The iOS camera app is simple, fast and efficient. It’s useful for taking and sharing photos at a moment’s notice, but doesn’t offer enough features and controls for serious shutterbugs, even after the iOS7 update. Smartphone cameras have replaced point-and-shoot digicams for many of us, which is why a fully-fledged photo app is practically a necessity. There are many third-party photo apps available which offer advanced tools your iPhone or iPad’s camera don’t have. So if you find the iOS camera app too basic for your requirements, here's a look at five compelling alternatives you can download.
One of the most popular photo apps for iOS, Camera+ is an advanced app that was recently updated with a host of new features. It offers four image capture modes – normal, stabiliser, timer and burst mode. To make shooting easier, you can enable a grid, horizon level and live exposure (displays ISO and shutter speed). There are touch exposure and focus controls which can be adjusted and locked before shooting. Camera+ also allows you to use 6x digital zoom. The image editor within the app is called Lightbox, and is most popular for its Clarity filter which enhances photos to bring out details. There are a number of scene modes, filters, frames and crops available. Some of these are in-app purchases, but most are free. The Lightbox Lab lets you adjust contrast, temperature, tint, saturation, etc. Images can be shared via Facebook, Twitter or a web link. There is also an option to sync Lightbox with your iCloud account.
Price: Rs 110 (iPhone), Rs 270 (iPad)
Camera Awesome is a great free alternative to your iPhone or iPad’s native camera app. It offers various modes like image stabilisation, video, burst, timer and interval shooting. Big button shutter allows you to tap anywhere on the viewfinder to snap an image. Composition grids, a horizon level and 4x digital zoom are also included. Like Camera+, there are touch controls for exposure and focus. There are nine ‘Awesomise’ filters, which can be applied while shooting. The image editor has a ‘one-touch Awesomise’ button and a variety of crop options. It also offers a large number of presets, filters, textures and frames, although only nine of each are available for free. Sharing options are aplenty – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Instagram and Email.
Price: Free (iPhone, iPad)
Camera 360 is another free app, and is the ultimate selfie tool. When using the front camera, there are various ‘Magic Skin’ filters you can apply before or after shooting, including one called ‘Sexy Lips’. Other shooting modes include video, burst, multi-grid, double exposure and low light. ‘Effects’ lets you choose from a range of interesting options like HDR, Lomo, Retro, Black and White, and Sketch. Most effects have a sub menu with more filters, and the app makes them easy to view in real time by simply swiping across the screen. If you find the interface too complicated, there’s an Easy Camera mode which detects the scene for you and optimises the picture. The image editing tool is also selfie focused. An option called ‘Face Fix’ has tools for smoothing, whitening, eye widening and if you need it, even a face lift. All the filters in the shooting mode are also available while editing, in case you change your mind. Additionally, you can choose from a number of crops, textures and blurring tools. You can share directly to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and WeChat from within the app.
Price: Free (iPhone, iPad)
KitCam was one of the most popular camera apps for iOS, but was removed from the App Store after its acquisition by Yahoo. KitCamera is an almost exact replica of the app, and offers some advanced features for photo buffs. The in-app shooting menu has slider controls to adjust exposure compensation and white balance. Modes like timer, long shutter, multi-shot, night snap, stabiliser, time lapse and video are also available. Like the original app, you can choose from 16 lenses including fish eye, wide-angle, line tilt and kaleidoscope. Additionally, there are 50 films and 40 frames you can apply before shooting. The image editor allows you to adjust levels via a histogram, as well as tweak brightness, colour balance, contrast, sharpness and saturation. Crops and filters can also be applied while processing. KitCamera has the largest number of social sharing options from the list – Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, Instagram, Blogger, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Drive, email and SkyDrive.
Price: Rs 110 (iPhone, iPad)
You won’t get the fancy shooting options of the other photo apps with VSCO Cam, but you will get a simple, efficient user interface. There is a large shutter mode which allows you to tap anywhere on the viewfinder to snap a photo. There are separate focus and exposure rings, which can be adjusted and locked into place. For framing, you can choose from regular or square grids. You can also turn the flash on before you shoot to illuminate a dark scene. A low light mode is also available. For editing, you’ll get access to a curated list of VSCO’s custom presets. You can purchase additional presets in packs or individually from the VSCO store. Be sure to check the store periodically for free downloads. Other editing tools like exposure, temperature, fade, vignette and contrast are also available. The app lets you adjust the strength of tools and presets using a precision slider. In-app sharing options include Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and Instagram. VSCO Cam users can also create their own ‘Grid’ – a classy Instagram-like profile.
Price: Free (iPhone, iPad)
A couple of months ago, LeEco
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