Brass grip gives iPhone camera feel and control of a DSLR

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Pictar Pro
Get a grip on your iPhone when shooting pictures or video with the Pictar Pro
Photo: miggö

Each new iPhone and its ever-improving camera tends to stir up talk about the demise of the DSLR.

Yet, there are just some key features of a conventional camera’s form factor that relegates the iPhone to the casual camera category.

But the photography accessories company miggö has developed – and now improved – a nifty attachment dubbed Pictar tp bring DSLR-like speed and ergonomics to the iPhone.

After one day on Kickstarter, the Pictar Pro secured roughly three times the $25,000 funding goal for miggö to bring the enhanced model to market.

Pictar Pro builds on success

The Pro follows the success of the Pictar One, which I reviewed last year, impressed with how the gadget in concert with the Pictar app brought menu settings forward to the dials on the grip. Dials and buttons sound so analog but they are often quicker than tapping around a touchscreen.

Where the Pictar One falls short for me is its plastic housing. It feels a little cheap and vulnerable if dropped.

Pictar Pro is more rugged with a satin-fish brass body and larger control dials for better feel in-hand. One offers exposure control, another a smart wheel to switch between the app’s nine different shooting modes, the other a rocker zoom switch that miggö says will offer smooth continuous zooming during video shooting.

The shutter button, like on a DSLR, can lock focus and exposure with a half-press.

Pictar Pro
A viewfinder for sunny-day shooting.
Photo: miggö

Also new is an external viewfinder that goes up against the screen, which is great when shooting on a bright sunny day when it is difficult to see what’s on screen. The viewfinder is small and it somehow reduces the on-screen image to fit inside the eyepiece.

The app sounds like it got an upgrade. It now allows shooters to pick between image formats, RAW, TIFF or jpeg.

The app also can automatically tell whether it’s cradling an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It also automatically adjusts to a macro mode when getting close to a subject.

Both the Pictar One and Pro work minus Blue Tooth. It connects the iPhone camera with the app through a series of undetectable frequencies.

Based in Israel, miggö has successfully navigated Kickstarter risks on all of its campaigns, which have included everything from drone accessories to camera bags.

Pictar Pro is available to early backers for $129 and is expected to ship by March.