Skip to main content

9to5Google Gift Guide: Best gifts for the mobile photographer

Photography is a great hobby to get into and as our smartphones get better and better at the task, you can capture killer shots just with your smartphone. If you want to get gifts for mobile smartphone photography here are a few options.

Moment lenses to get a new perspective

Just like with a traditional camera, smartphone cameras can be better with the help of a new lens. Moment has been producing high-quality lenses for smartphones for quite some time and they might just make the best gifts for someone interested in mobile photography.

Moment lenses include quite a few different options including fisheye, telephoto, wide-angle, macro, and even an anamorphic lens for cinematic shots. These lenses aren’t super expensive, but they are an investment with prices ranging from $80 to $150. There are some bundles, though, that bring costs down. Personally, I’d be looking at the “Just Three Lenses” bundle with a Tele, Fisheye, and Macro lens for about $250.

These lenses work with a variety of smartphones including iPhones and plenty of Android options. Compatible cases are available for Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, Pixel 4, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 10, OnePlus 7 Pro, and several others.

Google Pixel 4 XL or Pixel 3a to capture the best shots

Google has been killing it in the camera department since the first generation and Pixel 4 is better than ever. It’s 12MP camera is paired with a 16MP sensor with a telephoto lens. Using those two, Google’s latest smartphone captures the best pictures you’ll get on any smartphone today from normal stills to Portraits and more.

google pixel 4

The Pixel 4 shines especially at night thanks to its Night Sight mode which can create some stunning shots from the darkness. Better yet, there’s an astrophotography mode which, with the help of a tripod, can quite literally capture the stars with stunning results. This setup may lack the versatility of an ultrawide lens, but there’s little doubt that the Pixel 4 is one of the most capable shooters available today.

You can pick up a Pixel 4 from Google, Amazon, B&H Photo, and most carriers and retailers too. We’d only recommend the Pixel 4 XL, though, as the smaller model has very poor battery life.

Don’t have the cash to give someone a Pixel 4? I can’t blame you, it’s not cheap! Luckily, there’s another option. The super-affordable Pixel 3a starts at just $399 and offers similarly great quality, Night Sight, and more. You can pick it up at Amazon, B&H Photo (w/ free service) and other retailers.

google pixel 3a

Tripod to keep things steady

Whether you’re planning to shoot pictures of the night sky or just a stunning landscape, a tripod can be a helpful tool. You could use a traditional tripod, or a smaller, more portable tripod which is easier to keep in your bag or car. In my case, I opted for a sturdy tripod with flexible legs.

In either case, you’ll also want to pick up a mount to attach to the tripod to actually hold your phone in place. There are literally thousands of options for this, but personally I prefer the type that allows you to mount your phone in either a landscape or portrait orientation. A remote shutter might also be a good idea.

A power bank to stay powered up

Shooting photos on a smartphone is a good way to drain its battery very quickly. To that end, it’s probably a good idea to keep a power bank nearby. For modern Android smartphones, you’ll want something that can use USB-C, likely with Power Delivery or Qualcomm Quick Charge.

pixel 4 battery banks xcentz 18w

Recently, we highlighted a handful of compact battery banks that are easy to keep in your bag or even your pocket while on the go and they’ll work with the vast majority of Android smartphones. There are also literally thousands of options on Amazon. Anker, Aukey, and RAVPower are all brands we love.

An Adobe Lightroom subscription for editing

If someone you know is really serious about mobile photography, a great gift would be a subscription to Adobe Lightroom. The app is technically free on Android, but you’ll unlock cloud backups and other features with a subscription. Better yet, the desktop app is opened up for an even better editing experience. You can buy an Adobe Photography bundle subscription on Amazon for a month – for as little as $10 – or a year, both of which can be shared.

Google One for extra cloud storage

Extra cloud storage might also be a good gift for smartphone photographers. To that end, especially for Android users, Google One is a great choice. It grants 100GB of storage for just $2/month, 200GB for $3/month, and 2TB for $10/month.

Google Photos smartphone pixel 4 mobile photography

Unfortunately, there’s no direct gift card available for this. One option would be to sign up for the plan on your own Google account and share it with whoever you’d like to gift it to. The easier option, perhaps, would be a Google Play gift card which can cover part or all of the cost of a few months or a yearly plan.

More Gift Guides:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel