I find something liberating about all of these photo effect apps for the iPhone. Being an avid Photoshop user, I’m used to getting exactly what I want out of an image if I’m willing to work at it long enough (and read enough books). That type of power and control is not available on an iPhone app, of course, but that makes it more fun to play around with. When it comes to iPhone photography and manipulation, few are as fun as Camera Plus Pro.
What is it?
I reviewed Camera Plus Pro about a year ago. Aside from a few gripes about photo management, I found it to be one of the more powerful and fun camera apps available. Those gripes remain in version 3.1, but the number of effects, enhanced video modes, wireless transfer, and more make this possibly the only camera app you’re going to need.
How does it work?
That’s kind of a problem, because it’s hard to figure out. There are so many tools crammed in here that you can’t just pick it up and start using it immediately. That’s why I’ll often still launch Apple’s Camera app when I need a quick photo; point and shoot and don’t worry about anything else. With Camera Plus Pro, you’ve got myriad toolbars and icons, some of which aren’t easy to identify right away. That’s not to say the UI is a mess. On the contrary, it’s quite clean and out of the way, but it will take you some practice time to learn what some icons represent. Thankfully, many are now identified with text.
You do get a lot, though. Popular capabilities such as time lapse and delayed photography are there. Filters with names like “lomographic” and “heat signature” are there. The ability to zoom photos and videos is there. And when you’re done playing with the effects, you can share the results via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa and YouTube (video), or via WiFi or FTP.
If I had to suggest one addition for future versions, though, it would be the ability to edit in landscape mode. When you go to edit a landscape oriented picture, you have to use the phone in portrait mode. This obviously shrinks the picture down, making it difficult to get a feel for the changes you’re making with the filters.
Oh, and when you’re shooting video with a filter, it’d be helpful to see the filter in real time. Currently, you don’t know how the video will look through the filter until after you’ve finished your shot.
Is it contagious?
If you’re bored with Apple’s Camera app, then yes. Many of the photo/video apps available are easier to use than Camera Plus Pro, but I can’t think of any that give you this many features and this much control. At only $1.99, you’re getting enough to keep things fresh for a long time to come. And if you take the time to learn the nuances of the app (Update: Global Delight does have a user manual available for download on their site—check the bottom navigation bar), you’re going to achieve some very impressive results with just a few taps. Definitely check this one out…but keep Camera handy for when you just need a quick, basic shot.