With the generous megapixels in most new cell phone cameras, for most purposes there’s no need to carry a separate digital camera. But as with most cameras the basic lens might not be the best for taking building shots. For horizontally oriented buildings for example, you need to stand at such a distance that you end up with a strip of the building between a large swath of sky and parking lot. You could use a panoramic photo app but images from them end up an odd size – long and narrow. Fine for some applications but they won’t fit well on typical aggregator sites. So consider getting clip on lenses for your phone. For iPhone 4/4s users, there’s the Olloclip (available at amazon.com).
Android (and iPhone) users can check out lenses at PhotoJoJo.
I tried out the Olloclip for the iPhone. Two sets of lenses are attached to a piece that slides over the camera lens. You’ll get a fisheye lens one one side that captures a 180 degree field of view. Flip it around to use the wide-angle lens that captures about 10-20% more than the normal lens field of view. The wide-angle lens adjusts to a macro lens for close-ups, too. They’re shipped with lens covers and a carrying bag which doubles as a lens wipe. And the whole package easily fits in your pocket.
Images with these lenses will have some degree of distortion – the fisheye lens producing a circular photo which can be cropped into a rectangular shape. Take a look at the photos below to see the difference.
You will need to take your phone cover over. The Ollocip won’t fit over even the slimmest case and the PhotoJoJo lenses attache magnetically. Both are reasonably priced and with the PhotoJoJo lenses, you can buy just the ones you want instead of the whole package.