Review: Miggö Pictar One iPhone Camera GripOn August 17, 2017 by Sally
Phones might have killed the point-and-shoot camera, but you know what? There are perks you only get with a dedicated photography device. Even a low-end Canon or Nikon gives shooters a nice clicky shutter button, easily accessible exposure controls, and a lever or buttons to zoom.
Miggö’s $100 Kickstarter-backed Pictar One is a lightweight, spring-loaded, clip-on case that puts camera-like controls on your iPhone.
Let me get this out of the way right now: The promises on the box are unrealistic. The Pictar doesn’t “convert your iPhone into a real camera” and it certainly doesn’t “DSLR your iPhone.” The best thing it does is make an iPhone more comfortable to grip, which could help you capture less blurry photos by cutting down on hand shakiness.
Miggö Pictar One iPhone Camera Grip
Beefier grip adds stability to your phone, battery lasts for months, straps included, app is good in use.
Only works with proprietary apps, buttons and dials feel chintzy AF, expensive at $100.
Pictar also adds a two-stage shutter release which lets you autofocus with a half-press just like a real camera. Three dials give you control options to take a quick selfie, adjust exposure, and even digitally “zoom.”
Sounds nice, right? The concept has real merit, but unfortunately the execution is sorely lacking. Compared with the cheapest DSLRs you could find in a bargain bin at Best Buy, Pictar’s controls feel gummy and indistinct. Instead of providing your fingertips with solid feedback, the dual rear wheels have a flimsy, wobbly feel. The shutter is on par with some of the worst point-and-shoots I’ve had the displeasure of using. Shooting with Pictar made me wish I had just about any other camera in my hands.
Instead of using Bluetooth to connect to your iPhone, Pictar uses a proprietary, inaudible, high-frequency series of tones. It’s a clever way getting around the need for power-hungry wireless; Pictar can last for months on a ½ AA battery. The not-so-great part? Since other apps can’t interpret those sounds, you won’t be able to use the Pictar with your favorite iPhone software. So, if you prefer to shoot straight into Insta or VSCO, this isn’t the accessory for you. Cue sad trombone.
The required Pictar app is actually pretty slick, though it lacks some advanced features like RAW shooting. It’s intuitive to use and improves upon Apple’s weak-sauce iOS Camera app.
If you want to really up your iPhoneography game, I’d recommend you study up on the basics of photography and maybe throw a few bucks at an advanced camera app like Halide. Don’t let anyone tell you that your iPhone can’t be a great camera. But the best way to improve your photos is to improve your technique, not by tacking a piece of plastic to your phone.
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