When I’m asked which pocket digital camera is the best, my answer is simple: the one you have with you.

I’ve always been an avid photographer. I currently own a Canon EOS Rebel T2i for shooting SLR-quality photos — plus a Canon PowerShot ELPH 100HS as an easy-to-carry versatile camera. But my iPhone 4S has become my go-to pocket camera. Why? Because I always have it with me!

With its improved camera specs and added photo functions, the iPhone 4S is a great choice. It shoots very nice photos as well as HD video. But its small size and light weight make it difficult to keep steady for certain fixed shots. That’s where a tripod comes in handy.

Mini-Adjustable iPhone TripodThere’s no built-in tripod mount on the iPhone. Fortunately, there are a number of third-party options.

The first one I tried was the Mini-Adjustable iPhone Tripod. Its $5.99 price was a big selling point for me. But after trying it out, I concluded it was cheaply made and its spring-loaded latch was difficult to pull. It felt like it would break if I pulled too hard.

My second choice was much better: a Studio Neat Glif Tripod Mount & Stand. It’s a bit more expensive at $20, but the Glif is very well-made and easy to use. You do have to supply your own tripod, but that’s no problem for me. I’ve got several “in stock” and ready to use.

Studio Neat Glif Tripod Mount & Stand

Here’s how I set up tabletop image shots with my iPhone 4S: a Studio Neat Glif with a flexible Gorillapod Tripod.The iPhone’s earphone cable doubles as a remote shutter release. Simply press the volume-up button — it triggers the camera’s shutter for vibration-free shooting. And if you’re shooting video, pressing this same (+) button will start and stop video recording. It’s very handy for recording people in an interview — or even yourself!

iPhone camera remote release, tripod


And remember, if you don’t have a camera with you, it doesn’t matter what kind you own.