Featured »

October 14, 2014 – 7:05 am | Edit Post

Many iPhoneographers use cloud-based storage service Dropbox to store, transfer, and share photos. 7,000,000 Dropbox passwords may have been breached. Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your data.

Read the full story »
News
Reviews
App Sales
Hipstamatic
Instagram
Home » News, Reviews

iPhone Classics: ClearCam Updated? Yes!

Submitted by on January 17, 2013 – 12:40 pm 12 Comments

ClearCam for iPhone

A Couple of Classic iPhoneography Apps Get Surprising Updates

Occipital ClearCam for iPhoneClearCam and Vint B&W, two of iPhoneography’s oldest apps got surprising updates this week — surprising in that they were even updated at all. I’d seriously thought that both apps were end-of-lifed and I’m glad to see any development continue on both of these.

I’ll be covering Vint B&W in a separate post. The ClearCam update isn’t groundbreaking any more than it was were when it was brand now, but it’s gotten performance enhancements, bug fixes and now works nicely on the latest iPhones and iOS. Keep reading for more! >>>

ClearCam image size

ClearCam – When It Absolutely Positively Has To Be Big

ClearCam by Occipital is a camera app that promises clearer, sharper and sometimes larger images from any iPhone. It claims to eliminate the blur without “missing the moment”. It does so without waiting for an anti-shake setting to kick in. It claims to take clearer, sharper pictures with twice the resolution in enhanced mode.

Quick history lesson. ClearCam predates the App Store. Originally, it was only available in Cydia on jailbroken iPhones for about $10. ClearCam JB really did some amazing things to images — sharpening, enlarging, reducing noise. It created very impressive results on an old, muddy, noisy original iPhone camera.

It still does, even on the new 8MP iPhone 5. ClearCam is a camera app that shoots in two modes. Quick Mode shoots four exposures in rapid succession, analyzes them and saves the sharpest, clearest one to your camera roll.

That’s pretty cool in itself, but where the magic happens is in Enhanced Mode. There, ClearCam shoots six exposures quickly then stores them to a queue for you to later perform alignment and enhancing. The end result will be a great looking 18MP image shot with your iPhone. This workflow gets you back to shooting in about 6 seconds on an iPhone 5.

Enhanced Mode is not very fast, but it does some amazing things to your image. It’s a two pass process. First, the six images are automatically aligned. Then, they are combined and enhanced. This function preserves the detail and sharpness while minimizing the noise. Both of these functions need to be started by the user. I’m not sure why they have never been automated, but my hunch is that there is that the iPhone’s CPU is being asked to do a lot of work and it’s best for the user to choose when that’s done, rather than be at the mercy of the app.

Enhanced images are huge — 18 MP on an iPhone 5 and 4S. They are still sharp and vibrant. Even at the larger size, details look crisp and free from the pixelization of upsampling. There are no halos like those found in multi-image HDR photos. Images shot with ClearCam are sharp, vibrant, and BIG. Because of the number of exposures Enhanced Mode requires, it’s best suited for static subjects. Quick Mode, however, is ideal for capturing the best exposure of a moving subject.

clearcam-test-sample-0113

ClearCam sample image showing detail area

ClearCam test image, detail

ClearCam 18MP test image, detail

Apple Camera 8MP image, detail

Apple Camera 8MP image, detail

 

Click to enlarge the two sample images above. The Apple Camera enlargement really shows the image breaking up and pixelating much more than in the same area from the ClearCam image. That clarity comes at a size premium, though. Each 18MP Enhanced image will use about 9MB of space on your iPhone, compared to the 1-2MB of the images from Apple’s Camera.

ClearCam works great on the new iPhones, but where it can really work some great magic is on devices with older or lower-resolution cameras. ClearCam can dramatically improve the quality of everyday photos from an older iPad and iPod Touch — the devices with the very low sub-2MP cameras. While it won’t perform miracles, shooting with ClearCam not only increases image size from these low-res devices, it also visibly improves image quality, helping to minimize the muddiness and noise that are characteristic of these cameras.

The previous update broke on my iPhone 4S. This update works smoothly, quickly and flawlessly on my iPhone 5 running the latest iOS.

I’m really glad to see ClearCam back in the App Store. I asked Jeffrey Powers from Occipital about the future of ClearCam. He answered “If the public reaction is good and sales improve, we have a lot of other fun ideas up our sleeve.  :)”

Once again, I recommend ClearCam if you are interested in taking supersized iPhone photos. The image quality you will get in-camera is unparalleled. If you own an iPad or iPod Touch, this is an essential purchase. It’s the single best camera app you can buy to easily improve the quality of your camera.

ClearCam is on sale now for a limited time for $0.99. It’s normally $1.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

=M

~~~~

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.

  • MiniBlueDragon

    Is the quality up there with PureShot/645Pro/GCam etc?

    • Marty Yawnick

      They are different types of camera apps. I wouldn’t do everyday shooting with ClearCam and its 6 second recovery time. On the other hand, with a static subject, images shot with ClearCam in Enhanced Mode will be much larger, sharper and have less visible noise than those shot with an 8MP camera. Not only can you make larger photos on your iPhone, ClearCam gives you more wiggle room to crop down images and still have a good-sized, good looking image when cropped. =M=

  • Jason

    So far the main apps in this growing genre of super resolution iphoneography are: fotomatic, clearcam and cortex cam. All three produce good images. I’d love to see more coverage of this genre, perhaps developers will be inspired to push the envelope even further!

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´ve a question and would be great if someone knows the answer…

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´ve a question and would be great if someone knows the answer…

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´ve a question and would be great if someone knows the answer…

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´ve a question and would be great if someone knows the answer…

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´ve a question and would be great if someone knows the answer…

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´ve a question and would be great if someone knows the answer…

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Vesa Kalervo Ekholm

    Hi,

    I´m using clearcam on my iphone 4s. Great looking images, tack sharp and almost 18Mpx resolution but the file size – they end up being “only” 3-4MB

    Why are they so compressed ? I´m mean 18MB resolution…surely the file size should be bigger ? No biggie if the image is straight out of camera ready but usually they require post processing…

    Anyways… Does anyone have any clue why, or am I mistaken and that really IS the “right” filesize ?

    Cheers,

    vke

  • Marilyn

    Hi

    I need to take some really good (at least 300DPI) shots with my iPhone5 (I’m an artist) for printing. I’d like to be able to do this and then upload the files to my printer. Is this feasible with this app using the Enhanced Mode.

  • Mia

    I’ve been searching on the App Store for this app, ClearCam, but I cannot find it. Has it been deleted altogether? Has the name been changed?