What is it?
MiniatureCam is a tilt shift application for still pictures and video for your iDevice. “What is tilt shift and why is the app called MiniatureCam?” Good questions. Tilt shift is a kind of focus that allows you to select a small area of the image to be in sharp focus while the rest of the image is slightly out of focus. The overall effect makes it look like the object in focus is a miniature, hence the name MiniatureCam.
The controls are laid out well and mostly obvious as to their function. MiniatureCam functions with both the still and video camera features of the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (universal app).
How does it work?
The basic function is “point and shoot,” just like the built-in camera. There are some settings you can use to get your desired effect, and here’s the run down.
There are three focus area settings: horizontal bar, vertical bar, and circle. The cool part is you can tap and stretch to change the size of the focus area. With the two linear areas, you can change the angle through 360 degrees as well as the center of the focus area. The circle focus setting will also let you change the center point of the focus area, as well as allowing you to stretch the focus area into an oval. Other settings buttons include “blur,” contrast, brightness and saturation. The “blur” function lets you set how wide the primary and secondary blur areas will be. With the video function, you have access to two additional functions: “stop motion” and “x2 speed.” The x2 speed function simply plays back the video at double speed.
The stop motion function was a bit disappointing; when I used it I expected things to look a bit like, well, a stop motion film but the effect was subtle almost to the point of nonexistence. Another downer was the “reverse” function didn’t seem to work. Where the other effects and functions are an easy to use toggle button, the reverse button didn’t do anything. It would be nice if the app provided some sort of help/information function.
Once you have taken your video footage you can add one of the five stock soundtracks and save the finished product to the album. You also have the option to post your video to either Facebook or Twitter and, as long as it is running, to the Figtree Labs video contest.
Is it contagious?
MiniatureCam is not a bad app, especially for $0.99. There is no zoom feature and the resolution is not the greatest, but you can use the saturation for interesting effects or to enhance low light images. If you turn the saturation all the way down you can take some interesting black and white images as well. There seem to be some areas where the app is less than what you might expect, but overall it is a handy tool to have in your iDevice photography toolbox.