Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is "Camera+" the best camera app for the iPhone? Yes!

I finally got a shiny new iPhone 4.  I love it, but I'll write about how great it is in another post.  :-)

The subject here is photography related, not phone related...

I always try to have a camera with me when I'm out and about so that I can grab serendipitous photos whenever I can.  The native Camera app in iOS on the iPhone is OK for grabbing quick photos, but it has one huge flaw.  You can't control autofocus and exposure metering independently of each other.  Meaning, on the native Camera app, whatever you focus on will determine your exposure.  That's logical for casual photography, but it's bad for more serious/creative photography.....

Most people might think that this setup is OK for casual snapshots on a camera phone, and in good light for a casual shot maybe it is most of the time.  But I saw right away that the photos come out poorly if you're trying to shoot in any kind of questionable lighting situation.  I immediately started looking for a solution.

The answer is "Camera+". Here is a link to Camera+ in the iTunes Store.  You can also read much more information about it on the Tap Tap Tap web site at this link (the creators of Camera+).

This app costs $1, and for that cost you get the problem above corrected but you also get a lot of other handy features as well. Specifically, with Camera+ you get:
  1. Separate control of autofocus and exposure metering.  This is a must for creative photography!!!
  2. A handy and responsive zoom control that's always visible.  On a side note, I would suggest avoiding zooming on the iPhone in general unless you really have to because it uses a digital zoom (not optical) and it deteriorates the photo quality.
  3. The capability to simultaneously save photos to the Camera+ "Lightbox" (for editing) as well as the iOS Photo app.  This is handy because you can edit your photos right in Camera+ without needing to open a separate application.  The capability to save in both locations is handy because then you don't need to move photos around on your iPhone.
  4. A grid to use to level your photos.
  5. Useful "Photo Info" panel with an integrated map of where you took your photo based on geotagging embedded within the image.

  6. A shooting self-timer.
  7. Quality settings.

  8. Innovative "Photo Flashlight" utility.
  9. Stabilizer function that senses when your camera is still before it snaps a photo.
  10. Photo editing effects built into the app.  Each effect has an intensity slider to control how much it affects your photo.  It's handy to have these effects in Camera+ itself instead of having to go to a separate app for editing.  There are also borders and cropping available.
  11. Built-in social network sharing capabilities (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter).
It's easy to see from the comments above that Camera+ is far superior to the built in Camera app.  For $1, it's a total bargain!  The one drawback is that it doesn't shoot video....yet....so if you want to do that then you need to jump into the native Camera app.  But I'm sure the creators of Camera+ will add this capability to their app quickly.  Even without video, it blows away the built in Camera.  Completely blows it away.

Get this app!  You'll love it.

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