Review: MonoPhix 2.0 for iPhone
Bottom Line: Highly Recommended
MonoPhix 2.0 by UIC Phoenxsoftware is a very nice and much improved update to the previous versions. In addition to two new filters, the monochrome conversion filter has been completely retooled to produce much more adjustable, much better results.
Gone are the three fixed grayscale and monochrome settings of version 1. MonoPhix now features two adjustable sliders to adjust the conversion to monochrome. Adjustable conversion is not a common feature in black & white photo apps and the dual slider implementation is a very nice and unique implementation here. Light shades and 3/4 tones can now be adjusted separately, allowing you to create monochrome conversions with greater precision than other apps. There are also four built-in presets which quickly set the levels to no monochrome depth (basically a straight color-to-grayscale conversion), maximum contrast, minimum gray contrast, and the default setting which is a really good starting point for your monochrome conversions.
I didn’t like the previous version’s hard mono conversion — the equivalent of this version’s maximum mono conversion setting. The new filter is more like a good, very fast film that produces super high contrast. While still maintaining an edgier feel than other monochrome apps such as Spica, MonoPhix now lets you retain more of the subtleties — more grays, gradients and overall details of the image. This new version better enhances the noise in your original image, giving it the feel of film grain. The results are on par with Spica and other top-shelf monochrome apps. And where the current version of Spica has only one conversion setting, MonoPhix’s sliders allow for infinite variation.
MonoPhix also now has adjustable Sepia and Antique — kind of an old bronze look – filters which add a warm, aged look in addition to the contrast adjustment, making your picture look like a really old photo. Both effects are well done and because they are adjustable as well, really add value to the app.
All conversions are previewed in a thumbnail image before you click OK. While I’d really like to see a real-time preview on the main screen, the thumbnail preview is not a dealbreaker for me, especially since most apps provide no preview whatsoever.
I really like the results I get when using version 2 of this app. I did not like the results I got from the previous version. I thought the hard mono effect looked like a photocopy that had been run through the copier too many times — good effect, I suppose, if that’s what you are looking for but that’s not how I shoot. The new mono conversions are greatly improved and much more usable and visually appealing.
The developer of MonoPhix is responsive and engages customers, both current and potential. In updating the lackluster first version, he considered a lot of feedback from App Store reviews as well as engaging talkbackers in online forums. The result is a superior monochrome conversion app with great features that have been designed with the participation of the iPhoneographers who would use the app.
This excellent MonoPhix update is essentially a new app. The developer has done a great t job in rebuilding it. If you backpaged or deleted a previous version of the app, give this update a look. If you are looking to explore monochrome photography or just want to enhance your snapshots with some intense black & white and old photo effects, MonoPhix 2 is definitely worth checking out.
App Store link: MonoPhix