Because all accessories needed to be categorized, the Pictar
One is an iPhone camera grip.
But the word grip
kind of sells it short when you learn just how the Pictar One
works to make the iPhone camera feel and shoot more like a
The grip –
because there’s no other word for it — generated a ton of
excitement and cash on Kickstarter last year finally went on
sale today as the device’s early backers just recently began
receiving their units.
Smartphone camera grips generally
provide a couple of advantages to mobile photographers. They
give an ergonomic slip-free grip like a more conventional
camera with a strategically placed shutter button. That shutter
is more of a remote trigger that trips your native camera via
Bluetooth with an app developed by the case maker.
Pictar One, made by Jerusalem-based miggö, adjusts to most
iPhones (there is a Pictar One Plus for the 6 Plus and 7 Plus)
and covers about two-thirds of an uncased iPhone.
just a grip with a shutter button. In fact, the second-most
valuable dial allows you to adjust your exposure, there is also
a smart wheel for quick access to present modes, but if miggö
made the Pictar One with only the shutter button, which locks
your exposure and focus, and the exposure compensation dial, it
would be worth the $99.99.
There’s nothing like a
good button or dial.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
where the title of grip seems rather dull when you consider how
the Pictar One does its job with is companion app. It does not
use Bluetooth technology, but rather a series of undetectable
frequencies that link the native iPhone camera with the Pictar
app and Pictar device.
The Pictar One takes a CR 1/2 AA battery, which is readily
available and requires replacement every four to six months.
miggö is a camera accessories company that tries to reinvent
certain gadgets if only to make them a little better. The mini
tripod seen in a couple of the pictures for this story is from
miggö and is called the Splat. It molds into a stiff stand or
wraps around a tree branch, which is great for action
The company also makes great waterproof camera bags, rain
covers for cameras, tension-releasing camera straps and now the
If the price seems steep consider that you are likely to have
the Pictar One for a couple of generations as it’s
spring-loaded side adjusts to iPhones of any width and
thickness. Some accessories companies have designed nice
shutter cases for certain iPhone models, but don’t seem to
follow up with a new case when the next gen model changes
slightly. Manufacturing a new dedicated case with this
sophistication gets expensive.
The Pictar One does deliver on the promise of making your
iPhone shooting experience more DSLR-like in that your grip on
the camera is more steady, comfortable and secure, and your
ability to adjust your settings is more reflexive.
I like photography with
the iPhone camera but the Pictar One makes it enjoyalbe to hold
as a camera.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of MacThe Pictar App is
simple and quick as it accesses your camera features.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
This, of course, brings
us to a negative about the Pictar One, which is more a
statement about current battery technology than it is about
miggö’s device. The camera turned on for an extended period
will, of course, drain your iPhone battery.
You will have to factor in battery life and charging
Another concern I have is for the person who tends to drop
their devices. The Pictar One is made of plastic and so I am
not confident it is super durable.
However, the company does include a couple of safeguards to
protect both Pictar and iPhone. The grip comes with a wrist and
neck strap. There is also a nice bag in which to store the grip
when it is not in use.
It is worth mention that if you like shooting with lens
attachments from olloclip, Moment or any other company and use
their cases to mount the lens, you may have to revert to a clip
attachment. I have a case from olloclip and it actually fit
inside the Pictar One, but not all mount cases may be that
Price: Pictar One, $99.99; Pictar One Plus, $109.99
Buy from: https://mymiggo.com/
Cult of Mac received a preproduction sample from miggö
for this review. Read Cult of Mac’s reviews