Pictar may sound like a dinosaur, but it’s actually a clever solution to the modern day problem of awkwardly taking a one-handed selfie while trying not to drop your phone on your face. Not only does the Pictar One Plus camera grip case give you that classic hand feel of a vintage camera, it has 10 preset modes that let you have an almost-DSLR level of control over your pictures using Pictar’s companion app.
Unboxing the Pictar One Plus
Coming in a classic hard plastic presentation case, the Pictar One Plus looks like something you would see on the shelf at Target and pick up purely out of curiosity. It has a strong resemblance to cameras you probably grew up seeing your mom using. When you take it out of the case, the first thing you notice is what a tactile delight it is to hold. You can get a firm grip on it, and the movement of the wheels feels natural and intuitive.
To get started, you need to download the Pictar app and go through their walk-through sequence. Once you have that down, it is fairly user-friendly. Take your iPhone out of its case (or keep it in if you have a very very slender one like I did) and click it into the Pictar One Plus. The Pictar One Plus actually communicates with the iPhone using sound waves, which takes less power than using Bluetooth. Launch the app, and you are good to start clicking away.
Interestingly, the Pictar One Plus doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. Instead, you’ll use a 1/2 AA battery that is included in the box. Miggo says that battery should last for four to six months, after which you’ll need to go grab another one.
The Picture-taking Experience
I pulled the Pictar One Plus out at a party of millennials and it got a fair amount of beguiled attention. You know that moment when everyone throws their iPhones at some poor unsuspecting soul who then has to take 10 pictures on 10 iPhones while the rest of us try to look like we actually enjoy smiling? I avoided this with the Pictar One Plus by using my phone only and sharing the pic after. It got the best shot by far. The blaring ceiling fan light in the shot that drowns us all out? I played around with advanced camera settings in the app to drown it out instead. Just the act of using the camera like an old school camera — the dials on the grip can be used to control things like exposure compensation — added some novelty and fun to the experience, and the pictures I captured with the Pictar One Plus let me go past what I’d usually get with the regular iPhone camera.
How the Pictar One Plus is Best Used
It is not exactly convenient to slip your phone out of its case and into the Pictar One Plus, then launch the app, then toggle around when you are taking a one-off picture. However, if I was hitting up some sights on vacation, I could not ask for a better photography assistant. Save this for events where you will be taking a lot of pictures, like weddings or Paris museum trips.
Alternatively, within a professional context, the Pictar One Plus was very useful. I like to take process videos of my artwork for Instagram, and normally I am petrified of dropping my $1,000 iPhone into the pool of resin and paint that I work with. With the Pictar One Plus came a flexible tripod that I was able to use to capture the process unhindered.
Is the Pictar One Plus secure? Well, it gets a pretty good grip on your phone, but you won’t want to slam it around because the phone will pop out and then your selfie will go from beautiful smiles to cracked screen tears in no time. It is annoyingly easy to bump the phone out of the case, so using the Pictar One Plus requires a good amount of caution.