Zoom Camera Photo for iPhone

Zoom Camera Photo for iPhone

Zoom Photo Camera
Version 1.0

Bottom Line: Avoid

Apple’s built-in iPhone Camera app is a solid if barebones camera. Point, shoot… that’s it. Very few features. Many other full-featured apps have been created as alternatives to the default camera app. One of the more recent ones, Zoom Photo Camera by Planet Blue Art falls way short.

The feature set is pretty unique and would be pretty good if the app worked. There are onscreen sliders you can use to adjust the brightness and color temperature before you snap your picture.  The brightness feature works okay, but will wash out your image if applied too much. An exposure adjustment which also balances the contrast would be an improvement here. There is a good anti-shake option and a variable self timer. These features can be toggled off or on in the app preferences.

The app supports a resolution of up to 2048 x 1536. It does not upsample images to that resolution if you are using an iPhone 2G or 3G and it doesn’t appear to support iPhone 3GS focus in this version.

The “zoom” feature is not a zoom at all, but simply an in-camera crop, giving you an image that’s only 25% of the size you are expecting, in my case 400 x 300 pixel images. This is yet another app which touts itself as adding digital zoom to the iPhone, when in fact, the quality of these “zoomed” images will be substandard for all but the most basic of uses. These images may be fine for Twitter, Facebook or MMS, but the digital zoom feature is unusable for any iPhoneography. That pretty, sharp image in the description on the app store is unrealistic and very misleading. You will not get results that good with this version of Zoom Photo Camera. For a true digital zoom yielding much better results, Zoom Lens by BitWink is turning out to be the standard for digital zoom on iPhone, with full-resolution, in camera digital zoom and full-size output.

I had stability problems with the app. Zoom Photo Camera is one of few third-party apps which allow you to fire off lots of images while caching and auto-saving in the background. Well, sort of…. While saving images, the app crashed on me more often than not, causing me to lose all but the first image shot. Shooting 10 images in succession caused the app to crash for me during saves (every time for me, your mileage may vary), causing me to lose most of my shots. Rebooting my iPhone seemed to help, but not eliminate the problem.

The lack of a quality zoom isn’t a dealbreaker for me — the lack of app stability is and this is why I’ve given the app an “Avoid” rating. I don’t have the time, battery or desire to reboot my phone before using my iPhone’s camera, especially when there are plenty of other camera replacement apps that can do the job without the threat of crashing. Many photo opportunities avail themselves only for a moment and my images are too valuable to me to risk losing during an application crash.

For an iPhone camera replacement app, version 1.0 of Zoom Photo Camera is an unreliable choice unless you like gambling with your photos. There are more reliable apps which will give you better quality images, whether you are a casual photographer or a serious iPhoneographer.

Zoom Photo Camera is normally $1.99 USD in the App Store.


FTC Disclosure: I am not associated with this or any camera app creator. I paid full price for this app in the App Store.