Effects Studio ($1.99) has features that should appeal to iPhoneographers who want sophisticated editing options, like curves and vignettes, but may also want to ham it up a bit with crazy frames or funny hats.

My editing preferences go more to the serious side, so let’s discuss what this versatile app can do. Adjustments cover luminosity, contrast, color. blurs, cropping, rotating curves, tone adjustments and resizing, a nice feature not too common in editing apps. There are drawing tools, and the ability to add text to your photos in various type styles. This latest update for iOS 9 adds 37 additional effects, 11 exclusive to iOS 9 users.

Using Effects Studio


This app is very straightforward to use. Load a photo from your camera roll or the cloud, and controls to enter edit mode or save ode appear at the bottom of the screen. Once you are in edit mode, you get the functions described above. Options are well labelled, and using the tools is intuitive. Some of the editing tools, like vignettes, for example, have sliders so you can customize the effect.

The filter sets are very nice. Never outrageous, but they run the gamut from subtle to strong. They can be used very appropriately with many kinds of photos. There are also some nice spotlight effects, to highlight a particular area of a photo while the rest darkens.

Frames include masks, which allows the frames to have elements that extend over your photo, and while I’m not a fan of ornate frames because I think they take away from the photo, some people will like experimenting with them.

What I didn’t like as much

I’m just not the kind of photographer that wants to put mustaches on people, or otherwise make humorous photos. While some will really appreciate this feature, I think it tends to cheapen a powerful app editor. Of course you don’t have to use those features, but the result is an app with a split personality. I think that’s part of the design, so all kinds of photographers will find useful options, it’s just not for me. It may be perfect for you.

The app only works in portrait mode, and I’m constantly critical of photo editing apps that do this, including Adobe with the new Adobe Fix app. I just don”t understand why developers don’t consider landscape oriented editing a basic feature, but obviously they don’t. Happily, the Effects Studio author agrees, and you’ll see landscape editing in an update soon.

Summing up

I like Effects Studio. I can open almost any photo in it and either enhance or improve it. While it has many excellent features, it’s not quite up to the level of editors like Pixelmator or some of the new Adobe apps, because things like smart erasing (content-aware fill) are not part of this app.

I also like the fact that the app is complete. No in-app purchase, and Effects Studio is universal, so it will work well if you have an iPad.

Effects Studio works both sides of the iPhone photography street. Excellent editing tools and worthwhile filters, and stickers, emoticons, hairpieces and horror masks when you are looking for something wild and fun. Don’t let those features put you off, though, because the app is an excellent editor with much to offer iPhone photography enthusiasts.


Download Effects Studio

iphoneography, iphone photo, mobile photo, photo app, Effects Studio

App Store link: Effects Studio – Claude Bezeaud

Effects Studio 4.0

Effects Quality/Toolbox
Resolution and Image Quality
User Interface

Don't let the stickers and emoticons put you off, because the app is an excellent editor with much to offer iPhone photography enthusiasts.

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