LevelCam 1.0 screenshots and size reduction from cropping

Version 1.1
Price $1.99

Rating 3 1/2 stars

Bottom Line: Good automatic crop and straighten and the new interface tweaks make it a good shoot-from-the-hip camera.

LevelCamI hate to leave a review online after a developer has fixed so many of the things that I’d originally whined about. LevelCam is one of those apps.

Shortly after I’d posted my original review of this shoot-from-the-hip camera, developer Mark Bublitz quickly addressed most of the issues and posted an update to the App Store. He’s fixed most of the issues I’d raised and kept or improved upon what worked in LevelCam. You can’t ask for much more than that.

LevelCam bills itself as the world’s first unrestricted AHAC (Automatic Horizon Adjustment Camera). That’s a fancy way of saying this app automatically straightens your image and then crops it before saving to the camera roll.

LevelCam works as well as taking a photo and manually straightening in an app like Photogene, only because it’s doing all the work in the app and much of it behind the scenes, the process goes much quicker.

LevelCam is designed to automatically help straighten self-portrait and discreet, from-the-hip style iPhoneography. It’s a straightforward camera. There are few additional features — no zoom or flash. The viewfinder features an excellent Rule of Thirds guide, reticles, and an optional horizon level.

Operation is easy. Just point and shoot. If you are within the automatic leveling threshold (indicated by a green target in the viewfinder), LevelCam will automatically rotate and crop your image to retain the native aspect ratio of your iPhone image. I like that LevelCam simply saves the photo at full resolution to your camera roll with no cropping applied if you are outside this threshold. The automatic leveling threshold is set to 20 degrees, which is changeable in the app’s options.

The interface is where most of the app’s improvements are and the changes greatly improve the ease of use of LevelCam. The shutter release button has been enlarged significantly and moved to where you’d expect it — the bottom center of the screen. The large size really helps in taking “monkey paw” style self-portraits. The Zero Horizon button has now been hidden from the main screen and can now be completely reset.

The automatic leveling and cropping worked very well in my tests. It saves in both portrait and landscape modes. The app was stable and didn’t crash while taking multiple photos. It let me shoot 3 images in 4.5 second intervals before the cache filled up and needed to finish processing images. One of the app’s good new features is that it now lets you know when it’s still saving images if you try to exit.

LevelCam saves both your full-size original and cropped images to your camera roll, a nice feature if you want to go back and recrop your photo. Unlike the excellent Crop Suey and Straighten Image apps, LevelCam does not resample and restore your cropped image back to the original size; the cropped image is smaller. That’s still an excellent feature I’d like to see added in a future update.

Also needing to be noted, developer Marc Bublitz responded quickly and excellently to my initial review. I’d actually never contacted him directly about my issues with the app. This is an active and responsive level of involvement that I really appreciate from a developer.

The improvements greatly increase the ease of use and overall usability of LevelCam. I like the app a lot more than I did when I first reviewed it. Not everyone needs a an automatic leveling stealth camera. If you take street photography, LevelCam is well worth considering. It’s nearly a four star app for me.

App Store link: LevelCam