iPhone App Review: QuickCam – One of the Fastest Camera Apps Available
Bottom Line: A simple, easy to use default Camera replacement app. One of the absolute fastest camera apps available.
One of my biggest complaints about many camera apps, including many camera replacement apps, is the lack of speed. When a camera app is slow, it greatly increases the risk of not being ready for that once-in-a-lifetime shot, whether it’s the most awesome fleeting, street photograph or a snapshot of your child blowing out the candles at a birthday party.
QuickCam by Two Teeth Technologies is a new camera replacement app. It’s very basic. It was designed with simplicity in mind. But it’s also fast — very fast. It was also designed with speed in mind and it has some great features to help ensure that your iPhone’s camera is always ready to shoot.
Apple’s Camera app is designed to be a basic, simple camera app and QuickCam was created to be an improved version of this. QuickCam has “default camera simplicity”. It’s very easy to use and loads faster and shoots faster than just about all other iPhone camera apps. In fact, I can think of only one or two which may be close.
QuickCam shoots both still photos and video and is designed to get you shooting quickly. Version 1.0.1 has a basic feature set with a few more advanced goodies hidden out of sight.
- Rapid capture
- Take photos while shooting video
- Zoom, flashlight, auto-flash, front-facing camera support
- Saves directly to the camera roll
The excellent rapid capture feature is very fast and captures full-resolution images, something which very few iPhone app burst modes are able to do. It’s by far my favorite of QuickCam’s features. Simply hold the shutter release down and shoot as fast as up to two full-resolution images per second on an iPhone 4. It’s the fastest full-res burst mode I’ve found on the iPhone. It’s easily as fast as Gorillacam’s plus QuickCam is fully iOS 4 compliant.
QuickCam also features separate focus and exposure settings found in the more advanced, full-featured camera apps. Setting the separate exposure takes a little getting used to, but it’s very easy after a few tries. Single tap to set both focus and exposure; double tap to set exposure separately. Not only do I like this feature, but like the rest of QuickCam’s few advanced features, it’s there if you need it but not in the way if you don’t.
QuickCam is one of the fastest camera replacements currently in the App Store. In tests, it’s even faster than Apple’s Camera app.
App startup time:
Stock Camera: ~2.5sec
QuickCam: < 1 sec
Minimum time between pictures (recovery time):
Stock Camera: > 1 sec
QuickCam: ~0.6 sec
These stats were sent to me by the developer, but in using the app, these times feel correct. QuickCam feels snappier. Also, in my tests, I found that QuickCam also has a much shorter ready time than Apple Camera when bringing it back to the front from its background resting state. It seems faster by a second or so.
QuickCam also saves most EXIF data, including important geo-tag information.
QuickCam is not perfect and not for everyone. It’s not for iPhonegraphers looking for a full-featured, all-in-one camera replacement. It doesn’t have anti-shake stabilization or composition grids, both basic features of camera replacement apps, although I can see that anti-shake may slow down picture taking. Composition grids are planned for a future update and my rating reflects these additional features which will be added soon to the app. The zoom lens is not full-resolution. Unlike Apple’s Camera, it doesn’t resample zoomed images and is more like in-camera cropping. The shutter and video buttons are nicely sized, especially for larger fingers, but obscure corners of the viewfinder.
QuickCam was developed by Josh Patterick who is one of my favorite devs to work with. Josh is responsible for saving the excellent photo app ClearCam by Occipital from oblivion and for its many updates and improvements.
QuickCam was not designed to compete with a full-featured camera replacement like ProCamera, Camera+ and Camera Genius. It doesn’t have effects or built-in tools. Again, it’s designed to take pictures fast. It’s simple, lightweight and rock solid. For users who want the simplicity of Apple’s Camera app except more lightweight and faster, QuickCam is one of the absolute fastest camera apps available.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.