photogene2 for iPhoneThe lineage of Photogene2 is one of the oldest photo apps on the iPhone. Photogene was probably one of the first apps many early iPhoneographers had in their camera bag.

Photogene2, the app’s successor, recently received a big update with several new features, including several new tools and the ability to order photo products in-app.

One of the more compelling features for me is the new “Clarity” tool, made popular by all-in-one camera app Camera+. I thought I’d compare the two side by side. See how Photogene2 fared after the jump.

The complete list of new features in the new 1.20 update is below.

The new Clone tool is well-implemented and easy to use. The source is easily adjustable hand has an easy to see target onscreen. An easy tap and hold lets you drag the target elsewhere on your image. Two fingers lets you zoom and pan without painting or leaving the tool.

Like the Clarity tool in Camera+ by tap tap tap, Photogene2’s Clarity tool is part single-image HDR, part Dynamic Range Correction. They’re designed to be a one-click tool to enhance your photo and make it “pop.” the Photogene2 Clarity tool also has a slider you can use to adjust the intensity of the effect.

The tool basically performs the same functions in both apps, but the algorithms are visibly different and yield different results. Here are some sample images. The first in each series is the original, unaltered exposure. The Photogene2 Clarity effect has been cranked up to 100% in these samples.

Original image

Camera+ Clarity tool

Photogene's Clarity tool at 100%

Original image

Camera+ Clarity tool

Photogene2's Clarity tool at 100%

Your preference may vary. The Photogene2 Clarity effect is more subtle to my eye, even at 100%. The Camera+ Clarity effect tends to look more like a High Dynamic Range app photo. It also tends to brighten up 3/4 tones and shadows a bit more — that may not always be what you want. Both enhance color and details in the photo that were not as pronounced in the original.

There are several other high-end image editors for iPhone, including PhotoForge2 and my favorite Filterstorm. Photogene2 1.20 is definitely a good update with some great new features that will please current users.

Here’s all that’s new in Photogene 1.20:

New: order directly from Photogene real photo products that will be delivered to you by mail. Service by tap2print.

Major new features:
– Device-to-device: transfer photos directly to another iPad/iPhone (requires Photogene to be installed on the other device).
– Clarity slider.
– Clone tool.
– Create your own presets! Long tap on a photo in the editor to save it as a preset.

More stuff:
– Add date-stamp to your exported photos.
– Copy edit operations from one photo and apply the same edits on another photo. Long tap on a photo in the editor to bring up the copy&paste menu.
– Can now upload directly to Evernote and Tumblr.
– Now it’s possible to preserve the original file names when uploading to Dropbox, FTP or mail (requires iOS 5).

Photogene2 is $0.99. There are also several in-app purchases available. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Photogene² for iPhone - Omer Shoor