A Bluetooth pistol-grip with programmable controls is a new $100 accessory for smartphones that may appeal to inspectors. It shifts the operation of the camera to the handle.

Testing Grip&Shoot, ENR found that the device steadies the camera and reduces fumbling and finger-on-the-lens shots.

The trigger is at the front, where one would expect it to be, and two buttons under the thumb on the back are programmable through the app interface. We changed the functions from the default in-and-out zoom to have one toggle between still shots and video and the other to toggle the image aspect ratio. It was quite simple and as easy to do on the Android as on the Apple version.

The software has an open API, and developers are invited to leverage it. Although the grip is just hitting the market now, three iPhone apps already have incorporated it: Slow Motion Camera, which is as described, and PureShot and 645 PRO Mk III, two camera-control products designed for professional photographers.

But the inventors are encouraging developers to think beyond cameras, as the controls can be ported to anything that would benefit from a hand grip.

Features include a tripod mount  and the ability to separate a tripod-mounted phone from the controller. Accessories include a retractable belt-clip lanyard, which we think is a necessity for use on a jobsite. Our only reservation is that we wish the camera clamp could be locked for greater security.