Review: Camera app 645 PRO gets a big, robust update
Version reviewed: 2.0
Price as reviewed: $2.99
Bottom Line: An excellent app! Already a serious iPhonegrapher’s camera app, the new 2.0 update adds features and improvements that make it an extremely powerful everyday camera.
It’s been in the works for a while and the new 2.0 update of camera replacement 645 PRO was just released. Since it’s released, it’s had an excellent set of tools focused primarily towards getting the best possible shot and quality file as possible from an iPhone. In that regard it excels.
As well as adding new features, this new update significantly improves performance in two key areas. Keep reading to find out how. >>>
645 PRO is currently the most advanced camera replacement app available. It’s the choice of many iPhoneographers for getting clear, sharp photos and files under a wide variety of conditions. With its comprehensive tool set and with all of the new features and improvements in the new update, it really does work the way a camera works.
It’s almost impossible to discuss all of the tools and features of this excellent camera app. Here are some of the significant ones. I’m still leaving a lot out. This app is that good.
“If it can be controlled, 645 PRO lets you control it on your iPhone.”
Yup, very true. 645 PRO gives you more total control over your iPhone’s camera than any other camera app. All the important tools are controlled from the viewfinder, which may seem a little daunting and cluttered until you learn the app. Among the app’s tools are excellent focus and exposure locks. The app can target both like a DSLR (and like the very good MatteBox app targets as well), using the center of the viewfinder to target, then the locks to hold the setting. You can also tap the screen for a more standard Multi-Zone metering approach.
645 PRO offers improved low light performance using Night Mode. Switching to this mode, 645 PRO has shutter speeds of up to 1 second, greatly improving the iPhone camera’s otherwise spotty ability to capture low-light scenes. This is not a light-trail creating feature, but a very powerful tool to allow more light on the camera sensor.
In addition to the iPhone’s standard 4:3 aspect ratio, the app lets you shoot with any of these several medium format aspect ratios or “backs”, from a 6×6 square, 3:2, 6×7, or 6×17 panoramic.
645 PRO also has several modes which emulate the color and tonal characteristics of various color and black & white film stocks.
In addition to image capturing tools, 645 PRO features advanced image saving tools which give you the option of preserving more pixels in a file and reduced image noise. Most photo apps save images in lossy JPEG format — typically about a Quality setting of 6 in Photoshop. This adds file compression, possible pixel interpolation, possible image noise and other artifacts to your raw photo. 645 PRO lets you choose lossless TIFF format, which only compresses redundant pixels. File saves add no noise or artifacts to your raw images. In addition to standard JPEG saves with smaller file size, you can also save as a high-quality JPEG — a great compromise between file size and image quality.
It supports full 8 MP resolution of an iPhone 4S and I suspect the iPhone 5 as well. It also saves a wide range of EXIF data, including Geotag location information.
645 PRO comes with a lot more tools for advanced iPhoneography. The app comes with a comprehensive 32 page built-in manual. To get the most from the app, I highly recommend you read through it before really diving in to all this excellent camera app can do.
Performance Improvements in the New 2.0 Update
Two of the issues I had with previous versions of 645 PRO were app instability and a relatively slow shot-to-shot time. In the new update, both recovery time and app stability have improved significantly.
Shooting in standard 4:3 mode with no processing applied and saving with TIFF save disabled (JPG only), I was able to capture five exposures in about 6.8 seconds before the buffer filled up. That’s a respectable 1.36 seconds average shot-to-shot time and much faster than many camera replacement apps currently available. After that, the buffer filled up and wouldn’t let me shoot until it had cleared a bit. The app now even has an excellent, nicely visible alert that only appears onscreen when the image buffer is full.
Stability has improved significantly in this new update. Shooting 645 PRO 2.0 in what I would call an “irresponsible” manner ( shot after shot after shot after shot….), I could not get the app to crash when shooting with most aspect ratios. The only time I had any issues with stability were when I shot in 6×9. The app crashed repeatedly for me after five images shot in rapid succession. Oddly, 645 PRO behaved great in every other mode for me.
Developer Mike Hardaker says about the performance of the new update, “Many core elements of the software have been re-written to optimise performance in various areas, from the real-time preview and UI responsiveness, to file save times. There has also been a huge push to ensure that it is completely stable in operation, even when challenged by external factors (such as misbehaving third-party apps). And everything has been through an extensive pre-release testing phase.”
The new update contains a list of other improvements as well. See the complete list below.
While I thought previous versions of 645 PRO were better suited towards high-quality images where the iPhonegrapher had plenty of set-up, shot time, and re-shoot time. With 645 PRO 2.0′s new faster response time and it’s significantly improved stability, it’s now far more usable for everyday use — an “everyday camera” with the most comprehensive set of features for shooting found in any camera app currently available. 645 PRO doesn’t really compete with camera replacement apps so much as it is serious competition for advanced point-and-shoot cameras. 645 PRO is a serious, complete camera.
645 PRO is currently $2.99 in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
What’s New in 645 PRO Version 2.0
A major upgrade of 645 PRO, including:
- In-app management of dRAW TIFFs in the 645 PRO Documents folder: includes Preview, “Open In…”, Copy to Camera Roll and Delete functionality
- Added Camera Roll “Open In” function for all compatible apps (includes third-party editing apps, and Dropbox, if installed)
- Added Camera Roll sharing to Instagram
- Updated/enhanced other sharers
- Photo filters modified: now swipe left-right to toggle on/off, up-down on LH side to select, up-down on RH side to adjust intensity
- Two new photo filters: hard and soft neutral graduated
- Photo filter settings stored in metadata
- Auto-rotation replaces treble-tapping on Back Selector to rotate 180° (lockable via main Settings.app)
- Added DSLR lens flip option (via Settings.app) for users with external, typically DSLR, lenses that flip the image
- Enhanced Film Modes, optimized to reduce blown-out highlights wherever possible
- Enhanced saving performance
- Larger file save buffer for TIFFs
- New Buffer Full indicator
- Split-screen level guide goes “bright” when level
- Enhanced GPS accuracy
- Grid, Meter, WB-L and Timer buttons have larger target “hot zone”, so easier to press
- Further overall performance/power management enhancements
- Minor UI tweaks to enhance responsiveness
- Fixed: filters cannot now be set in Q-Mode
- Fixed: focus point-of-interest selection is more accurate when zoom is used
- Minor bug fixes, tweaks and enhancements to performance and power-management
- User Manual updated