Given the popularity of smartphone photography, many people no longer even own a stand-alone camera. That said, there is something to be said for the physical buttons and ergonomic design of cameras, that a phone just can’t match. As a result, we’ve seen several docking devices that essentially turn smartphones into cameras. The Pictar is the latest, offering some handy features.
Working with iPhone models 4 through 6s, the Pictar has a molded hand grip along with several button controls. This allows for one handed picture-taking.
The main shutter release button works like that of a DSLR, in that a half way press sets the focus, while a full press actually takes the shot. There’s also a ring that lets you zoom in and out, and that switches between the front and rear cameras when pressed.
The iris is controlled using an exposure compensation wheel, while a “smart wheel” can be programmed to control features of your choice using an accompanying app in its default setting, it’s used to switch between camera modes. There’s also a quarter inch threaded tripod mount on the bottom of the Pictar, plus a cold shoe mount for items such as mics or lights on the top.
Interestingly, the phone communicates with the device using inaudible high frequency audio signals. The technology reportedly uses less power than Bluetooth.