Whether you think smartphones are ruining or revolutionizing photography, the phone as a camera is here to stay. This is made clear by the sheer number of accessories that have sprung up to make phones even better at taking pictures, like lenses from Olloclip and Lensbaby, the Camera Clip polarizer from Trygger, a never-ending data stream of photography apps, and more. But as any learned photographer will tell you, the real trick to improving your pictures often lies in something as simple as using a tripod. A tripod stabilizes the camera, yes, but it also does much more that. It forces you to put more time into your compositions, and that’s the real secret.
Putting a smartphone on a tripod isn’t anything new, but the MeFoto SideKick360 makes it easier and better than ever before (and more colorful, which is important). This one product can hold most any smartphone, including all current iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy S5, and it doesn’t require a specialized case. It’s designed to slide right into many tripod heads with its Arca-Swiss style base, but the standard 1/4″ and 3/8″ threads mean you can attach it to any other quick release plate. It will hold your phone either vertically or horizontally, and ensure that your Instagrams are level and your video is actually watchable.
Of course, many people who use their smartphone as their primary camera do so because they don’t want to carry all the bulk of traditional camera equipment—so why would they bring a tripod at all? Luckily, the SideKick360 doesn’t even need a tripod. Its large foot allows it to stand upright on any level surface, while still allowing you to tilt your phone up or down in either portrait or landscape orientation. It doesn’t offer much height, but as an on-the-go stabilization solution, it’s great. And don’t forget, you can easily attach it to a small travel tripod, GorrillaPod, Nasty Clamp, or other portable camera support. At $49.99, the MeFoto SideKick360 is not the least expensive smartphone tripod adapter, but it is the easiest to use and most flexible—and most colorful, which, again, is of great importance.
(For a complete list of features and supported phones, click here. Through June 30th, 2014, save 50% on the SideKick360 when purchased with any MeFoto tripod. See store for details.)