To clear up any confusion, this post is mostly about Camera+ for iPhone. I hope to cover the new Camera+ for iPad in a separate post soon.
Since its release, Camera+ by tap tap tap has spent most of its time in the App Store at or near the very top of the charts in the Photo and Video category. Until this update, the quality of this app warranted this success.
After five months, Camera+ has finally been updated. We’ll all download it, but overall it’s a very disappointing update for me. I expected more from a half-a-version update from this app.
The biggest problem for me in this update is the new, longer viewfinder. When I saw that Camera+ was updated for the larger screen of the iPhone 5, I cringed a little bit inside but thought that surely the developers of Camera+ wouldn’t make the same mistake that Apple did with the updated Camera app.
Sadly, my fears were justified. Camera+ has the same, thinner, inaccurate viewfinder that Camera has, making it useless for precision in-app cropping and framing on an iPhone 5. The aspect ratio of the Camera+ viewfinder is the same as Apple Camera’s — almost 3:2. iPhone 5 images, including those shot with Camera+ are still the less elongated 4:3. This means you won’t see everything you shoot. Surprise — that means you get unwanted objects on the long edges of your image. This problem could be easily fixed by adding a matte bar to the top of the viewfinder.
The viewfinder is still close enough for snapshots where precise composition isn’t critical. But a lot of iPhoneographers use Camera+ and they’ll either need to shoot around the viewfinder, crop their images a lot, or use another camera app.
Camera+ viewfinder is still accurate on iPhone 4S and older devices.
There are really no new features to get excited about if you don’t have an iPad. The new iCloud sync only works with another copy of Camera+ on another device using your iCloud login, including iPad or a second iPhone. It won’t otherwise automatically sync to your iCloud Photo Stream. The new larger screen of the iPhone 5 really doesn’t give you that much more room to work with.
There’s still a lot to like about the app. It’s still got the same great workflow. The new version is very fast, but I’m not sure how much of the speed gains for me are because of the faster hardware of the iPhone 5. VolumeSnap is still there — Apple hasn’t required the feature to be removed yet.
I really liked Camera+ and used to recommend it as an excellent camera replacement app, but the new, inaccurate viewfinder kills it for me for the iPhone 5. The rest of the update is pretty lackluster. This should have been just an unexciting maintenance update.
In short, there are no new killer features (unless you have the iPad version as well) and the viewfinder is now broken. I won’t be using Camera+ as a camera app until it’s fixed. If you’re using an iPhone 4S, 4 or older, version 3.5 should work great for you and will feel pretty much like the same version you’re shooting with now. I don’t recommend this update for iPhone 5 owners.
If you need help reverting back to the previous version, you can find it here.
Camera+ is on sale now for only $0.99. Its regular price is $1.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
UPDATE: Added note about clarifying the focus of this post. =M=