Mattebox is the “photographer’s mobile camera.” It’s a simple, yet very powerful camera app that behaves like a traditional, luxury point and shoot. In fact, it was created with the Konica Hexar as inspiration. Everything you need to shoot is there, but the UI stays out of your way.

I recently reviewed the version 1 release of Mattebox, giving it four out of five stars — Life In LoFi’s “Very Good” app rating. At $3.99, it’s more expensive than most camera apps, but it has tools and features no other photo app has.

I recently caught up with Ben Syverson, the developer of Mattebox. There are some really cool new features in store for version 2.0. Want to find out more? Click past the jump to find out what’s in store. >>>

The feature that I’m most excited about is Mattebox’ new Semi-automatic mode, which will finally give iPhoneographers some control over shutter speed in normal shooting situations. While there are apps that let you tweak the exposure, no other photo app let’s you tweak the shutter speed like this (photo apps like Slow Shutter Cam by Cogitap Software and NightCap by have had the ability to take long exposure photographs for some time). This is a groundbreaking new feature.

Ben Syverson explained it to me,

“Using this mode, you can select an ISO & Shutter combo that you want Mattebox to lock onto, and it will guide the camera to that exposure. This requires some explanation and background….

“The iPhone camera module has a baked Program Mode, which means it starts at a high ISO and 1/15th, and as more light is added, the ISO decreases, until it hits ISO 80, at which point the ISO stays the same, and the shutter speed gets faster. So it’s impossible to separate ISO and shutter. Semiauto mode will show you the current ISO + Shutter, and allow you to select a different combo. So if you’re at ISO 160 & 1/15, you could for example select ISO 400 & 1/15, or maybe ISO 80 & 1/30.”

Sweet. I can’t wait to try out the new Semi-automatic mode with some in-camera shutter effects and blurs.

Another new feature in version 2.0 is the new Live Viewfinder. The Mattebox viewfinder has been rewritten and will allow you to preview your presets live. Says Syverson, “This can be very useful. For example, if you’re shooting with a high contrast B&W preset, it’s much easier to see when you need exposure compensation.”

Mattebox 2.0 will add photo sharing. Tapping “Save” in 2.0 will also call up a pretty useful Sharing panel. You can easily toggle sharing to Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox and any of your Twitter accounts. You’ll also be able to add a photo caption or a Tweet. There’s more, but basically the sharing option is very well implemented.

You should also be able to share your image presets more easily in 2.0.

And, if I’m not mistaken, Mattebox 2.0 will get a new icon as well.

One of the things that I like about Mattebox, especially after using it for several weeks, is that it really does behave more like a camera than other photo apps. The new update adds powerful and unique new tools to this excellent shooting app.

Ben Syverson is working on the update now. There is no exact release date for the update yet. I’ll keep you posted. I’m really looking forward to the new features in Mattebox 2.0.

If you don’t already have Mattebox, it’s $3.99 in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Mattebox - Ben Syverson

The Mattebox website is a good place to go for tutorials and tips on how to use the app. You can also play with a virtual Mattebox online. Check it all out at



UPDATE 02.14.12: Updated and clarified info regarding apps that already tweak shutter speed. =M=