Anybody who has ever owned an Apple iPhone device is no stranger to the wide range of camera related accessories available out there in the market. Unfortunately, so few of them actually prove to be useful. However, Miggo, a startup firm that specializes in producing single lens reflex (SLR) accessories, is introducing the Pictar, and it just might interest today’s iPhone users, especially those who are into photography. Basically, the Pictar is an accessory that aims to bring SLR style camera controls to iPhone devices, specifically models from the iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 6s (except for the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6s Plus).
Some might find it weird that the Pictar does not come with any Lightning connector or Bluetooth transmitter. So how exactly does it connect with iPhone devices? The answer is quite simple -- ultrasound. Wait, what? It is quite odd, but when one really thinks about it, it is a rather nifty solution. Each camera related activity (capturing an image, zooming, adjusting the ISO) has its own specific high frequency tone. Once the Pictar mobile apps is installed on the iPhone, the device is given the ability to listen and identify those high frequency tones. And because the whole ultrasound setup basically only involves inaudible sound and a special algorithm to detect those sounds, the whole process does not take up so much of the iPhone’s battery.
There have been other accessories that try to mimic the manual controls of an SLR (e.g. the Cam Plus on LG's G5 flagship smartphone), but the Pictar may be considered the best in doing exactly that. Apart from its two stage shutter button, the Pictar comes with a trio of physical controls -- a zoom ring on the front side, an exposure compensation wheel, and a scene select dial that allows users to switch between presets such as Landscape mode or Sports mode.
iPhone users may be delighted to know that the Pictar is relatively light. Moreover, those users who have actually tried shooting pictures with real SLR cameras should find the control layout of the Pictar quite easy to get familiar with. Plus, the black and silver design provides a retro feel reminiscent of old Olympus or Nikon cameras.
Miggo is pricing the Pictar at $90, with choices for a fair range of accessories available. Interested parties can learn more by paying a visit to its official kickstarter page.
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