Version 1.0
Price: $0.99

Rating 3 stars

Bottom Line: It’s a good, not great, camera app to improve snapshots. Oh, and that’s three real stars.

In the App Store, there’s a new camera app called CameraSharp by screensmudge. It’s a basic camera app with tools to help take steadier pictures. It’s not really a “pro” app, but it’s designed to help you take better snapshots.

As of this writing, it’s hovering around 60 in Photography on the charts. It has 18 five-star reviews and zero four, three, two, or one star reviews. It looked too good to be true, and my hunch was right.

CameraSharp isn’t a bad shooter. Its toolset is geared toward improving the stability of the camera. It has a decent anti-shake stabilization tool and a shutter that can be triggered with a clap or a whistle. Both are good features for taking sharper images and group shots. There’s an easy-to-use self-timer that sets with a two-finger screen gesture. The timer’s countdown tone audibly changes two seconds before the shutter fires.

The separate focus and exposure locks are super easy to use — among the easiest I’ve found. One finger tap for focus lock, a two-finger tap for exposure lock. The targets are clearly marked.

There are composition reticles that don’t get in the way of the image. A bubble level lets you know when the camera is level relative to gravity. The app’s onscreen controls nicely rotate between landscape and portrait views.

It also supports the front camera on devices that have one and features exposure lock, grids and even a zoom on the front camera.

There’s no full-screen big button shutter in this app — a curious omission in this type of camera app. It has no post-processing module and no filters. It saves straight to your camera roll and there are no in-app sharing options. It’s a straightforward camera app. Images are saved at full-resolution. It has a full-resolution digital zoom. It saves geotag and EXIF data.

CameraSharp is reasonably priced at $0.99. It’s a decent camera app. It’s an iPhone equivalent of a point-and-shoot.

But the App Store user reviews make this app sound really great — all five-star reviews with mostly generic praise for the app. That made me a little suspicious of the reliability of the reviews.

It’s definitely not a five-star app like all of its App Store reviews claim. Further, nearly all of its reviewers have only reviewed one app on the App Store — you guessed it, CameraSharp. A couple of them have also reviewed screensmudge’s other app, a game called Penguin Bounce. These may be genuine reviews, but to me most of them sure meet some of the criteria of App Store shill reviews.

There are other camera apps with most or all of these features and many of them pack more features into the app for a buck or two. Camera+, Camera Genius, ProCamera, and King Camera all have anti-shake, timers, composition grids, separate focus and exposure lock, and has some great built-in image editing tools as well. All of these other camera apps can be purchased for $1-$3.

Like I said, CameraSharp isn’t a bad app. It’s a good, easy-to-use, reasonably-priced shooter. It’s not a five-star app, though, like the App Store reviews would lead you to believe. My three-star rating reflects my opinion of the app — nothing more or less.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

CameraSharp - screensmudge