Lumiere's new Magazine Print effect


Version 1.1
Price $1.99

Rating 4 stars

Bottom Line: A very good update with UI tweaks, new features and high resolution support.

When the retro-styled camera app Lumiere was released a couple of months ago, I liked the app, but wasn’t thrilled with it. At the time, I wrote about the first version “It’s got some good features. I just wish there were more of them.”

Lumiere has been updated and the new 1.1 update gives users just that — more of what’s good about the app. There’s a lot to enthusiastically like about Lumiere 1.1.

I previously reviewed Lumiere here. Everything that was good about the first release of the app is still there, only better and surrounded by more new great features. Effects preview live on screen as you shoot. Photos are saved to the app’s own lightbox where they can then be saved or easily shared by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

This incremental update is actually very very good. The interface gets a huge improvement in this update. Effects are now labeled making it easier to share “recipes”. Filter intensity is now adjustable by swiping two fingers up or down the length of the screen. It’s smooth once you have the touch, but I ended up flicking through a few of the app’s excellent frames until I’d figured out the sensitivity.

Exposure and focus are now split out, using the standard single and double tap. Setting focus and exposure is easy to use, but resetting it back to auto is a bit more clunky — I couldn’t easily figure out how to do it. A kludge is to switch over to the front-facing camera for a second (if your device has one) then switch back. It’ll return to auto mode. It’s a frustrating oversight that that should be tweaked. One of the great new features is the ability to adjust the exposure of the image up or down a few f-stops. It works great with the live display and can easily be switched off to get it out of your way if you don’t use it.

Lumiere now saves in higher resolution on an iPhone 4, 2048×1536 pixels. It’s not full resolution, but it’s 3 megapixels which is a very usable filesize. 5 MP resolution is promised for a future update once the processing speed issues are worked out. It actually supports three resolutions (on an iPhone 4) and they’re easily switchable from a small, onscreen toggle.

In addition to all the previous great effects, there are three new filters. TV Lines is one of the better filters available that not only adds old video scan lines to your image, but it also darkens and adds a little yellow to the image to simulate the look of an old, worn out TV tube. Magazine Print and Newspaper Print are both good print halftone simulators — not as good as the HalfTone app, but definitely usable. I really like the filters and effects in Lumiere. They have good color and texture and look authentically vintage.

Other new features include in-app links to social networking sites, and better stability for photo sharing, including a logout button; more detailed in-app instructions; and the requisite bug fixes, engine optimizations and interface tweaks!

It’s still just a camera. There’s still no way to import images from your camera roll or iPhone photo albums. Hopefully, we’ll see it in another update soon.

The higher resolution alone would have single-handedly improved the app. The new features and interface changes go far in improving Lumiere and making it a good app to have. I’m giving it four stars this time because the developer was very responsive to feedback on the initial version of the app. This update was better than I was expecting for a .1 update. The resolution is now high enough for most uses. The user interface has some great new advanced features and is a lot more functional. The effects are well-done and the real time rendering is very cool.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Lumiere - nebulus design


Lumiere's new Newspaper Print filter

Lumiere's new TV Lines filter