartphone Photo Accessories

Outfit your phone for better backcountry pictures.

by: Brent Rose

Photojojo Phone Lens Series (Courtesy Photo)
Photojojo Phone Lens Series (Courtesy Photo)
XShot 2.0 (Courtesy Photo)
XShot 2.0 (Courtesy Photo)
MUVI X-Lapse (Courtesy Photo)
MUVI X-Lapse (Courtesy Photo)
Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand (Courtesy Photo)
Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand (Courtesy Photo)

1 [special effects]
Photojojo Phone Lens Series

Want to turn your cell phone snapshots into photos that sing? Photojojo offers a unique solution: tiny lenses that magnetically attach to virtually any phone. Simply stick the unobtrusive, self-adhesive magnetic ring to the lens of your device, then you can quickly swap in telephoto, macro/wide, and fisheye lenses. “The macro lens was unimpressive, but the telephoto was great for shooting distant peaks, and the fisheye was able to capture the canopy and trail in one shot," says one tester. Each has a lens cap for the front and back and a lanyard to keep them together. Fisheye $25, Telephoto $20, Macro/Wide $20, or $50 for all three; 0.35 oz. each; photojojo.com

2 [self-portraits]
XShot 2.0

Be the star of your own backcountry photos and videos with the XShot 2.0, a retractable monopod that extends to 37 inches, packs down to 9, and mounts to any device with a standard tripod screw. “On a ridge hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, I was able to capture myself in the moment, plus incorporate the gorgeous backdrop and pan around for a 360-degree view of the surrounding peaks,” says one tester. For use with a smartphone that lacks a tripod screw, combine the Xshot with the Joby GripTight (left). $20; 5.8 oz.; xshot.com

3 [time-lapse]
MUVI X-Lapse

Time-lapse videos with camera motion are very slick—they let you follow a setting sun across a landscape—but it usually takes heavy, expensive equipment to get those shots. Until now. The X-Lapse is perfect for backpackers looking to capture a landscape in motion. It’s an egg-timer-size device that rests on any flat surface, accepts any smartphone or point-and-shoot camera, and slowly rotates up to 360 degrees as your phone takes photos at regular intervals. “I can’t think of a better way to capture the view from a summit,” says our New York tester. Just download a time-lapse app (like Lapse It)for your phone, set the X-Lapse down, and let it do its thing for up to an hour. No batteries required. $50; 3.8 oz.; veho-uk.com

4 [universal mini tripod]
Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand

This two-piece package consists of our favorite mini-tripod plus the GripTight, a slick clamping mount that works with any smartphone. “The internal elastic spring let me quickly mount my iPhone—inside its case—to the GorillaPod for a stable, shake-free shot,” says our gear editor, who used it to take summit shots of her family and shoot herself in video reviews. Its miniscule packed size, scant weight, and low price make this a no-brainer. $30; 2.2 oz.; joby.com



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