Photo App Review: CamCam
Bottom Line: Good, but not very good. Great looking filters for both stills and video. Supports full-res. Needs more frames. It’s not a fast app.
Camera+Camcorder = CamCam. I get it. Catchy name. And I like the icon.
CamCam is a new effects camera from CnC with 30 film, camera and color effects and 7 frames. See below for a list of all 30 effects. All effects preview in speedy realtime, which is pretty cool. The rest of the app doesn’t feel as snappy, but it’s still an interesting app.
CamCam has 30 different film and color effects. You can either swipe through them onscreen or choose them from a pop up menu — complete with a live preview. The live preview gives you a splitscreen-style look at several effects at once.
The effects are named after an impressive collection of retro analog cameras, including many that aren’t often found in photo apps, such as the SMENA Symbol, Luvitel 166+, as well as the standard Holga and Diana cameras. There are several vintage looks as well, as well as several other color tweaks. It’s a good collection of effects. Overall, effects are what you’d expect from a retro camera, but a few effects to me are less accurate than others in digitally recreating their analog counterparts. For instance, photographs I’ve seen from a real-world SMENA aren’t nearly as sepia-heavyâ€¦. Some of the filters aren’t accurate “recreations” per se, but more like “tributes.”
Colors are good, though. They’re rich and nicely saturated. Some of the filters even have really cool randomly applied dust, grain and scratches.
Frames are well rendered. Sadly, there are only seven of them. I hope future updates add a greater variety of frames to match the effects.
All effects and all frames are available on all three cameras — rear, front and video. Video, when using one of the filters, even has a retro 8mm style flickering frame which looks good, especially for video, but adds a little needed randomness to the stills as well.
CamCam is slow slow. It takes a few seconds longer to load than most photo apps. Refresh time is pretty long, too. On my iPhone 4, refresh time was about 5 seconds between snaps — despite the fact that CamCam buffers images to complete processing in the background. Also, the app was sometimes cranky, sometimes locking up while processing a large video.
The separate focus and exposure targets are a little crankier than other apps. I didn’t really figure it out so much as I got lucky when I was able to get a lock. Target locks don’t stick when you change filters.
Also, it’s a camera only. You can’t load images from your camera roll to take advantage of its great filters. CamCam saves to its own library, much in the same way Camera+ does. I like that particular workflow as it lets me thin out images and helps to reduce camera roll clutter.
CamCam supports full 5MP iPhone 4 resolution and saves a bunch of EXIF data. The onscreen controls adjust to any orientations, making CamCam compatible with any iPhone tripod available, including the left-handed Gymbl tripod.
It’s fun but flawed. The filters look good and I like the live preview. It’s not a fast shooter. I don’t think it was intended to be. Like many of the classic Lo-Fi and toy cameras it mimics. For some, it might not be worth the three dollars. For others, it’s a fun diversion.
We’ll keep an eye on this one and let you know if it goes on sale.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
CAMCAM STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Baby Face effect
Color Dodge effect
Cross Process effect
Duo Sepia effect
Silver Gelatin effect
Kieb 16a effect
SMENA 35 effect
Luvitel 166+ effect
Aqua Sapphire effect
Early Bird effect
Super 8mm effect
Golden Age effect