App of the Week – Shoot and Edit Fantastic iPhone Pictures with Camera+
As much as I think Apple makes applications with great design aesthetics and UX (user interface), it often sacrifices functionality and customizability for the sake of looking pretty. Take the Camera app for example: it looks great and on a completely basic functional level, it does what it’s supposed to – take pictures and record videos. But that’s it! Digital Zoom? Nope. Adjust Exposure? Nope. Adjust Focus? Nope. If you’re as frustrated with your iPhone’s camera as much as I was, then take a look at Camera , our featured App of the Week. It features all those options and much, much more.
Platform Availability: iOS 3.0 and up
Cost: Unfortunately, unlike so many other Apps of the Week, you’ll have to pony up some dough to get your hands on Camera . How much will this wonderful application cost you? Grab it now while it’s still on sale for $0.99; otherwise, it normally costs $1.99. Download it here!
What it is: An infinitely better camera application. Get more control over your shots with digital zoom, focus adjustment, and manual white balance. When you’re done taking pictures, edit them to your heart’s content with Camera ‘s abundance of options. Finally, share your edited shots through every means you could ever want – Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, MMS, or email.
What it Does: Taking Pictures – It has the same interface as Apple’s built-in Camera app, so snapping pics is a breeze. For the most part, the added camera functions are just as intuitive – adjust the slider for digital zoom (although it’s always better to just walk closer to your subject if you can) and hit the gear button to change to a timed or burst shutter.
Features: Focus – Tap the screen once where you want Camera to focus your shot. For example, if you have two objects with one far away and one close, you’re going to have to choose which one you want to be clearer.
Exposure – Tap the square in the upper right of the focus box to set your exposure to where your focus will be, or if you want exposure set to another area, tap that region with a finger held on your focus region. FYI, exposure refers to the total amount of light allowed to fall on the image sensor during the taking of a photograph and adjusts your picture’s brightness accordingly.
Lightbox – Make your pictures look great right from your iPhone. Apply dozens of filters to minimize glare or achieve a cool hipster look. Crop out photobombers. Apply borders and captions. Lightbox is just incredibly powerful yet super easy to use.
Sharing – Like I said before, share your shots instantly in almost any manner you want. Eliminate the hassle of manually transferring and uploading your pictures and send them to your friends’ feeds straight from your phone. This feature is so incredibly handy for social media addicts!
The Competition: There’s a lot of competition in the App Store trying to grab your iPhoneography dollars.
Instagram – Free – iOS 3.1.2 or later
Hipstamatic – $1.99 – iOS 3.1 or later
ProCamera – $2.99 (But it’s on sale right now for $1.99) – iOS 4.1 or later
Why the Featured App is Best: Instagram and Hipstamatic don’t offer nearly the level of camera control nor editing features that Camera has. While ProCamera has an edge on Camera with manual exposure control for taking videos, that’s it. ProCamera doesn’t feature Camera ‘s great clarity filter, nor does it feature Camera ‘s fantastic UX. Because it’s so much easier to use, Camera wholeheartedly deserves the iPhoneography crown.
Summary: It’s remarkable just how much Camera blows Apple’s stock offering out of the water. Beyond just the improved camera functionally (which by itself justifies the purchase price), Camera ‘s developers tacked on the fantastic Lightroom and sharing functionalities. With so many well-executed features, Camera is one of those rare iPhone applications that’s actually worth buying. If you take pictures on your iPhone on even an occasional basis, pickup Camera ; it’s the best $0.99 you’ll ever spend.
Do you have any tips to get better Camera shots? Are there any photography apps that you like better than Camera ? Let us know in the comments!