Your iPhone might have a great camera, but it can be irritating to get things like exposure and focus right when your fingers are all over the 'viewfinder.' The Pictar aims to change that by making your iPhone as much like a DLSR as it can, keeping your fingers from obstructing your next great photo.
Camera accessories company Miggo made the Pictar to physically operate like a full-fledged camera, with five buttons and dials that mimic the physical interface. It has a shutter button (with half-press for focus), a zoom ring, a selfie button, an exposure wheel, and a smart wheel that controls preset modes but can be programmed to control other functions.
There's also a tripod mount and cold shoe built in to accept LED flashes and other accessories.
The key to Pictar working like a DSLR is the Pictar app, which simply smooths out the process so you're not fighting with your iPhone (e.g., locking focus or changing exposure from the touchscreen).
The most novel feature of Pictar is how the peripheral interacts with an iPhone. Instead of a direct connection or Bluetooth, Pictar communicates by sound. Each button is assigned a specific frequency that, when heard by the app, initiates a specific function (the frequency is high enough to be inaudible to the human ear at 18,500-20,000 kHz).
Miggo claims that the combination of "dual tone sound control" and one CR ½ AA battery for the Pictar gives you 6-8 months of battery life. It's also adjustable, and can fit most iPhones besides the Plus models (which is a shame, considering they're the only models with optical image stabilization technology).
The Kickstarter campaign raised more than $318,000 with 2,952 backers. While you can't snag one from Kickstarter anymore, you can preorder one from their Indiegogo page. Prices start at $90, and shipping is estimated to be around November 2016—just in time for Christmas.
Have an iPhone? Check out all 200+ new features coming in iOS 13.