This lightweight plastic stand gives you precise, top-down shooting from your pocket camera
Modahaus is a British maker of desktop mini-studios, and their newest product is designed to make overhead product photography simpler for entry-level shooters. The Steady Stand 200 is lightweight, made of plastic, and will hold your smartphone or small compact camera perfectly in place for shooting down on those old coins you're looking to sell on eBay. The kit is specifically designed with the iPhone in mind, but will work with any device that has a lens less than 65mm in diameter. If you use an iPhone, the stand will automatically have the camera lens dead center in the shots, which makes life a little easier.
In addition to just the stand, the kit comes with a large copy board to shoot against, a smaller one for macro work, adaptor plates for use with compact cameras and different smartphones, anti-reflection plates, and a carry case to fit it all in. You can see a rundown of how all this works on their website. Modahaus also deserves some credit for creating the entire thing out of plastics that you can wipe clean if they get dirty.
Unfortunately, the downside is the price. The Modahaus goes for £20.83 and has free shipping in the UK, but by the time you send it to the USA it's almost £35 — the equivalent of $55 USD. While this won't break the bank, it is pretty pricey, especially for the generally frugal compact and smartphone camera market.
While using an iPhone certainly isn't a replacement for a dedicated studio with a decent camera, our tests showed the iPhone 4S has some pretty good resolving power, and it'll definitely work well enough for some small scale product photography or basic document scanning from home.