iPhone App Review: Camera+… it’s back and even better than ever.
Bottom Line: Camera+ is one of the two best camera replacement apps available. The 2.0 update improves this great app even more. Very highly recommended.
In one of the biggest iPhoneography stories of 2010, after a 4-month hiatus because of the VolumeSnap issue, the excellent, sought after photo app Camera+ by tap tap tap is back in the App Store. Apparently a lot of users missed the app. After one day back, it’s once again the #1 photo app and the #9 paid app overall in the App Store.
With the tremendous improvements in the recent ProCamera updates, along with the frustration among the user base concerning tap tap tapâ€™s silence on the app, the return of Camera+ really had to hit it out of the park. This update does that. Everything that was good in the previous version is the same or improved. And there’s a whole lot of better that’s been added in.
The SLR shell is gone. Camera+ is all app now. Camera+ now goes straight to the camera on start up. Cold startup time is less than 3 seconds from a opening the app to ready-to shoot. Opening Camera+ with the app in the background in iOS4 takes about 1 second before youâ€™re ready to shoot.
The app is fast. Very fast. Itâ€™s as fast as the Apple Camera and ProCamera and as fast as Apple will currently allow. It will shoot as fast as you can.
The anti-shake stabilization has been fixed. Gone is the frustrating â€œwhat was this for?â€ 3 second delay in version 1.2.1. The single threshold anti-shake stabilization now works properly, holding the release of the shutter until the camera is stable without any additional delay.
The separate exposure and focus controls still work great. I love â€œtap-to-focus+second-tap-for-exposure.â€ They seem a little more responsive in this update. Thereâ€™s also a new onscreen white balance lock. All the controls hold their onscreen position, but not their settings until you backout of the camera – a great feature especially for taking quick, multiple shots in the same light. Not even Apple’s Camera does this.
The Lightbox still allows you to import images from your photo library, which is great when you have images shot with another app that you want to process with Camera+’ tools and filters.
In addition to the previous tool set, there’s a new Adjust tab which allows you to rotate or flip images. The crop tool has also been improved with the addition of the 3:2 aspect ratio preset. There’s still no image editing tools — contrast, brightness, gamma, HSB, etc. ProCamera definitely has the edge there.
Most of the effects have been improved and there are also several new filters and borders included as part of this update. The borders have been improved and grouped into “Simple” and “Styled” sets for better organization. The new borders are pretty cool and range from plain matte borders to detailed analog film borders, such as Viewfinder and 35mm film borders. My favorite is the very cool “Offset” border which makes your photos look like a printed press sheet with crop marks and print slugs.
You can now purchase additional filter packs via in-app purchase. So far, there’s only one avaiable, the “I â™¥ Analog” set for $0.99. It’s 9 good quality filters featuring classic analog looks. While not as detailed as dedicated retro apps like PictureShow or Infinicam, the filter set is good enough to please most users. If you already have several photo filter apps on your iPhone, there’s not a pressing need to purchase this filter set unless you want to process your images in the one app.
A very cool new feature is the addition of a slider in the filter tools. You can now adjust the amount of the effects applied from 0-100%.
Lightbox behavior has been improved. Previously, when you saved an image to the camera roll, it was automatically deleted from Camera+’ lightbox, keeping clutter down in your camera roll. The lightbox now features the option to Save and Remove or Save and Keep, as well as to commit edits to multiple pictures at once. It’s a slightly hidden feature — in the share button at the top right of the lightbox — but it gives you more flexibility in doing multiple edits on a photo.
One of the update’s weakest new features is the Burst Mode. It allows you to take many rapid captures simply by holding down the shutter button. Unfortunately, it only saves images shot in Burst Mode at the low VGA resolution of 480×640 pixels.
And, of course, the VolumeSnap hack has been removed from this update.
Camera+ 2.0 works on any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad running iOS 3.1.3 or newer. It goes without saying that youâ€™ll need a device with a camera to take advantage of all of Camera+â€™ features.
In nearly every way, this update improves even further the speed and usability of the app. It fixes almost all of the few minor glitches I (and many others) had with the previous versions. Camera+ has always been a great camera app to shoot with and this version only improves the app. With its well featured camera and excellent set ofÂ tools and filters, for shooting and processing in one app, Camera+ is the best all in one Swiss Army knife photo app available.
Camera+… welcome back.