review

Pictar Smart Selfie Stick Ultrasonic Motorized Cradle

Monday, February 24, 2020

When it comes to taking pictures of yourself, by yourself, the selfie stick is a really useful tool that provides extra reach and aerial support when needed in a pinch!
Most selfie sticks have in common the integration of a telescopic handle and wireless connectivity, normally bluetooth or ultrasonic, which doesn't drain the phone's battery because it doesn't use bluetooth connectivity; hence you can use ultrasonic selfie sticks without a Bluetooth enabled phone.
Very few selfie sticks use ultrasonic sensing technology and the Pictar Smart Stick is one of them, allowing the Smart Stick to be connected instantly.
As well as having a telescoping handle that lets you adjust the distance of the phone, the Pictar Smart Stick also integrates a motorized phone cradle, as well as brightness and zoom in/out buttons right on the rubberized handle.
Being non-bluetooth, the Pictar Smart Stick requires the use of a mobile app, the Pictar app, which is the same app used by the Pictar One Camera Grip to connect.
The Pictar app, essentially, takes over your phone's default camera app, rearranging the camera settings (i.e. flash, aspect ratio and timer) and, making them more easily available to you.
The Pictar app also adds some useful features that phones don't typically have, including DSLR features such as Horizon Indicator and Histogram to let you know if the camera exposure is exposing correctly so, you can have an evenly exposed image in-camera.
The Pictar app supports clip-on lenses (i.e. telephoto, wide angle, macro), as well as an external phone light, all of which you can enable within the Pictar app.
Pictar Smart Stick makes capturing images easier as it allows you to make adjustments and control key functions such as exposure, shutter speed, white balance, ISO and zoom right from the stick without having to physically touch the phone.
allow metal accents
After downloading the Pictar app, you have to scan (or manually enter) the barcode located on the bottom of the packaging. It's a good idea, storing the packaging safely or making a note of the barcode number since you will need it if you want to use the Pictar Smart Stick with different phones.
The Pictar app is easy to use, thanks to the on-screen prompts and variety of shooting modes to choose from, including Pro, Family, Traveller or Social shoots. Each of these shooting modes is specifically optimized so, you get different settings.
For instance, the Pro shooting mode gives you full control of all the camera settings, including selfie mode, video mode, macro mode, automatic camera settings and manual camera settings where you get to control the ISO, aperture, etc. The other shooting modes (i.e. Traveller, Family, etc) also let you record video but feature fewer camera settings.
The Pictar Smart Stick comes with a total of five chiclet style buttons and a small, clickable joystick type controller that lets you easily navigate through the Pictar app settings, as well as change cameras (i.e. rear, selfie) and adjust the zoom. The Smart Stick's telescopic handle isn't controlled automatically so, you have to manually extend it and retract it.
The Pictar Smart Stick weighs 180 grams and can be extended up to 78cm and retracted down to 29cm. The Pictar Smart Stick cradle holds, as well as grips the phone securely inside via very grippy rubberized teeth.
The largest button is the shutter button, which also controls the focusing of the lens. The other smaller buttons control the camera's brightness, as well as rotate the phone cradle up and down (up to 270 degrees).
1/4 20-inch standard thread
On the base of the Pictar Smart Stick, there is a micro USB charging port and a tripod thread for attaching the Smart Stick to your own tripod, which is handy although not as convenient as having tripod legs built-in to the selfie stick.
The Smart Stick control panel is not detachable so, while it is mounted on a tripod, you will need to use the timer function, which is not as convenient as having a detachable control panel to remotely actuate the shutter release.
The Pictar app is very comprehensive and full of features, many of which you may not know how to use so, there is a learning curve. That said, there are tutorials and user guides readily available within the app, as well as support from the Pictar developers who can help and guide you.
One of the nice features about the Pictar app is the user interface, specifically the scrolling wheel menu that appears on the left side for each icon, which makes selecting and adjusting settings super convenient.
The Camera icon menu contains a total of 11 settings, including the mentioned Histogram, Horizon, Grid, Aspect Ratio, Filters and Face Detection. The Horizon feature is also found in DSLR cameras and it's very useful for capturing landscapes photographs. When selecting Horizon, a horizon line and degree count appears on-screen, helping you get a straight horizontal line.
The camera screen view is also nicely laid out in three sections of the screen, the left side, right side and top of the screen. The settings (i.e. clip-on lens, external light, selfie mode, self timer) are positioned vertically on the left side, while the shutter release button and Mode is located on the right side.
The shutter lets you take photos and start video capture, while Mode lets you control the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation ( from E.C -4 to +4 stops) and ISO.
The Pictar Smart Selfie Stick motorized phone cradle can accommodate just about any phone between 5.5cm and 7cm wide. The cradle grippy teeth can securely accommodate thick phones or phones with protective cases up to 1.5cm thick.

There is also a "light" version of this selfie stick, called Pictar Smart-Light Selfie Stick that will be launched on Kickstarter in the upcoming weeks. Buy it on amazon.

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