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Home » News, Reviews

Camera+ 2.2 Update: Improved Auto-Focus and “Clarity”

Submitted by on March 29, 2011 – 12:02 am 11 Comments

Camera+ 2.2, Clarity scene

One of the things I love about the excellent camera replacement app Camera+ is that the development team at tap tap tap are always improving the app and the user experience. It seems that nearly every update of the app has a Wow! feature that we didn’t even know we wanted.

The new 2.2 update is scheduled to street today, Tuesday, March 29 and it is no exception.

The big new feature of this Camera+ update is a scene mode called “Clarity.” When I received my preview copy of the app last week, I was told that “it’s a 1-tap image enhancement that makes photos look stunning. It blows away just about anything Apple does with their HDR and doesn’t have the issues that go along with multi-exposure HDR like alignment, etc.” That sums it up perfectly.

The new Clarity scene mode is part of Camera+’ standard equipment and does an amazing job of balancing luminance, enhancing the colors of images, filling in shadows and balancing overall light. It intensifies colors in your photos, adding high-dynamic color range as good as or better than most other dedicated HDR, Pseudo-HDR and Dynamic Color Correction apps currently available. It fills in shadows and colors and still does a great job of keeping noise in check — a big problem with some “HDR” and DRC apps. Details are visibly and nicely enhanced.

Here are some samples:

Original

Camera+, Clarity mode

Original

Camera+, Clarity mode

Original

Camera+, Clarity mode

The new Clarity mode isn’t adjustable like dedicated DRC apps, but even with its 1-button ease, it does some great adjustments on nearly every image I tested it with. On a few images, though, I found occasional Pro HDR-like halos around some of the edges.

The viewfinder has been significantly improved in this update. It’s now clearer when the camera is autofocusing. In fact, the auto-focus target now says “Autofocus” until it fades out. A ‘+’ button has been added to the touch focus control to enable you to easily split it into focus and exposure controls — much easier and more intuitive than the split two finger drag (although you can still use the two finger tap to split focus and exposure).

There are no other new filters in this update, but the Pinhole effect in the optional “I ♥ Analog” in app upgrade has been improved again. The vignette seems to have been improved and looks more rounded and uniform, although I liked the unevenness of the 2.1 version.

Left, Camera+ 2.1.1 Pinhole effect. Right, the new Pinhole effect in 2.2

Here’s a list of the other changes, bug fixes, and improvements in this update:

✓ multiple photos are now saved to your Camera Roll according to the order they were selected
✓ improved Vintage border
✓ fixed a bug where photos could’ve been saved to your Camera Roll with an incorrect date/time taken
✓ fixed a bug where the timer countdown time could get stuck on the screen
✓ fixed a bug where the Cancel buttons in sharing sometimes wouldn’t work
✓ various minor bug fixes and enhancements

The new “Clarity” scene mode is an excellent new feature on its own. It definitely improves the value of Camera+ as an all-in-one. Many iPhoneographers may find themselves importing images from their photo library just to use this feature to add HDR color to their photos.

Camera+ is $1.99 in the App Store. It’s currently on sale for only $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.

Camera+​ - tap tap tap

=M=

~~~~

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Marty Yawnick

Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.

  • Tomba

    @Marty
    thanks for the preview to v2.2. Cant wait any more ;-)
    Would be interesting to see a comparison with apps like Perfectly Clear.
    May be you can process your examples with P.C. and add to your review?

  • JonnyGerman

    How does the clarity mode compare to the Dynamic Light app?

  • Tomba

    Just checked "Clarity" with a photo of a lake landscape in the evening sun and compared it with two other favourite apps.

    In my opinion Perfectly Clear delivered best overall result (settings "default")
    Second was Dynamic Light (without fx filters on, settings "low")
    Third Camera+. "Clarity" works fast and delivered similar dynamic results but made some ugly noise in particular parts of the pics. You have to be more careful than with the other apps. But working in camera+ right now and making a quick fix together with other editing steps is a nice welcome.

    Did not test the other improvements yet.

  • Anne

    Unfortunately I continue to prefer the original Pinhole effect (from 2 versions ago). Am I alone? Here is an example of a photo with the original pinhole effect: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40112934@N06/5396795
    and the same picture with the new pinhole effect: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40112934@N06/5571550
    I find the original Pinhole effect to have much more charm and mystery to it, with fuzzy edges and a more pronounced vignette effect. In my humble opinion, the new Pinhole effect lacks charm and is too grainy.

  • Nicki Fitz-Gerald

    Great! tried "clearly" filter on a couple of settings and makes instant dramatic improvements. Great for a quick fix and more..

  • http://twitter.com/PositivePauly @PositivePauly

    Still no volume snap. I mean, c'MON Apple! If you can let crappy apps like Earphone Camera through, you HAVE to let a far, far, FAR superior app have the volume snap feature in. GRRRRR!

  • http://www.birgitengelhardt.de bee

    Thanks for this review and the news about the offer – I bought it just a few minutes ago, testet it several times and already love it!

  • http://lifeinlofi.com lifeinlofiblog

    Just a reminder that the Camera (plus) Giveaway for April 16, 2011 is on Life In LoFI’s Facebook page only!

    Good luck!

    =M=

    • Lisa Jemison

      Marty – What is your opinion when comparing the clarity feature of Camera + to the Perfectly Clear App?

      • http://lifeinlofi.com lifeinlofiblog

        Hi, Lisa,

        They're two different things and definitely *not* mutually exclusive. Clarity processes the photo to create the effect of a HDR image from a single exposure. Perfectly Clear normalizes and corrects the dynamic range giving the image more color, contrast and tonal balance. You can use both on an image.

        =M=

  • Danny

    Is there a way to transfer photos from camera + to my mac? I've not found folder access to the app when attempting to sync. I'd hate to have to email each photo one at a time in order to try and print them.

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