Photo: Fjorden / YouTube

This IPhone Add-On Gives Travelers the Photo Controls of a Traditional Camera

by Nickolaus Hines Aug 5, 2021

Gone are the days when phone photos were pixelated at best, and looking as if they just came out of a microwave at worst. Photos snapped from an iPhone have graced legacy print publications, spanned across massive billboards, and resulted in more than a few incredible images in Apple’s iPhone Photography Awards.

It still, however, felt like just snapping a photo with your phone. But now there’s a clip-on tool that makes your phone have a similar camera feel to match the professional-quality photos it takes.

Fjorden is an iPhone camera grip that gives you the same controls that you’d find on a fixed-lens set-up. It has a two-stage shutter button with a half-press to focus the shot, a control dial for the basics (exposure, shutter speed, ISO, focus, and others), a multi-function button for the rest, and a zoom lever. A paired app keeps the whole apparatus running and offers two modes: auto for quick shots or manual to control every detail.

Plus, importantly, the Fjorden is slim enough (just over 0.4 of an inch) that your phone still easily fits in your pocket. The Norweigan-designed iPhone addition writes on its Kickstarter that it follows the Bauhaus philosophy of “form follows function.”

The Fjorden attaches to your phone through a custom MagSafe case. It connects via Bluetooth, and is compatible with all iPhones 11 and newer. If you’ve invested in some fancy iPhone camera lenses, it’ll work with those as well. In short, it plays nicer with other tech than many of your average Wi-Fi enabled point and shoots.

There are two things to know other than the fact that the specs make the Fjorden sound like a must-have for travelers looking to take better iPhone photos. One is that the company has plans to be Climate Neutral Certified. The other is that it’s a Kickstarter, and as anyone who’s dabbled in start-up tech knows, you can’t always rely on the ideas panning out exactly as they’re marketed before the release.

The Fjorden prototypes started in November 2019, the Kickstarter campaign started in July 2021, and the company hopes to fulfill orders by February 2022. At the time of writing, it has received $352,075 of Fjorden’s original funding goal of $23,670.

It won’t come cheap when it finally gets here. The expected retail price will be about $190, though if you back the company early you can get it for about $140. If it all works out, it could be money (and time) well spent for the traveler who wants camera-level controls without having to lug the gear around.

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