Make your MagSafe iPhone a better camera

Frankly, today we are more likely to take a lot more pictures than we did before we had smartphones.

After all, as the Shutterbug proverb says, the best camera is the one you have. And he said that since the iPhone came out 15 years ago, people have been running around taking pictures as if it were free. ), becoming obsolete (certainly not).

But while our iPhones, Galaxy, and Pixels can take amazingly good pictures with cameras with very small sensors and lenses, the physical act of taking those pictures is a lot. may be desired. Tapping the virtual shutter on the screen can be tricky. On the other hand, pressing the hard button on the side requires enough force to release the shot, especially if you have a case. Smartphones are virtually ethereal by comparison.

Of course, we have the gear to fix that. And one of the latest ways to bring old-school camera functionality to modern camera phones, it also brings useful extras to those who own the latest iPhone models. A feature that uses the MagSafe connection to charge your phone’s battery. It’s called the ShiftCam SmartGrip and will officially ship in October, but the brand sent us an example ahead of time so we could put it through its paces.


snap grip

  • Ergonomic design makes taking pictures more fun
  • Added battery life which is very useful especially for content creators
  • MagSafe integration is very easy and very convenient
  • Not as stable as a true phone camera mount
  • Pairing can take some time

Advantages of ShiftCam SnapGrip

great touch

I honestly forgot I didn’t have a camera until I clicked the SmartGrip onto my iPhone 12 Pro. After more than a decade of photographing with nothing but thin slivers of metal and glass on his fingers, it felt like coming home with his right hand wrapped around a firm grip.

Combined with something like the MagSafe iPhone (which works just as easily as plugging in any other MagSafe accessory), the grip-phone combination honestly feels like nothing quite like good old autofocus. The fit is sturdy enough to shoot with, but I usually used a two-handed grip for safety and stability. (It can also be used as a grip for Bluetooth-enabled smartphones by sticking the included magnetic sticker to the back of the phone, but it obviously won’t charge, which brings us to item number 2…)

snap grip shift cam iphone magsafe

Will Seibel Courtney

It provides useful extra battery power

ShiftCam’s website doesn’t give any details about the size of the SnapGrip’s backup power pack, but claims it “captures up to twice as much content.” My own experience, it sounds right.

it’s part of the whole magnetic ecosystem

And I’m not just talking about MagSafe — although it is. (The pack also works perfectly through a supported MagSafe case like the one sold by Apple.) The ShiftCam utilizes MagSafe, including a tripod and a small ring light flash that flips for selfies. We sell a range of accessories to They are the same color as the SnapGrip and come in his five colors of black, dark blue, light blue, beige pink and hot pink and are made to match many iPhone models well. It can also be ordered as a package with SnapGrip for $180 ($130 during pre-order, as of this publication).

snap grip shift cam iphone magsafe

Will Seibel Courtney

snap grip shift cam iphone magsafe

Will Seibel Courtney

That said, be careful – the website shows all three parts working seamlessly and simultaneously, but I found the magnetic connection not strong enough for them to work together well. Mine is a pre-production example, so it may get fixed by the time it officially launches, but you may have to console yourself with just using a tripod, SnapGrip, or flash separately. Hmm.

ShiftCam SnapGrip Cons

Connecting to iPhone is not immediate

Rather, connecting with Bluetooth is not instantaneous. Of course, Bluetooth pairing is rare. It’s not that surprising. But the 15-20 seconds it takes for SnapGrip to boot up, find and sync with his 2.4 GHz hug on the iPhone feels like an eternity compared to activating his MagSafe connection on the grip. . Hold the back of your phone over the grip’s magnetic ring.when Physically Connecting a peripheral (and powering it from a battery) takes only half a second, and the stopwatch clock seems slow while the digital connection takes hold way under.

The sense of stability when held in hand is not as good as a real camera.

As mentioned, you can shoot with one hand, but I recommend using both hands for a truly steady shot. Unlike actual autofocus, it feels a little unbalanced when held in hand. Stuffing a spare battery into the grip shifts the center of gravity. And like the strong connection MagSafe offers, it’s hard to trust it completely. Especially when connected to very expensive and sensitive hardware that basically acts as a second brain.

snap grip shift cam iphone magsafe

Will Seibel Courtney

Shiftcam SnapGrip: Verdict

SnapGrip isn’t meant to bring the full feel of a camera to your iPhone. If that’s what you want, I recommend using his ProGrip on ShiftCam. It holds the phone in place with a physical hug and also provides extra battery power and his DSLR-style grip.

Still, at a price comparable to many regular MagSafe battery packs (or even more affordable in the case of our top pick Apple model), the SnapGrip is an excellent grip for snapping spare electronics and photos. It’s not a must-have for iPhone users, but it’s a great little gadget if you’re already looking to buy an extra battery and take a fair amount of photos.

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