What’s the best camera and photography app for the iPhone? Camera+ has a good shot at making poor snaps into great photographs that will wow your friends.
The iPhone’s built-in 8-megapixel camera is as good as most casual snappers – even world-famous photographer Annie Leibovitz has described Apple’s iPhone 4S as the “snapshot camera of today” – need. But to get the most out of it you have to import the pictures to your PC or Mac and edit the photos in Photoshop, Picassa or iPhoto.
Of course there are hundreds of photography apps for the iPhone that mean you can tweak and enhance your phone snaps on the mobile itself.
One of our favourites is Camera+, from developer tap tap tap.
Camera+ uses the iPhone’s camera but seriously improves the phone’s built-in software features.
As default you edit the photos in the Camera+ Lightbox and save only those snaps you approve of into your camera roll, but there are options to save all into the standard camera roll, or even in both. You can also import photos from your iPhone camera rolls and albums and work on them in Camera+.
Camera+ adds a 3x3 grid to help you compose better shots via compositional structure. With Camera+ you can set the focus and exposure points independently using two fingers – a great improvement on the iPhone’s built-in camera app. There’s also an optional anti-vibration mode that ensures the camera is held still before allowing the photos to be snapped.
First you can apply basic edits, such as Adjust (where you can rotate photos) and Crops where you can remove parts of the picture you don’t need or use one of the built-in crops such as 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, Square and even the classical Golden ratio.
Then you can boost the picture quality with Flash or Backlit, Darken or Cloudy, Shade and Flourescent, Beach, Sunset or Night. Another Scene you can use is Clarity that really brings out the detail in photos and looks stunning on cloudy sky scenes.
The real magic of Camera+ are the simple but powerful image-editing options. The developer partnered with professional photographer Lisa Bettany to include some amazing effects to enhance your snaps with.
These can be found in the FX Effects options: Colour, Retro, Special, I love Analog.
Colour effects include Vibrant, Sunkiss’d, Purple Haze, Black & White and Sepia. There are also some cute ones such as So Emo and Magic Hour.
Retro has some super effects like 70s and Toy Camera, as well as Ansel (for B&W Ansel Adams effects), Fashion, Hipster and Tailfins.
Special effects are amazing. Depth of Field adds read a real 3D feel to snaps, and Miniaturize gives that toy-village tilt-and-shift effect. You can also add Cross Process, Color Dodge, Overlay and Polarize effects.
The I Love Analog series of effects add some distinctly non-digital effects such as Chromogenic, Silver Gelatin, Expired and XPRO C-41.
It’s the combinations of Scenes and FX Effects that produce some incredible photos within a minute of you taking the snap, and you can share these immediately on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or via email all from within the Camera+ app. Before that you can add choose from a selection of 18 cool borders, or just leave it unadorned.
Camera+ is a fantastic photo app for the iPhone. With its range of compositional features, picture enhancers and super special effects and retro options it makes the iPhone’s built-in camera look like a pinhole. For just 69p this is tremendous value and breathes new life into not just the iPhone but consumer digital photography itself.